Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month


Antonia Castañeda is one of the speakers at the “Chicanas, Politics, and the Chicano Movement” talk Photo credit: Kate Nuelle

illustration by Kate Nuelle

Most of us have lost all concept of time lately. So, for those who don’t know, it’s September. More significantly, it’s the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, and the Trinity community is celebrating.

There are multiple organizations on campus dedicated to Latinx culture, and during Hispanic Heritage Month, those groups put on celebrations. One of those groups is the Trinity University Latino Association, or TULA.

Thomás Peña, president of TULA, spoke about what celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month means for the Trinity community. “It is a time to celebrate our culture and highlight things going on in our community. It allows them [non-Hispanics] to learn more about Hispanic culture and see what it’s all about,” Peña said.

Another student organization celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is MAS, the Mexico, the Americas, and Spain program. Elseke Membreño-Zenteno is a program associate for MAS, and she spoke about some events they will be having in conjunction with TULA.

TULA and MAS have two joint events coming up in October. The first event is “Afrolatinidades: Identities and Creative Activism.” “The panel will be about identity, creative activism and colorism within the Latinx culture and give a platform to Afro-Latinx people to share their experiences of how they have to navigate between cultures,” Peña said.

The second event they will host together is “Chicanas, Politics, and the Chicano Movement.” “It’s about civic engagement,” said Membreño-Zenteno.

Sabrina Cuaro Cuaro, outreach chair for TULA, spoke about the tone of these events. “This year, our events are more serious, truly delving into those difficult conversations. I think there’s a lot of diversity within Latin culture, and we are embracing that diversity,” said Cuaro Cuaro.

TULA is also having an event called “Comida para el Corazón: Cooking From Home Latinx Edition.” “All communities are invited. It is an event for people to show off the food of their culture,” Peña said.

MAS wants to make it clear that these events are not just for Latinx Trinity students or even just Trinity students.

“[Hispanic Heritage Month] gives us as Latinx students the chance to share our experiences and educate a bit more. I would like to believe that we’re reaching out to the Trinity community,” Membreño-Zenteno said.

In fact, these organizations’ events being on Zoom presents a unique opportunity for greater community involvement. “Zoom is allowing more people to be a part of it. Not just the Trinity community joined the first MAS meeting, and there were people outside of San Antonio,” Cuaro Cuaro said.

We can also stay connected to Trinity’s Hispanic community through social media. Both MAS and TULA have their own Instagram accounts. They will be posting information about the different upcoming events as well as information about Hispanic culture.

“[We] highlight what’s going on in the community, specific days in Latinx culture and socials and meetings,” Peña said. There will also be information about Hispanic culture on TULA’s Instagram account. “TULA has a goal about informing people about more countries within Latin America and what it [Latin culture] means from these different countries,” Cuaro Cuaro said.

If anybody is interested in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, but is unable to attend any of the events, there are still other ways to celebrate. “For me, music is really important, and food, regardless of where you’re at, is always good,” Cuaro Cuaro said.

There are also slightly more educational ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month for those interested.

“There are lots of films and documentaries,” Membreno-Zenteno said.

Peña adds that the important part is all about interest and desire to learn more.

“Look up different independence days and their culture. [There is] no right or wrong way to do it. Showing you want to do it is the perfect way to do it,” Peña said.

Hispanic Heritage Month is from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, so for those looking to celebrate, there is still a lot of time. Thanks to our organizations on campus, there are also a lot of opportunities to celebrate.