Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates diversity

By Irish Noel and Shannon Hart – 1851 Staff 

Hispanic Heritage Month celebration organizer Korinne Früster (right) dances to Hispanic music with senior Sabrina Skenyon. Photo by Irish Noel 

On October 3, students from all different backgrounds gathered in de Witt Hall to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and to learn more about the Hispanic culture.

There were many learning experiences students could take advantage of to gain a better understanding of different cultures, such as eating traditional Latino foods and dancing to popular Latino music. Students also discussed issues that impact the Latin community like immigration laws and DACA. Additionally, if they wanted to learn more about the Latin community, they could walk up to display boards and learn about iconic Latin celebrities, study abroad opportunities and countries that identify as Hispanic and Latina.

Senior Korinne Früster took on the role of planning the festival on her own.

Früster envisioned students would have a better understanding of multiple cultures and be able to differentiate between similar ethnic backgrounds. “[The purpose was] to celebrate Latina and Hispanic heritage, but to also bring awareness to some of the things that people may not know,” Früster said. “As a Latina I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told someone I’m Hispanic and they’ve assumed that I’m either Mexican or Puerto Rican. There are 22 different countries, and while they’re different, I think people lump us all together even though there are very distinct differences between each culture.”

The school’s Hispanic Heritage Month Festival debuted on campus in 2016. This is Früster’s second year hosting the event and due to her own background, it has made an impact both on her and students of Hispanic and Latino communities. “As a woman of color, as a woman who’s bi-racial, and as a Peruvian woman I think it’s beautiful to celebrate these months. I think it’s a great opportunity to learn about cultures that are underrepresented,” said Früster.

Hispanic Heritage month runs from September 15 to October 15, although some students were originally unaware of its existence.

Junior Nikki Glendye said, “There are a lot of people who don’t know about Hispanic Heritage month. I attended the event because I wanted to further educate myself on a culture that I wasn’t very familiar with. This event raises awareness on cultures that students might not be knowledgeable of.”

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