Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrates Latino History
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 01:11
As part of Adelante’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the society has organized activities geared toward raising awareness of Latin American culture. In addition to honoring Latin American history, the society plans to direct the community’s attention to the new Latino/a studies concentration.
Adelante is a multicultural campus group that focuses on Latin America, although students of all nationalities are welcome. “We try to raise awareness on campus concerning Latin America and Latin American students, and just try to inform people about certain issues and their culture,” said Adelante President Sarai Martinez ’15.
The month’s traditional opening ceremony began on Saturday, Sept. 15 with flags from every Latin American country fluttering in the former Olin Art Gallery.
“If you go to the Olin Gallery, you will see we have 18 flags up, and that is always a really fun activity,” said Assistant Professor of English and faculty advisor of Adelante Ivonne Garcia. “We gather with faculty, staff and students, and we all hang the flags and have a ceremony to say a little something about Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s always wonderful.”
A performance by a Dominican Bachata band contributed to last year’s success. This year, Adelante will build upon that event with a Latino dance party complete with DJ Danny Diaz.
“[Diaz] is also going to give lessons in how to dance Salsa and Merengue, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Garcia said.
Adelante also planned an exhibition of photojournalist José Galvez’s work in the Gund Gallery on Sept. 25, followed by a lecture. There will also be a meet-and-greet today in Peirce Lounge to discuss the Latino/a studies concentration, which the College created last semester in response to student demand.
Professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature Clara Román-Odio, the director of the concentration, said Latino/a studies is important not only for the education of the students but also the education of the country as a whole.
“Latinos will have a significant role to play in the future of this country,” Román-Odio said. According to the U.S. census, by 2050, Latinos will make up 30 percent of the population.
“By acknowledging and celebrating the Hispanic Heritage Month, we are acknowledging those realities, and we are welcoming students who come from that background,” Román-Odio said.
Garcia agreed that knowledge of Latin American culture is imperative for the future. “Anyone who is not familiar with [Latin American] culture may find themselves at a disadvantage in a very short time,” she said.