Temple’s Latino Heritage Month celebrations ended Oct. 27 after a month of salsa lessons, fundraisers and performances organized by the Latino Heritage Month Committee.
“This year’s events went really well; a lot of organizations participated,” said Latino Heritage Month committee chair Maritza Santiago. “I was very pleased.” The celebration kicked off on Sept. 28 at the Bell Tower. The Gamma Phi Sigma “Hermanos Unidos” fraternity hosted Bienvenidos a Philadelphia, a welcome session with information on where to buy Latin food and music in Philadelphia as well as locations of area clubs that play Latin music.
Other events included a Diabetes Walk for America in Fairmont Park, movie nights, Latin Dance workshops and information sessions that dealt with issues affecting the Latino community.
“Every program was special because they dealt with our [Latin] culture,” said junior journalism major Eric Cortes, a member of Gamma Phi Sigma. “Latino Heritage Month is a time for people to express their culture.”
Temple’s Latino Student Association, Asociacion de Estudiantes Latinos, hosted events as well. Sabor Latino, an event held on Oct. 5, featured samples of many traditional Latin dishes for students to taste. The association also held a “You’re a Latino if …” event to discuss different Latino stereotypes and how to address them.
“Our association deals with issues that affect Latinos at Temple including students, faculty and staff,” said junior social work major Amy Eusebio and AdEL president. “But you don’t have to be Latino to be a part of it, it’s for anyone interested in the issues that affect Latinos.”
“It’s very important for students to learn about other cultures, whether it is black, Latino, Asian, etc. College is a learning experience,” Cortes said.
The closing celebration for the Latino Heritage Month was held in the Student Center with dance group performances, food and fundraisers, and was coordinated by the Latino Heritage Month Committee.
But the celebration and learning experiences of the Latino culture don’t stop there. Latino organizations at Temple hold events year-round.
“It’s very important for Temple to have these events, including others, where different heritages are celebrated throughout the year,” Eusebio said. “It’s very important since Temple is one of the most diverse universities in the country, and it’s one of the reasons why I am here.”
AdEL, which has been in existence since the 1960s, will participate in the upcoming Carnival of Cultures event in the Student Center on Nov. 16. They will sell thank-you grams for students to purchase and send to friends and family.
Jennifer Southall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.