ENMU students take on a title of cultural honor

Photo by Nicole Trujillo

Former Reina Kaitlyn Rael places a crown on Aida Munoz’s after Munoz won the Rey y Reina competition in the Campus Union Building on Sept. 25.

Photo by Nicole Trujillo

Former Rey Gabriel Gonzalez helps the newly crowned Rey Johnatan Renteria put his sash on at the Rey y Reina competition in the Campus Union Building on Sept. 25.

By Staff Writer Nicole Trujillo

Quinceañeras, sombreros and empanadas are some of the many things that reminded ENMU Hispanic Rey y Reina contestants of their culture.

ENMU Hispanic Affairs hosted its annual competition for the 2018-19 Hispanic Rey y Reina on Sept. 25 in the Campus Union Building lobby.

Contestants sat anxiously in their seats as judges came to a mutual decision on Rey y Reina.

Drum roll please …

The 2018-19 Hispanic Rey is JohnatanRenteria and the 2018-19 Hispanic Reina is Aida Munoz.

Renteria said, “It feels amazing to have this title. I feel completely honored to be representing my culture and ENMU.”

Munoz said, “I’m so surprised to have been crowned Reina. There was so much competition, and everyone else did amazing. I’m so honored to be the new voice of the Hispanic culture here at ENMU.”

The contest had a total of eight competitors, seven females running for Reina and one male running for Rey. Contestants were to bring in an item that reminded them of their Hispanic culture and why it was important to them.

Each contestant stood in front of the crowd and told the story of their item, the meaning behind it and why they brought it. Contestants also had to answer a randomly selected question from a mystery box.

“Anything is possible. That’s what keeps me going, and that’s the reason I’m here right now. I never thought I would be here doing this. That’s what I want to represent if I’m crowned Reina,” said contestant Veronica Burrola at the beginning of the competition.

Many of the contestants talked about their love and passion for the Hispanic culture. One contestant was very emotional speaking about her parents encouraging her to come to college.

“My parents encouraged me to come to Eastern even though that meant me going far from my hometown of Albuquerque. My parents wanted me to succeed, so they helped me pack up all my stuff and settle here,” said contestant Lynette Diaz, crying.

A profile of the winners

By Staff Writer Felix Hernandez

Let’s get to know our newly crowned Rey and Reina.

AidaMunoz is a transfer student at ENMU from Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas, where she received her Associate of Arts. Fort Worth is also Munoz hometown. She said she is very family-oriented and comes from a family of 12 siblings. Munoz is a junior at ENMU, where she plans to get her degree in social work so that she “can help children and families who are in foster care.”

She said she enjoys doing arts and crafts and getting to express here creativity.

When asked why she chose ENMU, Munoz said, “I used to spend my summers in Clovis, New Mexico, with my family (freshman to about junior year). I always had the best memories here, I felt comfortable and at home. Plus, I wanted to leave the city and create new experiences. Making the decision to come to ENMU was a no brainer.”

Munoz, whose name is pronounced “ah-ee-dah,” said while she was in middle school, her friends would call here “aidltoffoood,” because they could never pronounce her name and because she always had food with her. [BA1] She used to collect Starburst wrappers, and she has a pet turtle named “Milo.”

“I hope to not only influence others of Hispanic culture but grow in awareness of other cultures and use my acquired knowledge, as well as the Reina platform to be a voice for the Hispanic community,” said Munoz.

Munoz likes to live her life by a quote from Johnny Depp: “Laugh as much as you breathe; love as long as you live.”

Johnatan Ramirez is a freshman at ENMU. He is from Roswell and is a criminal justice major with a minor in Spanish.

Ramirez said he hopes to one day be a law enforcement officer and from there, a DEA Agent. He is the current Spanish Club president and also part of the Grey Hound Sound Marching band.

When asked about what he does in his free time, Ramirez responded, “I love music and love playing soccer,” he said, adding that he played soccer for 12 years. “I also enjoy long boarding on my free time, catching some free air.”

Ramirez said he was planning on attending New Mexico State University in Albuquerque, but it was his band director in high school who changed his mind.

“He told me, ‘Look, Eastern has a great music program and a great criminal justice program too.’”

Ramirez said he has quite a few nicknames.

“Everyone knows me a “guero,” because most of my family is on the dark side, so they tease me and call me the milkman’s son.”

As part of his reign as Rey, Ramirez hopes to tie it in with the Spanish Club by being more involved with the local community around Portales. “I also hope to make the Spanish club known, because it used to be known throughout campus a few years back,” said Ramirez.

Ramirez said he lives by the Gucci Manequote, “Without the sauce, the man is lost, but don’t get lost in the sauce.”

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