The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Latinx Heritage Month at UW-Eau Claire

“Café y Conversación” is the first of many events celebrating Latinx Heritage Month
Photo by Hunter Ribeiro

On Friday, Sept 15, Multicultural Student Services hosted its first of several events in honor of Latinx Heritage Month. Held on the top floor of Hibbard Humanities Hall, “Café y Conversación” welcomed students and staff interested in learning about and discussing Latin cultures.

Hosted by Rosa Gómez, MSS coordinator, this get-together gave students and faculty a chance to sit down and share a bit about themselves over a warm beverage. Tables topped with pan dulce and stickers lined the Latinx Cultural Center.

This was one of several events planned in coordination with Latinx Heritage Month. Gómez went on to share some of her own experiences.

“Latinx Heritage Month is an exploration of cultural identity and diversity within the Latinx community. It’s a celebration of identity. It challenges what Latinx and Hispanic mean,” Gómez said.

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Gómez said the definition of what it means to be a member of the Latinx community is constantly changing and has been something she’s had to explore her whole life. Through her own experiences, she hopes to make the journey easier for others.

“For me, navigating college was very challenging, so being able to extend those resources to other Latinx students means a lot”, Gómez said. “Letting them know they’re not alone in doing this, we’re all figuring it out”.

Among the students and staff that attended the event was professor Manuel Fernández, director of the Latinx program. Although Fernández isn’t a member of MSS, he’s been connected to the organization and attended several events throughout the years.

“I like to meet with students who attend these events, some of whom are not in my classes, hang out for a little bit of time, and learn in a more informal manner about them,” Fernández said. “Some of the Latinx students are not taking Spanish classes, but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in finding out who they are.”

“Una Noche En la Plaza” will be hosted by MSS from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, in the Chippewa Lounge. Grassroots organizations will gather for community engagement. Alongside the organizations will be author Eloisa Gómez.

A screening of “The Garden Left Behind” will be shown from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 26 in the Woodland Theater. Afterward, there will be a panel with the lead actors and producers where viewers can ask questions. 

On Oct. 5 professor Gerardo Licon will hold a short presentation on the importance and history of Latinx street vendors. Afterward, attendees will be taught how to make Esquites, a type of street corn served in a cup. Gómez describes this event as low stakes.

“Esquites making is super casual and super chill,” Gómez said.

“A Trip to Turtle Island,” a celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day, will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 9 in the Chippewa Lounge. People from different cultures will come and share art and music.

To wrap things up “Sabor Latin”’ a banquet held for Latinx Heritage Month will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 11 in the Dakota Ballroom. On top of the food served, we will be joined by journalist Sonia Nazario, author of “Enrique’s Journey.” 

Latinx celebrations and events like these remind people how important it is to recognize the diverse communities and cultures around us. All of these events can be found on the Multicultural Student Services’s website and Instagram account

Ribeiro can be reached at [email protected].

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