Univ. Begins Celebration of Latin American Heritage
Kelsley Broomfield, Tower Staff
September 27, 2012
Filed under News
Saturday marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month and Latin Alliance, a student organization on campus, will be leading Catholic University in celebrating the Latin American and Caribbean cultures through various events until October 15.
“I am very excited because there are going to be so many wonderful events that I hope will expose CUA to Latino culture,” said junior Sara Maldonado, the president of Latin Alliance. “Celebrating my culture with my peers is something I really love doing and this month is a great vehicle for this.”
The merriment will begin with a trip to Sacred Heart for a Spanish Mass in Columbia Heights this Sunday. The Latin Alliance will also be attending a dinner afterward at Los Hermanos, a Dominican restaurant near Columbia Heights. Another event will be a lecture on Spanglish (the mixture of Spanish and English) with Dr. Gonzalo Campos-Dintrans, which will be held in the Pryz on Monday.
Since dance is a very vital aspect of the Hispanic culture, Latin Alliance will bring salsa to Centennial Village Circle on Tuesday for “Havana Nights.” Students who are interested can stop by to learn the basics of salsa from a professional dance instructor.
In addition to the lively events that will be held on campus this month, there will also be a Latino Symposium, a conference that will focus on academic and career advancement.
Hispanic Heritage Month allows Latin cultures to celebrate their roots as well as their independence.
The United States has celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month for several years. It first began as Hispanic Heritage Week, and was later changed in 1988 to the entire month of September. The celebration officially starts on September 15 instead of September 1 in honor of many Latin American countries, such as Costa Rica and El Salvador, who gained their independence on September 15th.
Catholic University is not the only community that will be partaking in the Latin festivities this month. Washington, D.C. is also honoring Hispanic Heritage Month by having a Latin Festival, “Fiesta D.C.,” on Sunday, September 23. During the festival there is music, folklore, theater and performing arts.
The festival allows different Latin cultures to come together and celebrate this historic event. Towards the latter part of the month, the Student Restaurant will continue the celebration with the Hispanic Heritage Dinner.
“Within our ethnic group, we have people representing several countries,” Maldonado states. The diversity within her culture is what she believes brings richness to it.
Through the different cultures, traditions and mannerisms of the Latin American and Caribbean cultures, Maldonado hopes that September’s events will reveal to the University the amazing atmosphere that the Latin community provides.