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Central Ohio DJ celebrates Hispanic culture, history at Viva Festival Latino in Columbus

Derek Amaya, who goes by DJ Cale, says events like the Viva Festival Latino in Columbus help bring people together.

PATASKALA, Ohio — Everything about what he does is a paid respect to who he is.

“To me, it’s very important to keep your roots, your identity,” Derek Amaya said.

Amaya, who goes by the stage name DJ Cale, has been spinning the ones and twos since 1996.

He came to the states from Honduras when he was 6-years-old. His love for music grew up with him. It started in the rock genre with Pearl Jam and Guns N Roses. Over time, he mixed in hip hop and R&B.

“Seeing other artists and other DJs like at the time with MTV spinning and just making the crowd happy — that made me want to do the same,” he said.

Music pumps through his veins as fast and as meaningful as blood itself.

He was a professional DJ for 17 years. The last 13 years, he’s been the DJ at the Viva Festival Latino in Columbus.

“These types of events, I feel like it makes people come together,” he said. “Doesn’t matter where you come from.”

The event celebrates the heart of Latin America.

For Amaya, it’s home.

“I have to say, [we’re] good people,” he said with a smile. “People [are] very friendly. The food, the culture, the traditions. Every country has their own way of living and their own beliefs.”

The festival, like the music he spins, is eclectic helping to recognize community, culture and the fact we’re all one.

“This is one of the things that we can come together,” Amaya said. “Half the world’s crazy right now. Everything that’s happening…this is the moment where we actually can wake up and say hey, we’re humans.”

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