CSUB kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month


Ruuna Morisawa

Students being served tacos in the Student Union on Sept. 16, 2019.

Ashley Balcaceres & Stephanie Williams, Reporters

  It’s that time of year again where all Hispanic and Latino cultures get to celebrate their background with various traditions from each country. Hispanic Heritage Month is a month long celebration from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 when people all around the country recognize and celebrate the contributions that Hispanic and Latino people make to the United States.

  Choosing the dates for this month long event is deliberate because many Latin American countries celebrate their independence days around this time. Sept. 15 for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, Sept. 16 for Mexico,  Sept. 18 for Chile, and Sept. 21 for Belize.

  These celebrations are not just to celebrate independence days, but to share and involve others in the Hispanic culture, and share the various unique traditions and practices of each individual country.

  “Nuestra vida,” were the simple words Maria Palomares, a member of the CSUB student club MEChA, which stands for Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, used when describing what Hispanic Heritage Months feels to her.

  CSUB has celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with month long activities since 2017. Now everyone has the chance to experience Latin culture at the events that are going to be happening all month long.

  Iris Villalobos has lived in the United States her entire life, only visiting Mexico a few times a year. “This is an opportunity to experience and get a feel of my culture,” says Villalobos.

  Hispanic Heritage Month is not just for those who don’t know about these cultures, but also for people living in the United States who miss the traditions of their cultures. This is an opportunity for Latinx-Americans to reconnect and share with their communities.

Stephanie Williams
Elia Lopez dances onstage during Mariachi Girl performance at the Dore Theater on Sept. 13, 2019.

  As part of the planned events, the play “Mariachi Girl,” directed by Miguel Orozco, premiered Sept. 13 in the Dore Theater.  The play is about the Mexican-American struggle with identity and cultural differences. A family daughter, Carmen, played by Elia Lopez, is going through the struggle of finding her Mexican identity in American culture. Her father, played by Juan Carlos Ozuna, feels he has already compromised his culture by coming to America and does not want to betray family tradition by letting his daughter be a mariachi. However, after hearing the voice of his daughter, his eyes are opened and he realizes all she wants is to be a part of her culture. The audience gave the play a standing ovation.

  Another event was Nuestra Independencia on Sept. 17, hosted by the MEChA club on campus. The event had many activities that students participated in to get a taste of Hispanic culture. The event had various activities available from different cultures like playing Loteria which is the Mexican version of American bingo. It plays on pictures instead of numbers and instead of stamping or placing balls on their numbers, they use beans as their pieces, and winners yell the word “Loteria!” instead of “Bingo!”

  Other activities included painting pictures or making a Guatemalan worry doll. The worry doll is something that Guatemalan children make when they are feeling worried or stressed about something. It can be placed on a bracelet, necklace, or keychain as a charm.

    “This month feels like we are magnets for one another […] no matter where we are in the world,” says Angela Lopez Romo, the MEChA Historian and hostess of Nuestra Independencia.

  MEChA and CSUB have a month-long list of activities and events that are not only a way to show the traditions and cultures of each Latin American country, but as a way to show that Latinx people are here.  Brenda Raya-Guiterrez, a MEChA member, says that she “feels a sense of empowerment because you feel willing to step out of your comfort zone and say ‘This is Us.’”