In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, students create space for representation

The Hispanic Society at Lafayette sponsors events for National Hispanic Heritage Month. (Photo courtesy of Kut 90.5)

With activities and special trips, the college’s Hispanic Society of Lafayette plans to keep Hispanic culture alive for National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated throughout the country from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.

The student organization already hosted a day trip to Fiesta DC on Sept. 22, where students could spend the day enjoying Hispanic food and live entertainment in Washington, D.C. The trip, sponsored by the Hispanic Society of Lafayette, was arranged with help from the Office of Intercultural Development. 

The club president Cristian Romero ’20 said that the group’s food tour in DC was “really cool because Easton doesn’t have a lot of Hispanic food…there’s so much more there and so much more to offer, we got to eat authentic tacos…even Hispanic ice cream that you can’t get just anywhere.”

The event “was a specific festival for heritage month,” Romero added. 

“The D.C. trip was amazing,” said Oscar Estrella ’21, secretary of the club, adding that the students had the liberty to explore the various stands around the festival.

The second event hosted on September 24 was Café con Leche, a talk by Joyce Avila, the President of C.A.F.E. (Creating and Facilitating Equality), a nonprofit organization.

Romero said that he wanted students at the event to feel like they were “in the living room, just drinking coffee, and having a discussion with your family.”

For the month’s keynote event, Diana Alvarez will visit campus tonight to perform songs from her 2019 Extended Play, Ser Artista!, according to the Lafayette website. The performance will take place at the Williams Center for the Arts at 7:30, and no tickets are required to attend.

Alvarez will also host a workshop on music and activism at 4:00, prior to her performance.

Estrella said that the month has been a great way to experience various aspects and perspectives on Hispanic heritage.

“I’m Mexican so, you know, I know a lot about that, but I saw a lot of different sets…cultures, like I saw Argentinian stuff, Bolivian stuff, [and] Ecuadorian stuff,” Estrella said.

Hispanic Heritage Month provides a space where hispanic culture can be “expressed,” according to Romero.

“Lafayette’s a PWI [predominantly white institution], so it’s just these [events], you normally would not see that,” Romero said. “And especially in a month where our culture’s expressed, it’s important to express it here.”

Romero added that the purpose of the events is to educate Lafayette’s campus and also “make it known that we are here, and it’s not just a small group of us.”

“I think the importance of having these events is having representation on campus more than anything, so that Latinos on campus and just POCs [people of color] in general, they see themselves represented in the people we bring to campus, and the keynotes we have,” said Emily Estrella, Vice President of the club.

“I know that we don’t necessarily get a lot of people of color in those kind of events, so it’s really great that we get to do that for heritage month,” she added. 

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