Hispanic Heritage Month, which lasted from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, was the time in the United States when people recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the country’s history, heritage and culture.
At Eastern New Mexico University, Hispanic Affairs held various events on campus to pay homage to those Hispanic influencers. “We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to promote cultural awareness throughout campus,” said Catalina Arana, Hispanic Affairs co-coordinator.
Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, Hispanic Affairs collaborate with both the New Mexico Humanities Council and the Associated Students Activity Board (ASAB). “Being able to be proud of my culture is one of my favorite parts of Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Arana. “Of course, I celebrate every day being Hispanic, however during Hispanic Heritage Month I get the opportunity to share my culture with others.”
In September, Hispanic Affairs worked with Sodexo to put on a Hispanic Heritage buffet filled with various entrees, sides, desserts and beverages of Hispanic culture in the CUB dining hall. They wrapped up the first half of the month with a slam poetry night in the Greyhound Lounge, and the ENMU Rey y Reina competition. Students sign up, table, and perform to showcase why they should be voted to be this year’s new Rey or Reina. “The Hispanic Rey and Reina Showcase was my favorite since I was able to see and learn about many other cultures, and learn some more about my own culture as well,” said Isaiah Mejia, ENMU Rey.
Hispanic Affairs had 20 students sign up to compete for the Rey or Reina crown. “I saw it as a good opportunity to dive into my culture, as I never had the opportunity to. I also wanted to showcase and show that I am proud to be Hispanic,” said Mejia. “Being Hispanic Rey means being an example of an individual who takes pride in who they are, and it means being a person who can influence others to be proud as well.”
Hispanic Affairs and company wrapped up the month of October with a “New Mexico Before Columbus” speaker and an evening with Baracutanga on the final night of the month.