Arielle Fischer, features editor

Attend a Spanish Class or Lecture 

A way to immerse oneself in Hispanic heritage, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage month is to take part in a Spanish class or lecture at Berry. 

Taught by accredited faculty, the Spanish courses at Berry offer not only an introduction or continuation of the language but also create a gateway into Spanish culture. It is important to note that while Spanish is not the only language spoken in countries where Spanish is the primary language, it is by far, the most commonly spoken in Latin American regions, along with some Portuguese. 

Nevertheless, while taking a Spanish class at Berry, students can learn about unique cultural aspects of Hispanic nations, such as customs, greetings, common sayings, food and holidays. Even more so, learning a new language is one of the easiest and most effective ways to become familiar with a culture outside of one’s own, and there are plenty of benefits that go along with it. 

Aside from embracing cultural values and learning the important history of both Spain and Hispanic nations, learning a language can also bring a person opportunities in personal, academic and career aspects. Businesses often appreciate those who are multilingual, not only because they can communicate with larger portions of customers, but because they are well versed in more than one culture, which translates to a better understanding of the world and its people. 

In addition to enhancing worldviews, some personal benefits of languages include the ability to learn to multitask, problem-solving and gaining a better understanding overall of both a native language, as well as a new one. 

All in all, learning Spanish is one of the most accessible methods for students to get involved in Hispanic culture and truly appreciate Hispanic Heritage month. 

visit Playa Azul Media (PAM) 

Right in time for Hispanic Heritage Month, the film industry is breaking ground in Rome. The first Latina-owned production company, Playa Azul Media (PAM) Studios is opening on Broad Street. 

The CEO and Founder, Maria Guerra-Stoll is expanding her company from Atlanta to Northwest Georgia in PAM’s first commercial space for production, business and filming. Additionally, PAM is making partnerships with local colleges in North Georgia, such as Piedmont College, Georgia Highlands College, as well as the Georgia Film Academy to help boost students’ access to valuable techniques and business practices in the film industry. 

In an interview with 11Alive news, Stoll said that she wishes to form a community for the entertainment industry in Northwest Georgia. Stoll also wants to help women and minorities succeed in film and obtain worthwhile and valuable jobs. 

In the film and television world, it can be challenging for women and minorities to get jobs and business positions. By opening up a production company dedicated to increasing involvement in film from all ethnicities, races and genders, PAM studios are breaking former boundaries and bettering the lives of hundreds of potential film workers. 

Join our take part in Orgullo Meetings 

Orgullo is an organization that unites Latinx and Hispanic people on campus and is a great way to get involved in the celebration of Hispanic heritage and traditions. Meeting multiple times throughout the academic year, Orgullo is involved in many aspects around the college community, teaching history and modern affairs in a way that anyone interested can access. 

At Berry, Orgullo strives to establish itself as a safe space for those of the Latinx and Hispanic community to come together and share stories of ancestry, culture, involvement, current events and overall create a strong fellowship among its members. Anyone, no matter their race or ethnicity is welcome to attend meetings, participate in Orgullo’s campus-wide events or join the organization. 

Although many people are unable to take Spanish classes at this time, or possibly are afraid to learn an entirely new language, for those who want to learn more about Hispanic heritage and tradition and possibly expose themselves to Hispanic culture, joining Orgullo is an outlet to be as involved as they possibly can. 

Attend St. Mary’s Catholic Church Services

For those who identify as Catholic, there is a great way to celebrate and reflect on Hispanic Heritage outside of the Berry gates. 

Located on North Broad Street in Rome, St. Mary’s Catholic Church holds Spanish Mass and services every Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Likewise, St. Mary’s Church also hosts Mass on Facebook Live for those keen on following COVID-19 guidelines. The church asks that all in-person attendees wear masks and sanitize their hands often to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Visitors are welcome to join any service they can attend. Check out the St. Mary’s Church website for more information on services, values, Catholic beliefs and locations. 

Many times, people find religion as a good way to connect with other individuals who share the same ideals and prospects. Furthermore, as it is Hispanic Heritage month, Spanish services are an option for religious people to find a sense of belonging and community among others. Similarly, the church can be a great social outlet for people who share the same background or upbringing, leading to new connections and local outreach. 

Volunteer WITH Romanos Unitos 

For those who enjoy volunteering and benefiting Rome’s Hispanic community through service and rights advocacy, Romanos Unitos is a non-profit organization to get involved in. 

Romanos Unitos has made themselves known throughout the Rome community for several years, advocating for immigrant rights. Along with that, Romanos Unitos has made significant contributions to Northwest Georgia communities by volunteering at various food banks, local public schools and partnering with Hispanic-owned businesses. They have also hosted multiple vaccine clinics where anyone who wishes to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus may receive their shots. Romanos Unitos is often in need of bilingual volunteers to aid their outreach programs and communicate with the people they serve who may not speak English well. 

All of these endeavors have benefited local businesses and engaged the Northwest Georgia community in opening their doors to the Hispanic community and granting opportunities and resource outlets for minorities. 

If Romanos Unitos sounds appealing, check out their social media pages to see when they meet and what work they are doing in the local community that people can contribute to. 

Shop at Hispanic-owned Grocery stores 

Everyone needs to shop for groceries, right? So, why not shop locally and authentically to elevate business in the Hispanic communities of Rome? 

Both located on Shorter Avenue, Morelos Supermarket Inc., and La Mexicana Supermarket and Restaurant offer products and food items that are more commonly found in Latin American regions. La Mexicana identifies itself as a specialty grocery store, selling both Americanized products that you might see at Publix or Kroger, as well as products that have significant Latin American origin. 

Unlike most chain grocery stores, Morelos Supermarket Inc. and La Mexicana Supermarket and Restaurant are run locally, meaning there is a higher chance that products are more regionally sourced. 

Even more so, while marketable brands skyrocket in cost, Morelos and La Mexicana are known to offer great deals items in their stores.Be sure to check out both Morelos Supermarket Inc. and La Mexicana Supermarket and Restaurant for a quick grocery run! 

Posted by Campus Carrier

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