Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations

By Mark Villalba

Heritage

Taste of Latin America was a spirited beginning to Hispanic Heritage Month. GGC graduate and Emmy-awarded Homero Gonzalez marked the middle with a speech to encourage all students with his rags-to-riches history. “[W]hy does there have to be a specific month when a specific heritage is celebrated? Shouldn’t we all be proud of our heritage all year round?” Gonzalez questioned the purpose of Hispanic Heritage Month during his speech. The Organization of Latin American Students Chief of Staff, Ana Bedon, and others from OLAS hosted the events along with authentic cuisine and prize-winning raffle. Bedon, 20, of Santiago de Cali, Colombia, and student of International Business began the raffle to give out free gift for Starbucks. She told The Globe how OLAS conducted the Taste of Latin America in which the trivia challenge was more informative and intriguing rather than trivial. Her favorite among many foods at the Hispanic Heritage Festival was the Puerto-Rican Arroz con Gandules that made her feel as though she is transported back to the beach.

Color and vibrancy were central at the festival as Bedon described traditional clothes representing several countries like Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Paraguay, whose clothes she favored most. The various music styles were also a highlight of the festival. “No matter what your day is going like, if you hear Salsa, it’s like — let me get the beat going, and this is coming from a girl who doesn’t party [ritualistically] … but hearing this music makes me want to be with my friends in Columbia … at New Year’s Eve,” she said. Bedon looks forward to hosting the Day-ofthe-Dead mask-making contest on Oct. 5 but said that some of the masks made in previous years were so terrifyingly vivid that she didn’t want to think about them. She also discussed the Oct. 8 screening of McFarland, USA (2015) that is based on real Hispanic athletes who rose from rags to riches.

Bedon also spoke about the bygone Stories-for-the-Family event orchestrated by OLAS and hosted at the Collins Hill Library that promoted reading among early ages. “The way of learning for me was ‘Ana, three hours of reading a book; read the book — give me the summary,’ that’s what my mom did to me.” She talked passionately about the forthcoming study abroad program destined for the Dominican Republic and scheduled for Spring Break 2016.

The overarching theme of the Hispanic Heritage Month is passionate enjoyment, and Gonzalez said that his initial academic pursuit was Biology so that he could become a doctor but admitted that he pursued it for the wrong reason: money. He believes that the real wages in life come from doing what one enjoys most passionately.

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