On Dec. 21, Latin Cafe 2000 in Brickell held its fifth annual pig pardoning ceremony, during which Miami Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava officially pardoned two lucky pigs, saving them from South Florida's dinner table family tradition of Roasted pig, Caja China, or Lechon for the holidays. Aguacate Sanctuary of Love has rescued Holly and Jolly and will provide them with a haven with plenty of room to run and play as their new permanent homes.
Pig dishes are popular in South Florida, thanks to the Cuban and other Caribbean and Larin American influences in the Magic City. Roasted pig is especially eaten during New Year's Eve and is shared with loved ones as they welcome the new year.
"I am so thrilled to be celebrating the very Miami-Dade tradition of the annual pig pardon," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. "With today's pardon, both Holly & Jolly will be exempt from being the main course at the Christmas table for the remainder of their lives. And today, they will make their way towards their new home, a local sanctuary, where they'll live out their golden years free from open fires and hungry Miamians."
Eric Castellanos, the owner of Latin Cafe 2000, Daney Cabrera of Aguacate Sanctuary of Love, and Miami Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, declared the two pigs pardoned from this year's holiday meal.
"We began this tradition at Latin Cafe 2000 as a way to bring together the community, and we are so amazed this is now our fifth year," said Eric Castellanos, Owner of Latin Cafe 2000, located in Brickell, LeJeune and Hialeah. "Thanksgiving five years ago, my wife and I were preparing hundreds of Lechon Thanksgiving orders when we saw the presidential pardoning of turkeys, only to realize Miami is Lechon central. Thus we began the incredible task of finding pigs that will be spared for Noche Buena."
Latin Cafe 2000 is located in Brickell at 1053 Brickell Plaza. For more information, visit the website.