Dining hall kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month

Dhall_Brook_yimer-03EDITEDBy MacKenzie Brady

Student Life Editor

On Thursday, Sept. 26, the Student Government Association partnered with Dining Services to host a Hispanic Heritage Month kick-off dinner.

Hispanic Heritage Month, which celebrates lives and cultures of Latin Americans lasts from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

At the dinner there were a number of Latin dishes, including jamón con piña (ham with grilled fresh pineapple), pastelon (sweet plantain lasagna with beef), handmade queso arepas with pulled pork, chorizo and queso fresco pizza, and arroz con leche (rice pudding with raisins), to name a few. There were also decorations, including balloons and center pieces representing various Latin American countries.

Senior Felicia Attor, SGA secretary of diversity and culture, helped organize the Hispanic Heritage Month dinner.

“The dinner is very exciting for me because I look forward to seeing people identify foods from their culture and others learning about these foods and seeing people try them for the first time. It is a culmination of intercultural exchange,” Attor said.

The dinner precedes events being hosted his month, a showing of the movie “Coco” among them.

The SGA is partnering with the Latin American Student Association to show “Coco” on Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. in the Skybox. There will be light refreshments, incuding churros, empanadas, and virgin piña coladas.

Attor explained the importance of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and other intercultural events, saying that “there is the need for many students, faculty, and staff who identify with these cultures to feel included and accepted on a campus where they are usually the minority.”

“It also affirms our beliefs as a college community; we are welcoming of all people of different cultural and social identities,” Attor said.

Junior Alejandro Mendoza, president of LASA, has also been planning events for this month. Besides the “Coco” showing, LASA is also planning an event for Dia de Los Muertos sometime between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2.

“I am especially focusing my attention on our Dia de Los Muertos celebration, since it is a well-known Mexican celebration,” he said.

“Latin American culture is one of the most underappreciated and stereotyped. It is a shame that this vibrant history — born out of blood and fire — has faded away into our modern perception,” Mendoza said of the importance of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

“Many people on the Eastern Shore don’t know about the diverse tapestry of this area and its people. It is LASA’s objective to promote this culture with WC and the community,” he said.

According to Mendoza, “The Latin American Student Association is a group of students (both Latin and non-Latin) who appreciate and would like to promote Latin American culture at WC. Our mission to raise awareness and introduce students to the diverse culture of Latin America.”

“We work closely with the SGA, the Diversity Council, fraternities, and other clubs on campus to collaborate on events and achieve our goals,” he said.

Any students interested in joining LASA are encouraged to email Mendoza at amendoza2@washcoll.edu to be added to their email list.

Keep an eye out for posters and emails promoting more events celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month as the campus continues to celebrate.

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