Latinx Heritage Month finishes off strongly with final cultural event

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Erik Kantar | The Ticker

Yasmine Mohamed

“La Fiesta” was held in the Newman Vertical Campus’ Multipurpose Room with a goal of celebrating Latinx culture, increasing Latinx visibility and representation at Baruch and acknowledging all the challenges and misrepresentation that being of Latin American descent comes with.

The festive Latin decorations, the multicolored donkey-shaped piñata, the smell of fried plantains and the captivating beat of salsa music undoubtedly captured the wonderful tastes and dynamics of Latin culture. However, along with the good food and music comes the unfortunate hardships and lack of representation that is faced by Latin Americans.

“The club is looking to become an all-around club and give back to the Baruch community” Paul Romo, a junior and the vice president of the Latin American Student Organization said. 

Romo also emphasized the importance of Baruch students seeking to learn more about Latin culture and to acknowledge all of the hardships that the community is facing.

Latin Americans today still remain the largest minority group in the United States and, with the recent political climate, there has been an increase in dissatisfaction and concerns with where the nation is headed.

“Not only the Latin community but other demographics as well, it’s a tough time,” Romo said. “But it is really important to educate our students on those matters.”

Students expressed their concerns about the Latinx community as well. One aspect of the heritage month that seemed to stand out to them was that there was a unifying factor. 

“The Latino community in Baruch is united, unlike the bigger Latin community outside of Baruch. They are not like that. Some communities and countries are fighting each other, and I feel like the Baruch community should be an example to follow,” Christian Zuna, a Baruch student who had originally moved from Ecuador to the United States in 2014, said. 

“La Fiesta” was meant to be a tango-filled night and a celebration of the end to a vibrant Latinx Heritage Month, which Romo said, was laden with “professional, educational and cultural events.”

These events served to express appreciation and acknowledgment for the long, painful and intersectional struggle for identity that has continuously shaped America’s Latinx community.

Students of various backgrounds enjoyed all of the festivities that the LASO club had to offer. The event started off with a warm welcome, followed by cake, pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, limbo, musical chairs, food and dancing. 

Senior Zain Rizvi expressed his own appreciation for the Latinx culture. 

“I like Latin food and culture and I like how diverse it is in this room,” he said.

Some students were also more familiar with LASO’s events than others.

“I’ve been to every single LASO event at Baruch. I like traditional Spanish music and I like to dance,” Christopher Delacruz, stated immediately after playing an exciting and rowdy round of limbo. 

Representation also proved to be necessary for Baruch students to feel at home on campus. 

Zuna proudly said that he admires Latinx culture for its music, dance and food. During “La Fiesta,” he pointed directly at his flag across the room. “I am really happy to see that” he said, smiling. “I can really relate to everyone in the room.”

Romo was impressed by the turnout and continued to explain why events like “La Fiesta de las Mañanitas” are so important.

“I really admire Latin communities because they are family-oriented, so they look for nothing else when they come to Baruch, we are so happy that we are able to provide that for them,” he said.

Students who attended the event seemed to appreciate the fun and vibrant setting, as well as learning about Latinx culture.

Senior Jack Helfrich expressed his gratitude. “I love everything, the dancing, the food, the language. I feel like when people dance, it gives them a chance to showcase their culture,” he said. “Latin culture teaches you to open up your heart and be more demonstrative with your emotions.”

Ultimately, LASO is striving to create stronger ties between Latinx culture and the Baruch community, and hopes to offer more events in the future.