Students enjoyed chips, salsa and music as they gathered outside of the Vines Center Sept. 16 to celebrate Hispanic culture with the Hispanic Heritage Month Kick-off hosted by The Center for Multi-Cultural Enrichment.
Hispanic and Latin American cultures are very diverse in their music, food, language and so much more. Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 and highlights the achievements and various backgrounds of the people all over the world. The kick-off included Mexican candy and a chance to win a $100 dollar gift card to Walmart.
“We desire to educate students about Hispanic culture, foods, clothing and music. Teaching students knowledge and skills, and bringing awareness, creates cultural competency,” Associate Director over Cultural Competency and Assessment, Joy Jefferson, said.
“I feel like minorities are misunderstood. Our culture is very interesting and very diverse. We can teach the world a lot about us,” junior Maurice Daly said. Daly is of Puerto Rican descent.
Removing stereotypical views on Hispanics is one of the ways to learn more about the people.
“There is so much more to Spanish culture than Mexico,” Cultural Competency Coordinator, Heyde Marques, said.
“The most important thing is speaking the language. Although each country is a little different, we are all able to unite,” Tony Lopez, associate director of LEAD Fellowship, said.
Lopez, who is Guatemalan, also explains that food and music are important traditions to keep around as well.
“Cooking traditional foods and dancing at ceremonies are also ways that we like to preserve our culture,” Lopez said.
Hispanic Heritage Month will be celebrated here through many events such as the Deliberative Dialogue with Jose Galvez and La Prisa Latina, which will include an array of Latin music and a sampling of different traditional Mexican foods from the area. Although there is a small percentage of Hispanics here on campus, there are about 10 different Latin American countries represented.
For more information, contact the Center for Multicultural Enrichment at Center4ME@liberty.edu or call (434) 592-4020.