Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off with a bang

iva la cultura hispana! For an entire month, students will be treated to Latino culture through Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM). The HHM committee has planned out an entire calendar of events, ranging from block party barbeques to comedy nights and galas, all underlining the theme of this year’s HHM- Hispanics United: Many Cultures, One Voice.

“Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of contributions from the Latin community, the celebration of Hispanic students here at UM, and it’s a way for everyone to take part in the month-long celebration of Latin culture and pride,” said Alex Ortiz, senior and HHM chair.

To kick off the celebrations, the committee invited Jorge Ramos, University of Miami alumnus and renowned news anchor for Univision, to speak at the opening ceremonies.

“I think that it’s very important that we get a different perspective of what’s going on in the country,” Ramos said. “Latinos, we tend to see things, sometimes, in a different way, and that is what I wanted to share with [students].”

“The main reason I came was to see Jorge Ramos because he’s one of the best news anchors right now, and that’s what I want to do,” said Irma Murilla, a freshman eager to have Ramos autograph her copy of one of his many famous books. “I really wanted to know more about what he thinks, especially about the elections.”

Tables lined with authentic Hispanic finger foods such as Cuban pastries provided students with a unique culinary experience. Live music from the band Grupo Prisma filled the I-lounge with the flavorful sounds of salsa, giving students a chance to show off their dance moves.

“I saw this as an opportunity to get to know more people in the Hispanic community and kind of an outreach to make the UM community aware of Hispanics,” Yadelene Riesgo, senior, said. “[The turnout’s] been great. People have been showing up and it’s an amazement to see so many people come out and support us in such a way.”

Student organizations such as FEC and Salsa Craze, and Greek organizations such as Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. set up tables throughout the I-lounge, giving students an opportunity to see what’s out there to cater to unique Hispanic cultures.

“There are so many different diversities in the Hispanic-Latino label that many people like to generalize,” said Aileen Sanchez, junior and secretary for FEC. “But events like this expose the different cultures and it’s a great way to get people to understand.”

Upcoming events include “Fiesta en la Calle” Block Party barbeque, a ‘Cane’s Night Live “Belly Bust,” Latino Greek Unity Jam, and “Latino Fest.”

“Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of all Latino cultures,” said Evelina Solis, new assistant director of Multicultural Student Affairs. “We’re all coming together to display the different cultures. It’s an educational event for all the students to participate.”

HHM runs through Oct. 15.

Christine Dominguez can be contacted at c.dominguez3@umiami.edu.

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