Hispanic Heritage Month takes place yearly from mid-September to mid-October, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives has continued to encourage students to participate throughout the month. Hispanic students and non-Hispanic students alike come together to observe the month as well as the culture.
Hispanic Heritage Month highlights the achievements of significant individuals in the Hispanic community who have made strides in science and technology, the arts, social activism, politics and more, as well as recognizes the importance of Hispanic culture today.
Many Hispanic Mercerians have their own stories to share and celebrate.
Leo Varela, a junior studying finance and economics, has already begun enjoying some events at Mercer such as the Hispanic Heritage month kickoff event Sept. 17 held by the Latin American Student Organization that featured Spanish music, dance lessons and some food from the local Mexican community.
Valera is looking forward to the end of the month.
“For the end of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Mercer LASO (Latin American Student Assocation) is planning on having a game night where we’ll be playing several traditional games such as lotería,” Valera said. “It’ll be a good opportunity to learn about the Hispanic community and also have a good time with friends.”
Some Hispanic Mercerians, however, have found themselves unable to celebrate this year due to social distancing from their families and not having the time to celebrate.
Kimberly Lopez, a mechanical engineering junior, couldn’t find the chance to celebrate this year with COVID-19 still present. Her family was forced to skip their tradition of celebrating with food and family.
“Normally in the past, my extended family and I would get together to celebrate over a big dinner, as my aunts would typically make traditional Mexican foods like tamales or pozole for the occasion while we sat around together to eat and chat about life or any plans about going to Mexico for vacation,” Lopez said.
She was happy, however, to see such a large turnout for the LASO kickoff event, as she was able to enjoy the Mercer Hispanic culture with her friends.
Sara Davila, a biochemistry junior, has also observed the month in the past with her family and celebrated the month with pride.
“In the past, my family would have a huge party where we had Mexican food, music and I even dressed in traditional clothing,” Davila said. “I think (Hispanic Heritage Month) is important because it allows people to learn more about the Hispanic culture, which I believe is very important. Through people learning about the Hispanic culture, it allows them to better understand and create friendships with the Hispanic community in the US.”
Davila doesn’t think she will celebrate this year since she mostly celebrates with her family and doesn’t have time during the month.
With Hispanic Heritage Month in full swing, Mercerians can expect to look forward to the game night at the end of the month and continue to enjoy the culture all around.