Latinx Heritage Fiesta gives students community on campus


Photo by Karly Kiefer- Reporter

Junior Araceli Curiel represents the Center for Cultural Engagement & Inclusion booth at the Latinx Heritage Fiesta.

Karly Kiefer, Reporter

The Latin American Student Organization partnered with the Center for Cultural Engagement & Inclusion to celebrate Latinx Heritage month on Wednesday, Sept. 29 in Kingsmen Park. The Latinx Heritage Fiesta was held to commemorate and represent the Latinx community on campus while celebrating Latinx Heritage Month, which is from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. There were various festivities ranging from Latin inspired food trucks, pin making activities and information booths. 

Cultural events like these open a gateway to opportunities for students to learn and feel a sense of inclusion within the culture they identify with.

Araceli Curiel, diversity peer educator at the CCEI, said how important it was to have found LASO and the CCEI.

“I think it’s very easy for first years to stick out like a sore thumb because they don’t see anyone like themselves around them especially if you grow up very much in the culture, it’s definitely a culture shock to them here,” Curiel said.

Senior Thalia Ocampo also said events like this help create more inclusivity for students and help them not lose connection to their cultural roots.

“A lot of people tend to lose their identity. I think it’s a thing that us millennials suffer from and now Gen Z is bringing it back to really embrace where you’re from,” Ocampo said.

Co-President of LASO Jerry Tovar said he would like to make a bigger impact on the community and promote more inclusiveness. Tovar also said how he would like to see more staff of color and see more professors teaching about diverse perspectives. 

“I want more people to show up and be involved because we can’t be a diverse community if we don’t have diverse people,” Tovar said. 

Many students engage in these cultural events and groups such as LASO and the CCEI to be surrounded by other people like them.

“I was the only brown one in a group of five girls in Thompson and that definitely shaped my experiences here at first,” Curiel said.

For Ocampo, LASO has been a supportive unit that brings people together.  

“LASO means pride in who I am, to keep my traditions alive and not forget where I came from,” Ocampo said.

Tovar said he hopes to expand culturally diverse events and see more involvement from the community. 

The Latinx Heritage Fiesta overall held several different meanings to the people involved. 

“I hope students have an enjoyable time that reminds them of home or exposes them to a new culture. An appreciation for my culture and being able to see the beauty that I see,” Curiel said.