Hispanic Heritage Month: Kick-off Events
The Department of Multicultural Affairs is hosting their annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, from September 15 until October 30. On September 15th, Multicultural Affairs had a table set up in the CUB Lobby to give students fliers that list the dates, times, and events for this month, as well as a preview of the events that they will be hosting for Hispanic Heritage Month. Students that were in the CUB during this time were able to see representatives from Multicultural Affairs dance to upbeat Spanish music. The representatives weren’t afraid to pull students away from what they were doing so that they could have a dancing partner.
September 16 was Mexico’s Independence Day, so what better way to kick-off Hispanic heritage month than with a buffet. Most people know that a big portion of the Hispanic culture is represented by the food, so in accordance, the Crossroads Café served authentic Mexican food. Students that had lunch during this time were served chips and salsa, guacamole, asado, beans, rice, churros and horchata. Multicultural Affairs didn’t stop there. They had another preview of an event. Ernestine Romero, recording artist and songwriter, sang live in the Crossroads Café to give students a taste of what her concert would be like later in the evening.
Ernestine Romero performed traditional and festive music from the Hispanic culture on the Dallan Sanders Patio. Romero, from Pojoaque, NM, was invited to sing a mix of unique cumbias, rancheros and boleros. After each set, Romero gave a little bit of background information on herself and her music. She said that her dream was to meet the parents of Tejano icon, Selena Quintanilla. Her dream came true, when Romero met Quintanilla’s family at the same studio where the late Selena Quintanilla recorded. Romero has recorded at the San Antonio studio 5 times with the Quintanilla family. After announcing her own accomplishments, Romero sang a few of Selena’s hit songs, as well as her Cumbia version of Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable”. Romero’s performances weren’t just cover songs or spin offs to other artists’ songs. Many were her own original songs from her latest CD, Gracias Senor, including “Gracias Senor”, “Porque” and “Cumbia Cabeza”. Ernestine Romero usually performs with her band, however they were unable to join her at ENMU. Instead, Romero had her parents helping her run the audio. Romero told the audience how her parents encouraged her to record the song “Porque”.
Romero’s performance was a great way to end the celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day. Many students in attendance were able to sing along to the songs that Romero performed, while dancing with other members from the community who attended the event. To end the day’s festivities, Romero asked for volunteers to join her on the patio. As she sang her final number, she had the volunteers serve as her back-up dancers. Romero really connected with her audience, as she would step down from the patio and have her audience sing with her. She handed out fliers to community members there to enjoy the music. Romero shared personal stories to encourage the audience feel comfortable enough to get up and dance. Her energy and personality created the lively ambiance that every fiesta needs.
Every week, for the next month, students can attend the events that Multicultural Affairs have prepared to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. On Thursday, September 24, students and faculty can cast their vote for Rey y Reina. Every year students of Hispanic heritage can apply to run in the Rey y Reina Contest. Voting this year begins at 11:30 a.m. in the CUB Lobby. In addition, there will be other events to follow, such as the story of La Llorona, Tango lessons, a burrito-eating contest and sugar skull crafting.
For those who wish to learn more about the traditions that make up the Hispanic culture, plan to attend some of the events this month, or contact Multicultural Affairs at 575.562.4914.