The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Students celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

Every year, people across the nation observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 by honoring the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens with Hispanic ancestors.

This year, the Guilford College campus has its own unique plans for celebration, and students of all heritages are joining in on the cultural fun and education.

These 31 days encompass the independence days for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile.

Hispanos Unidos de Guilford has organized a series of events commemorating the cultures of Hispanic students.

“We hope for the community to come out and learn about the different cultures and traditions that we provide for them in these events,” said senior Joyce Medina Allard, co-vice president of HUG. “I want people to have something that they are able to take away from this, something meaningful to us and to them.”

One of Guilford’s major events occurred on Sept. 23 when an organizer from Concejo Nacional Urbano y Campesino in Mexico spoke to the community.

Luz Rivera Martinez told the audience about her 20 years of experience constructing autonomy in Mexico, organizing outside the electoral system and resisting genetically modified corn. Her experiences helped clarify the governmental issues that Americans have overcome for the most part but still exist for many Latinos and Latinas today in their own countries.

“That specific event was for awareness about issues in Latin America that people tend to overlook, when in reality, we should be helping as well,” said Medina Allard.

Guilford’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month is not just about spreading awareness of Latin American issues, though. Other events also mark the importance of the month, such as En la Cocina con HUG, which took place Sept. 26.

This event focused on a more lighthearted aspect of Hispanic cultures: food.

Students cooked their own cultural dishes and brought them to Bonner House for a potluck. Each student shared the origin and cultural significance of their traditional dish, so the attendees got to learn more about Hispanic culinary cultures while eating.

The education continued on Sept. 30 with La Cultura Hispana, where students learned more about interesting cultural aspects of different Hispanic countries.

“There are so many different subcultures, and I think that gets glossed over,” said Maria Rosales, associate professor of political science. “It’s like people think ‘Latin Americans all speak Spanish,’ which isn’t even true. I think there’s that sort of sense sometimes.”

Upcoming activities include the Salsa Evening, which will be held tonight on the Grill patio. Students can come to listen to traditional Hispanic music and also take salsa and merengue dance lessons. Next Tuesday, Oct. 8, a forum titled Mi Camino will cover how and why Latino students identify themselves and what this cultural identity means to them.

“I think it’s an absolute necessity for everybody to understand the Latino community, its history, its nuances, its culture and its traditions,” said Jorge Zeballos, director for diversity training and development.

Maria Amado, associate professor of sociology and anthropology, agreed.

“Effectively incorporating Latinos in our definition of community is seminal to our commitment to diversity,” Amado said in an email interview. “That is one way in which the Hispanic Heritage Month is congruent with our mission.

“However, it is important to look beyond the celebrations of this month, making sure that the college affords support and voice to Latino students.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *