United Latino Association celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month on campus

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TCU students walking through the Campus Commons last Wednesday evening stopped to experience music, dancing and food from Latin America and the Caribbean in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Students had the opportunity to experience this new culture thanks to TCU’s United Latino Association.

This event was one of many that the United Latino Association has had in the past few weeks to recognize Hispanic Heritage month.

Melissa Moreira, ULA’s president, said that she wanted celebrate Hispanic Heritage month on campus so students could learn more about the culture and what it means to be Latino.

“The mission of the United Latino Association is to show the diversity of Latinos, and the diversity of our culture,” Moreira said. “It’s not just one stereotype.”

Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 celebrates the culture, history, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors originated in Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

More than 200 TCU students gathered to listen to Latin American music and eat food from different Latin American countries. This included pupusas, which are a Salvadoran dish, and horchata, rice water which is popular in Mexico.

One of the students intrigued by the event was sophomore Ham Ngo, who said she was excited to try something new. “I wanted to learn more and try the food, I’m really adventurous when it comes to food and cultures” said Ngo.

Students also had the opportunity to learn both Salsa and Bachata dancing styles from an instructor.

 

Students learning the salsa dance with help from an instructor.
Students learning the salsa dance with help from an instructor.

 

Avigail Valencia, a sophomore communications studies major and member of ULA, said she joined the organization because although it is about uniting Latinos, it is also important to educate others.

“Not a lot of people know the Mexican culture or the Salvadoran culture, and through ULA we try to make events so that people can be more aware of the cultures that are around” said Valencia.

In addition to food and dancing, ULA  had an informational booth where students could learn more about the organization.

“I want people to know what ULA is, we are welcoming, our events are open to everyone,” said Moreira. “It’s not only to unite Latino students but also to educate others and help diversify campus.”

James Sang, a sophomore education major, is one student who said he appreciates ULA’s presence on campus. “I’m really glad they have this kind of organization and have events like this on campus,” Sang said. “I like learning about other people’s cultures.”

Many students stayed at the event from the beginning until the end, either dancing or painting flags or craft wood and learning more about Latino culture through experiencing it.

Moreira said that it can be easy to get caught up in college and forget the world outside of TCU, and she hoped this event would help students remember what else is out there. “I hope TCU has been able to get out of the TCU bubble and learn about the TCU bubble,” she said.

One student painted the Costa Rican flag at the craft table.
One student painted the Costa Rican flag at the craft table.

Moreira said that her culture is one she is proud to share with TCU during Hispanic Heritage month. “It’s something very beautiful and very precious to those who are Latino and something that we just want to share with everybody.”

ULA’s Zumba Night, the last event for Hispanic Heritage month, will take place on Oct. 14 in the TCU Commons from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m..