Hispanic Heritage Month presents scheduled activities

By Gus Bode

Events to educate, inform students on Hispanic culture

Mexico, a country recognized for its beautiful oceans, delicious food and unique culture, could be experienced without going to Cancun for spring break.

Throughout the months of September and October, students, faculty and staff have worked together to present students with the opportunity to attend many activities that capture the Latino culture of many countries. Hispanic Heritage Month begins Monday and continues until Oct. 16, with a variety of free educational and entertaining events taking place each week.


The month will kick off with an opening ceremony in the Faner Breezeway from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wednesday night’s event will provide students an opportunity to discuss Latino concerns on campus and in the community, but, according to organizers of the event, the discussion is not designed exclusively for Hispanic students.

“It is for all students to attend, not just Latino students,” said Carl Ervin, the coordinator of multicultural programs and services. “The issues discussed will help strengthen the entire community.”

Latin American students who helped to design the program also encourage other students to participate in the open forum.

“Students can learn how Latinos feel so that they can be more educated about what is going on,” said Julio Barrenzuela, president of Latin American Student Association.

Wednesday’s forum will be held in the lower level of Grinnell Hall at 6p.m.

Thursday night’s event will feature a cultural movie, Frieda, which will be shown outside the Recreation Center at 8:30 p.m.


“Students wanted an event with Latino background and history,” said Thomas Harris, the residence hall diversity coordinator.

Ervin said this would be a unique event from typical movie nights because it is held outside.

The first week of events will come to an end with a Mexican Independence Day celebration Saturday at Turley Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but many other events will continue next week.

Hispanic tailgating is a new activity, which will be held at 3 p.m. Sept. 27 before the SIU v. St. Joseph’s game at McAndrew Stadium.

“Latin Tailgate will bring a Latin flare to traditional tailgating,” Ervin said. ” Try out Hispanic food and listen to Hispanic music.”

Another unique event that will be offered this month is Salsa Night. Students who have never salsa danced before or would like to brush up on their skills can attend an instructional meeting in the Student Center ballroom at 7 p.m Sept. 25.

The actual celebration will take place the following night in the ballroom at 7 p.m. Sept. 26.

Along with salsa dancing, the night will include an authentic salsa band and refreshments.

Other interesting events will be posted around campus to keep students informed on the many activities throughout the month.

“Take it from a person who has traveled the world. It is good to be cultured and have an understanding of other people,” Barrenzuela said. “After all, we all live in the same country.”

Reporter Jennifer Rios can be reached at [email protected]