Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Friday night’s Rebel DÃaz performance marked another sweet event in the celebration of Latino Heritage Month. While all in attendance may not have understood many of the lyrics during the show—whether because of Olde Club’s acoustics or lack of Spanish language knowledge—the fostering of new cultural perspectives certainly sparked excitement. If DÃaz was any indication, this sentiment is likely to continue at least until the end of Fall Break.
Running four weeks from mid-September to mid-October, Enlace has planned a wide array of film screenings, panels, and concerts aimed at cultural interaction and Latino merriment. Co-President of Enlace Isabel Rivera ’10 remarked, “Latino heritage month is a celebration of our heritage and a way for people to get to know Latino culture at the same time.” So if a Latino, celebrate; if not, meet one.
But if you missed out on Rebel Diaz or the friendly cookout last week, do not worry. There is still opportunity to be festive. On September 24th, there will be a Chicano writing workshop (4:30 p.m. in Kohl 115) and reading (7:00 p.m. in the Big IC Room); Professor Raquel Aldana will speak on “Femicides in Post-Conflict Guatemala” October 1st; On October 3rd UPenn’s Onda Latina will hold a Salsa dance workshop; October 5th features a special Swarthmore dance group performance (LPAC); and on October 8th Latino Alumni will hold a panel—all of this in addition to film screenings every Sunday (Sci 101).
Began in the 1960s as only a week long period, President Reagan expanded the Latino observation to thirty days in 1988. When lengthened, September 15 was chosen as the starting date because of its significance as a day of independence in five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Mexico (September 16) and Chile (September 18) also celebrate their independence during the celebration. This year’s theme—Hispanic Americans: Making a Positive Impact on American Society—reflects the month’s intent of inter-cultural understanding.
Enlace is a closed, Latino support group on campus. If you would like to become involved, contact Grace Kaissal or Isabel Rivera, Co-Presidents.