Baruch celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

Basmalla Attia

Baruch celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sep.15 to Oct. 15 through many events.

The planning committee, which organized the events, collaborated with the Dominican Student Association and the Initiative for the Study of Latin America to recognize and celebrate the Hispanic community. The events ranged from a dance class to a trip around Las Americas.

The committee’s goal was to help Hispanic students embrace who they are and where they come from, as well as showcase the unique aspects of their culture.

Daniela Vivar, a senior majoring in finance, was a social media coordinator for the planning committee and worked on the design team. She said that the events provided a place for Hispanic students to feel comfortable and find a piece of themselves.

“Many of us are first-generation students, many of us are transfer students and many of us English is not their first language, so it’s important to feel supported by other students,” Vivar said.

Diego Gonzalez, a senior majoring in public affairs, was a social media coordinator for the committee.

“[The events allowed] people from different communities to celebrate their differences, but also to bring them together,” Gonzalez said.

He said that hosting events required a lot of interaction in order to replicate the energy of an in- person event.

“We tried to think of something that students, would like to participate in, so it was a little challenging, but it pushed us to be creative,” Gonzalez said.

The committee increased student interaction by posting quizzes about favorite Hispanic dishes and activities on its Instagram story. It also shared favorite Hispanic music and posted about important figures throughout Hispanic history.

The events also celebrated the diversity of the Hispanic community.

“We are all from different countries, but we have something in common,” Vivar said. “So, it’s about celebrating the diversity in the Latino community.”

The “A Trip Around Las Americas” event on Sept. 30, which explored Latin American and Caribbean history and culture, was one event that the committee organized. It had a learning and teaching environment and a comforting ambience, according to committee members.

The event featured representatives of different Hispanic countries. Each representative shared unique traditions, food and facts about their country and answered questions from participants.

The events also covered topics such as colonization.

“I learned a lot from ASEDOM about colonization which is still considered a taboo topic,” Vivar said. “I also learned that Mexicans started making their own modification to the Columbian dance and created their own dances and everything.”

The students, as well as members of the board, came out of these events with new experiences and knowledge.

“I will say for me one highlight was meeting Daniela and meeting people who also go to Baruch and participated in these events,” Gonzalez said.

Even though National Hispanic History Month is over, students say they still retain the lessons they learned.

“This cathedral is from Quito, Ecuador, which is the city I am from, and I still use it as my Zoom background even after the events were over,” Gonzalez said.

In the future, when student life becomes in-person, the committee would like to mimic an airport-style event. It would have various booths representing different Latina countries. It would also organize in-person dance classes.