Marking Hispanic Heritage Month, Centre College hosted several events to celebrate its Hispanic and Latino students and to support those impacted by the cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Building off of a convocation on migration held in September, students and faculty recently organized a rally in support of DACA students on campus, in addition to a Latin American Cultural Festival hosted by the Latin American Students’ Organization (LASO).
During its first year on campus, LASO restarted the festival, held Oct. 1, to celebrate Latin culture. The organization’s president, Jailene Paz ’18, remarked that the festival provided a space for Latinx students to appreciate their culture and for all students to explore various Latin cultures and their intersections.
The festival also featured a new educational component about DACA, which the club added due to recent events.
“One thing we wanted to add to the festival was an opportunity to talk about DACA, ” Paz explained. “The goal was to better prepare the campus and community to have these kinds of conversations.”Like many of Centre’s student events, Paz stated that the festival was largely student-driven, although she added that the administration and faculty strongly supported its planning.
LASO also made the decision to donate all festival proceeds to those affected by Hurricane Maria, given the family connection some students have in Puerto Rico. Paz hopes to continue fundraising and raising awareness at Centre and in the surrounding Danville community beyond the festival as well.
Overall, she noted that the festival was a cultural celebration with great food, music and dance that displayed the variety and intersection of Latin American cultures.
“As our community keeps growing, we want to expose people to how diverse and complex our community is with these events,” Paz concluded.
By Kathleen Murphy ’18
October 9, 2017