Elisabeth Martin, Campus Carrier Features Editor
Jamison Guice, Campus Carrier Asst. Features Editor
Hispanic Heritage Month, which occurs Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, celebrates Hispanic culture and marks the anniversary of the independence of many countries in Latin America. Orgullo, the Hispanic Pride Club, decided for the first time this year to celebrate the month with an event each week throughout the duration. The events aim to bring a larger awareness to the Berry community of Hispanic heritage.
“Certain groups are left out of history books, or their history isn’t told from their perspective,” Department Chair of World Languages and Cultures Julia Barnes said. “So, it is really important, if we are going to be educated citizens, to learn about the contributions of Latinos in the United States.”
Orgullo teamed up with KCAB, multicultural clubs, the World Languages and Cultures department and Spanish honor society Sigma Delta Pi to put on events for Hispanic Heritage Month.
“We want to give voice to people who are not as well represented in history and mainstream media and offer some different stories about the contributions of those people,” Barnes said.
The first event that kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month was the Food Truck Fiesta. The truck carried different cuisines from many cultures. The goal of the Food Truck Fiesta was to begin the month in a fun but educational way, Barnes said.
“We did have a Guatemalan food truck and a Mexican food truck that were both local,” Orgullo President Suleima Millan-Salinas said. “What we were trying to do there was support local businesses, which is something that Orgullo really does.”
The Hispanic Heritage Month events also include lectures by guest speakers Genny Castillo and Chantell Limerick. They will speak on Sept. 26 and 27 about their work and experiences
regarding solidarity as a woman and looking at history with a different point of view.
On Oct. 4, Orgullo and Sigma Delta Pi are sponsoring a coffee and conversation night. At this event, students from Berry’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program and Berry students will get a chance to meet and interact. ESL students are usually adults from the Rome area who are beginning to learn English. Millan-Salinas said this is an opportunity for the ESL students to practice their English and for Berry students to practice their Spanish. Coffee and desserts such as Mexican sweet bread will be served.
To finish off Hispanic Heritage Month, there will be a concert on Oct. 9 by Tres Vidas, a theater company. This performance will feature an ensemble of musicians including Ju Young Lee, Mikael Darmanie and Michael Parola. The Puerto Rican actress Jenyvette Vega will perform works inspired by Frida Kahlo, Rufina Amaya and Alfonsina Storni.
“I think Hispanic Heritage Month is important because we have a community of Hispanic people on Berry’s campus that we really don’t even know about, just because many people don’t realize that Hispanics come in all shapes and colors, as do Americans,” Millan-Salinas said. “We have a lot of white, black, brown and Asian Hispanics that no one really notices because they just kind of blend in outside of the stereotypical view of what a Hispanic person is. It’s important to celebrate that culture. Outside the Berry bubble, there is a prominent Hispanic community. Especially when people love Mexican restaurants and Mexican food, why not show them that there is more than just Mexicans out there when it comes to being Hispanic? That’s what Orgullo focuses on, and that’s what I want Hispanic Heritage Month to do.”