‘La Fiesta de las Mańanitas’ celebrates Baruch’s 50 years

Amanda Salazar, Editor-in-Chief

To close out Latinx Heritage Month with a bang, the Ecuadorian Club and the Latin American Student Organization, in conjunction with the other Hispanic culture clubs, hosted a Latin-style birthday party for Baruch, in honor of the school’s 50th anniversary of becoming a four-year institution.

La Fiesta de las Mananitas on September 27th was a traditional Latin American birthday party, complete with food, such as rice and beans, Latin music including bachata and merengue, face painting, and party games. 

The goal was simply to celebrate the school – represented at La Fiesta by Bernie the Bearcat – and tie in Latinx Heritage Month, which will be ending on September 30th.

The monthlong celebration of Latin American cultures saw a range of events on campus, starting with the Kickoff in the second-floor lobby and going on to a movie night, speaker panels, and a dance workshop.

“So, the idea behind this event, it’s a birthday party, so the whole purpose of the event is to tie in Baruch as well as being a Latino,” said Wantaly Capellan, a corporate communications student who was involved in organizing the event. “We’re celebrating the Bearcat’s birthday to symbolize a birthday party, but with Baruch spirit involved in it. Overall the whole point is just to showcase the Latin culture.” 

Club members and others who helped coordinate the event aimed to bring attendees back to a simpler time in their lives: childhood, where these types of parties are the norm.

“We wanted to bring people back to childhood, because this is a very traditional birthday party for a kid,” Daniela Toribio, a political science major, said. “We had the same games, same decorations, even the cake is supposed to recall memories of your childhood. And if you’re not Latino, you will be able to get to know how we grow up.”

The party ended the month on good terms, according to both event coordinators and students who attended.

In addition to enjoying La Fiesta’s main draws such as the cake and gift bags, attendees also got the opportunity to meet new people, many coming to the event alone or with only one other person.

“It’s just a great event,” stated Joel de la Cruz, a freshman aiming to major in economics. “Everyone’s enjoying themselves. More people showed up than I thought would have showed up and it’s exciting. You’re just talking to the people in your group, hopefully you’re meeting new people in your group, in my case I met new people and it was just generally fun. I made a couple new friends today. It’s just a way for everybody to celebrate their heritage.”

However, while La Fiesta did allow students to relive their childhood, not all students and club members chose it as their favorite event of the month, such as Domenica Cotrina, the President of the Ecuadorian Club.

“I think my favorite was actually the dance workshop, and I think so because people were so shy or intimidated to come out and just dance and do things they haven’t done before but I think the instructors were good, everybody had a good time, there was enough boy-to-girl ratio, so I think that was good and I think everyone all in all had fun,” said Capellan, who was in charge of organizing the closing ceremony. “It was a good experience, you know, it doesn’t hurt to dance to something new.”

Overall, Bearcats seem to agree that this year’s Latinx Heritage Month’s celebration was a success.

“I feel like unity and culture [are the month’s importance] because I feel like not many people celebrate Latinx Heritage Month, because I didn’t even know it was it was Latinx Heritage Month,” freshman Brittany Misacango said. “But this school made me realize the significance of it. I realize that this month is where all the Hispanics just come together and just have fun and enjoy our traditions and our culture.”