Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of the culture that Hispanics and Latinos bring to America through their languages and lifestyles. The month-long celebration spans from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 and includes independence days for each Hispanic and Latin country. A multitude of activities and educational opportunities were put on by the Bridge Center and student groups in celebration.
The various campus events for Hispanic Heritage Month were purposed towards helping students develop increased knowledge of Hispanic and Latinx culture, greater appreciation of Hispanic and Latinx culture and deeper relationships by bringing people together.
Throughout the entire month, the Bridge Center offered a book study on the book “Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed” by Saraciea J. Fennell. “This was more of an educational piece giving people the opportunity to learn more about Hispanic and Latinx culture,” Kelsey Joseph, associate director of the Bridge Center, said. Students gained new perspective from reading the book and engaging in discussion.
Events included a movie night hosted by I-Club, a cooking class put on by La Mosaic and a dance class co-hosted by the Bridge Center and SAC. The I-Club movie night featured the film “In The Heights.” Dance and cooking classes were chosen to give students a chance to engage with two prominent features of Hispanic and Latinx culture.
La Mosaic partnered with Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City to put on the cooking class. Martha Draayer took some students to a Mexican grocery store in Sioux Center to teach them about various spices and ingredients important to Mexican dishes. Then, students were welcomed to Trinity’s kitchen to learn from Mimi Sandbulte how to make huevos con chorizo and huevos rancheros.
On Oct. 5, the Ramaker green was transformed into a dance floor. A portable stage and lights designated the space. Students Valentin Alzate and Maria Esther Shortenhaus gave lessons on the salsa, bachata, cumbia and merengue. At least 25 people came out to learn Latin American dance techniques and dance the night away. “We chose to do a dance class to help get the students involved,” Draayer said, “We wanted to create an educational and fun event to teach students about the Latinx and Hispanic cultures.”
Along with the various activities put on around campus, the Bridge Center created an informational video featuring Hispanic and Latinx staff and students sharing about their family’s cultural traditions. The video was played during chapel and was also put out on the website so students could watch it for more information on Hispanic Heritage Month.