The second half of our Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration started off with a jamboree of festivities. Game Night (October 1st | Galaxy Rooms | 7:00 PM) allowed individuals the opportunity to play several traditional games from Latin America such as: pirinola, serpientes y escaleras, baraja, dominoes, and loteria. Students were given stamp cards and had to play at least three different games in order to get a full course dinner of fajitas, rice, vegetables, beans, tortillas, chips and salsa, churros, and beverages. To close a successful night, the band Mariachi Los Caporales performed for everyone. Their enthusiasm and passion for music energized the entire room with a strong round of applause for the band. All in all, the Game Night helped to kick start the second round of events for Hispanic Heritage Month in full swing.
While we love to have fun, we also love to educate others here at the Multicultural Center, and one of the ways we achieve that, is through our cultural events. Our next event, Call Me Latino (October 6th | Green Hall | 5:00 PM) was a shift in pace from our usual high energy events. It included a panel discussion that covered serious issues in the Latino community. Our panel consisted of the following individuals:
- Dr. Rubia Valente: Professor at the School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences at UT Dallas and Research Associate
- Diana Rodriguez – Kappa Delta Chi Sorority president
- Cynthia Sorto – Program Specialist from the Department of Community Engagement at UT Dallas
- Cezar de Paula – Global Business Management major
- Daniel Hernandez – Assistant Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life at UT Dallas
The panel was an opportunity for individuals to learn more about the difference between the terms “Hispanic” and “Latino, the implications behind those terms and major issues faced by the community as a whole, within a safe and inclusive environment. Each panelist was able to provide their insight and perspective into various topics which led to a truly enriching learning experience for all.
Our second dance excursion for the month was entitled “Dance Workshop: Cumbia Night” (October 7th | Founders 1st Floor Atrium | 8:00 PM). Cumbia originated in Colombia; however its roots lie with Colombia, Africa and Spain. Our instructor for the night was Salvador Urena, owner of Alpha Midway Dance Studio in Dallas. Salvador has an insatiable passion for dancing that he carries in his blood, and through his lessons he is able to transmit that passion to his students. If you would like to contact Salvador for a dance lesson you can click here: http://dancestudiodallas.com/. His office is conveniently located off of Midway and Alpha Road in Dallas. Not only can he teach you Cumbia, but he is also proficient in Bachata and Salsa as well!
We concluded Hispanic Heritage Month with a dance night we proudly named Bailando Con Las Cometas (October 16th | Founders 2nd Floor Atrium | 7:00 PM). Our wonderful dance instructor Areon (who previously taught us Bachata during our first dance lesson) came back for a second round to teach us salsa. His comical personality and polished style led to an enjoyable time for all. Afterwards, the lesson concluded with a delectable meal catered by Qdoba (conveniently located on Coit and Campbell). Students lined up for a bowl of their signature chips, salsa roja, queso, and pico de gallo which led many back for seconds. In conclusion, the dance night was a success! Not only was it was a fun filled way to spend your Friday night, but it was the perfect closer for a truly culturally packed month.
With each event we hoped to enrich your lives with a small piece of Hispanic culture, and that all those small pieces could form a beautiful picture for Hispanic Heritage Month. Although October has drawn to a close, we hope that you will continue to educate yourselves about the rich history and traditions Hispanic culture entails. Learning can persist for a lifetime! With that being said we look forward to seeing you in the imminent future for the next chapter of our cultural excursion, the Native American Heritage Celebration (November 3rd | SU Plinth | 12:00PM)! We will be featuring a variety of traditional dances as well as oral storytelling showcased by the Anoli Dance Troupe. We hope to see you there!
Written by Nikkita Kumar
Multicultural Peer Advocate