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Piñata maker apologizes after hanging African-American figures by cords


A Minnesota man has apologized after he hung three piñatas that appeared to be a set of African-American figures by cords from the porch of his home.

Many in the Minneapolis community were shocked and horrified by the image, which quickly went viral on social media as many said it was reminiscent to lynchings.

But Victor Chavarria, a piñata maker, said the entire thing was a big misunderstanding.

Victor Chavarria has apologized after he hung three piñatas that appeared to be a set of African-American figures by cords from the porch of his home

Victor Chavarria has apologized after he hung three piñatas that appeared to be a set of African-American figures by cords from the porch of his home

Chavarria, a piñata maker, said the entire thing was a big misunderstanding as many in his community were shocked and horrified by the image

Chavarria, a piñata maker, said the entire thing was a big misunderstanding as many in his community were shocked and horrified by the image

Chavarria was fulfilling an order to create piñata versions of a wedding party that included a black groom, Latina bride, and bridesmaids who were white, Latina, and black.

The father-of-two said he hung a few of the piñatas on his porch so the paint could dry one morning, unaware of how they might appear to his neighbors.

Someone snapped a picture of the piñatas hanging from Chavarria’s porch, and soon he was receiving death threats. 

Chavarria said he called the police and asked for extra patrol because he was concerned. 

His wedding order was also canceled after the controversy.  

Chavarria said he was fulfilling an order to create piñata versions of a wedding party

Chavarria said he was fulfilling an order to create piñata versions of a wedding party

The piñata maker said the wedding party (pictured) included a black groom, Latina bride, and bridesmaids who were white, Latina, and black

The piñata maker said the wedding party (pictured) included a black groom, Latina bride, and bridesmaids who were white, Latina, and black

Chavarria said he was ‘deeply sorry’ for offending the community, and promised to ‘immediately’ change his process. 

‘I deeply apologize. I wouldn’t do anything to offend anybody, they gave me my feedback and of course I listen,’ he told MPR News. 

Chavarria said he was 'deeply sorry' for offending the community, and promised to 'immediately' change his process

Chavarria said he was ‘deeply sorry’ for offending the community, and promised to ‘immediately’ change his process

‘I’m here to serve the community, not the opposite, and I am deeply sorry.’ 

Candace Thurman, one of Chavarria’s neighbors, said she thought the piñatas were ‘really inappropriate’.

‘It just brought back memories from slavery,’ she said. ‘It just looked back.’ 

Chavarria said he now understood why hanging the piñatas hanging the porch was hurtful to many of his neighbors. 

‘Perception is reality for people and I have to be very careful and sensitive to my community,’ he said. 

‘I deeply apologize to anybody who got offended. My processes changed immediately, and I won’t dry piñatas on my porch anymore.’

Others in the community have rallied around Chavarria and his family, who moved to Minneapolis three years ago. 

On Saturday he posted a message from the business' Facebook page discussing the controversy and how Hispanics 'interpret piñatas in celebrations'

On Saturday he posted a message from the business’ Facebook page discussing the controversy and how Hispanics ‘interpret piñatas in celebrations’

Chavarria, a Mexican immigrant, has been creating pinatas in the community for his business Happy Kids Piñatas since 2015. He is pictured here with his wife 

Chavarria, a Mexican immigrant, has been creating pinatas in the community for his business Happy Kids Piñatas since 2015. He is pictured here with his wife 

Chavarria, a Mexican immigrant, has been creating piñatas in the community for his business Happy Kids Piñatas since 2015.

On Saturday he posted a message from the business’ Facebook page discussing the controversy and how Hispanics ‘interpret piñatas in celebrations’. 

‘We want to teach our children to reach for the goodness inside, regardless of the shape,’ he wrote.  

‘In this case, I was making piñatas for a wedding, that happened to include Caucasian, Latino and African American groom and bridesmaids.’ 

‘It is unfortunate that many were offended with something unfamiliar to them. However, I liked that you openly stated your frustration. This gave me the opportunity to share instead of assume everyone understands piñatas.’  

‘Please feel free to stop by, meet me, my family, my children. You will be able to see that we are respectful, caring people trying our best to fit in and contribute.’ 

Others in the community have rallied around Chavarria and his family, who moved to Minneapolis three years ago and are known by many for their pinatas 

Others in the community have rallied around Chavarria and his family, who moved to Minneapolis three years ago and are known by many for their pinatas 



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