South Texas Pride Q&A: Nonprofit organization improves quality of life of young LGBTQ+ people, parents in San Antonio area

Fiesta Youth hosting World AIDS Day event between Dec. 1 and Dec. 7

A local nonprofit is working to improve the lives of young LGBTQ+ people and their parents in the San Antonio area.

SAN ANTONIO – A local nonprofit organization is working to improve the lives of young LGBTQ+ people and their parents in the San Antonio area.

Fiesta Youth has been helping young LGBTQ+ people and their parents since 2013 by providing support groups and other resources to improve their quality of life.

“We offer support groups for ages 12 to 18 and also for young adults 18 to 22. And then, we also offer a parent support group,” said David Laidacker-Luna, president of Fiesta Youth.

Laidacker-Luna said his organization strives to instill more community-based activities for the young people they serve.

“Youth experience togetherness, a sense of community,” he said. “Our kids really feel that sense of belonging, not only to who they’re going to be meeting that day at group but also being able to get that sense of community here in San Antonio through some of our guest speakers.”

Fiesta Youth also hosts events to bring more awareness to issues that affect LGBTQ+ people, as well as a way to fundraise for their future projects.

The nonprofit is showcasing the national memorial AIDS quilt in San Antonio as part of its World AIDS Day event at Woodlawn Point Community Center from Dec. 1 through Dec. 7. Laidacker-Luna says the quilt honors those who have died from HIV/AIDS-related causes in the San Antonio area.

“So you’ll see a lot of quilts from people that have passed away from HIV/AIDS over the years,” Laidacker-Luna said. “And it’s very empowering to be able to see some of this upfront and close and making it a little more personal and to be able to educate our youth, our parents and our community on the disease and helping to end the stigma that surrounds it to this day.”

The Fiesta Youth president says education is paramount for local LGBTQ+ people to honor their past and move forward.

“So we’re able to be that extended education front for our youth of San Antonio -- not only for the LGBTQ community but also for our BIPOC community, for our straight allies -- to be able to really showcase and remember our past but also look forward to our future,” Laidacker-Luna said.

As for the future of Fiesta Youth, Laidacker-Luna says the nonprofit is expanding by offering support group sessions and other resources to surrounding Texas communities, the Coastal Bend and even some military youths who may have moved across the world.

We get kids from London, from Japan, that also come,” he said. “So it’s great that we’re able to extend that via our Zoom capabilities nowadays and to be able to move forward with that technology into our future and be able to extend upon that.”

For more information on Fiesta Youth and the programs it offers, visit the following links:

Fiesta Youth website - www.fiesta-youth.org

Fiesta Youth email - info@fiesta-youth.org

Fiesta Youth Twitter - Fiesta_Youth

Fiesta Youth Facebook - FiestaYouth

Fiesta Youth Instagram - fiestayouth

Learn more about the organization by watching the entire South Texas Pride Q&A in the video player above. Watch more Q&As here.


About the Author:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and KSAT.com includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.