By Madi Mansour
According to the United States Census, “Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.” Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at Samford creates an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in a different culture and celebrate the history of the Hispanic and Latino communities.
Luna Mora, president of Samford’s Latin American Student Organization, gave a rundown of all the excitement taking place to commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month this year.
On Sept. 15, “Samford kicked-off Hispanic Heritage month with Mariachis serenading Ben Brown while the Latino Student Organization, ODII [the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives], and Spanish Club shared with students information about the organizations and ways to get involved,” Mora said.
On Sept. 24, Fiesta Bham! took place in downtown Birmingham. Sarah Westmoreland, president of the Spanish Club, explained that Fiesta Bham! is “a huge block party with tons of food, music, dancing and tents representing different Spanish-speaking countries.” The LSO held a table representing Samford admissions and worked with the Spanish Club to promote the fiesta around campus.
On Sept. 26, the LSO Spanish Club co-hosted a Hispanic Food Fiesta at Harry’s. Many students and faculty showed up and enjoyed empanadas, fried plantains and horchata. Attendees also learned how to make homemade guacamole and heard Latino students share about their favorite family foods and the history behind them.
To conclude the month, Aramark, Samford’s cafeteria vendor, and the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives held a “Culture in the Caf” event on Oct. 6 to further immerse students in Latin American and Hispanic cuisines. ODII also held a Lunch and Learn event in the University Center Howard Room during which the founder of the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama and former executive officer Isabel Rubio spoke on the formation of ¡HICA! and the growth of Latinos in central Alabama. Students interested in learning more about Latin American culture can reach out to LSO via their Instagram: @sam.lso.