Latinx Heritage Month begins with silent disco, food and games

To start off Latinx Heritage Month, Baruch College had its opening ceremony on Sept. 3 in the second floor lobby. Students marked the beginning of the month’s celebrations with ethnic food, music and games. 

The ceremony was hosted by the Latin American Student Organization, Ecuadorian Club and the Undergraduate Student Government of Baruch. 

The focus of the event was “interaction, just so the community knows that we exist,” said Latinx Month Committee and Ecuadorian Club member Christopher Jara.

Some of the activities included having students tape up flags from their country of origin on a poster to see which country is most represented at Baruch. There was also a variety of ethnic cuisine and the occasional dancing. 

Alongside the decorations and food were posters featuring cultural icons of Latinx Heritage who overcame different barriers to pursue the careers they had, exemplifying the theme of this month’s celebrations and commemorations — overcoming adversity. 

Students walking by were certainly drawn to the excellent cuisine but, as Eileen Barros, a student of Ecuadorian heritage, said “as people are serving, you’re engaging in conversation with someone you’ve never met whom you might befriend and see in the future.” 

She added that the food “really brings great memories from [her] childhood when [her] family used to get together and make humitas from scratch.” 

When asked about her own experience with overcoming adversity she explained that in July 2018 her father was about to be deported.

She emphasized how supportive her family, friends and the Baruch community overall were both financially, academically and emotionally. Fortunately, her dad was released during the spring semester of 2018, making it possible for Barros’s whole family to be there for her graduation Spring 2020. 

Barros took this opportunity to recognize that “there is a large community of students going through similar situations as [her]” and that her own struggles have made her want to join Undergraduate Student Graduate as a representative senator to help support other students facing such adversities. 

Kimberly Ayala, also a member of the month’s planning committee, worked to understand the financial difficulties faced by others living in Latin countries and not allowing her own relative wealth to impact how she thinks and behaves around others of Latinx Heritage who may be worse off.

Overall, the event emphasized how this month is dedicated to discussing the issues faced by the Latinx community, meeting other students of the same ethnic backgrounds but different cultures, sharing experiences and emphasizing the inclusivity of the community as a whole. 

As Marjorie Nolivos, another member of the Latinx Heritage Month Committee said, “There is something familiar about being able to speak about things that maybe you wouldn’t speak to with other friends.” 

Some of the upcoming events to anticipate throughout the month are Family Feud: Latinx Style, Latinos Professionales and Café con Tía.

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