Students enjoy Bienvenida Latina opening for the Hispanic Heritage Month Annual Kick-Off Party. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University

Hispanic Heritage Month Kicks Off

THE CELEBRATION CONTINUES THROUGH OCT. 20TH

By Isabella LaMagdeleine, Staff Writer

“Bienvenida Latina” started Mason’s official Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations on Sept. 14 with authentic food, dancing, and music. Mason students can join in on celebrating all that the Hispanic community has to offer in its vast traditions, history and culture from now through Oct. 20.

The 20-plus events sponsored by ten different organizations are meant to be enjoyable for all, with free food, various performances, and fun music. The organizations themselves love the events during this month.

“One of my favorite parts of Hispanic Heritage Month is “Bienvenida Latina” said Andrea Garcia, president of the Hispanic Student Association (HSA), “because it’s such a fun event where we are able to introduce all of the different Hispanic organizations on campus to students at Mason.”

The groups hosting these activities cover many different student organizations across campus. Leadership associations such as the HSA will host discussions of the contributions and identities of the Latino community, as well as taco nights.

Social organizations, including various fraternities and sororities (Lambda Theta Phi, Lambda Theta Alpha, Lambda Upsilon Lambda and La Unidad Latina), will organize spelling bees.

Finally, academic organizations like the Aguilas Mentoring Program, which instills the values of academic excellence and leadership in underclassmen through mentoring newcomers to Mason, will host taco nights too.

The list of planned events ranges as broadly as the host organizations themselves.

These include UndocuALLY Training, which aims to educate participants to better understand and support undocumented immigrant students and students of other immigration statuses.

Shades of Brown: Open Mic and Poetry will feature artists sharing their unique stories in various art forms that often transcend a sole identity.

Finally, Immigration Monologues will explore the hardships that immigrants face in coming to the U.S. as well as their resilience.

The events will continue until ¡LatinXcelencia!, the Hispanic Heritage Month closing ceremony, ends the month of festivities on Oct. 20.

The official National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) celebrates the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the U.S. It also recognizes their contributions, heritage and culture. Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 as a week-long celebration before being expanded to an entire week under President Ronald Reagan.

Photo Courtesy of Mason Creative Services