Students salsa in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month

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Union students participate in a dance lesson, learning the steps to traditional Hispanic songs. Courtesy of Jason Benitez
Union students participate in a dance lesson, learning the steps to traditional Hispanic songs. Courtesy of Jason Benitez

The Office of Multicultural Affairs and CELA (Circulo de Estudiantil Latinamericano) hosted an event in Old Chapel to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month. Latin cuisine such as cooked plantains, tortilla chips, guacamole, salsa and empanadas were provided by Union Hospitality. Union students proceeded to present a song and dance lesson. The floor of Old Chapel was cleared to provide a dance floor for the participants, as students chose a partner and danced the traditional salsa.

Director of Multicultural Affairs Jason Benitez comments: “Heritage events/months allow us a collective opportunity to acknowledge and reflect on the contributions of all members of our multicultural society. While I promote celebrating diverse contributions all year round, heritage months are a great time to do so. These events are also great ways to expose people to aspects of cultures that are not their own. We hope that this exposure is only the first step to increased understanding and empathy. Hispanic Heritage month takes place September 15 through October 15 throughout the nation.

October was established and has been celebrated as Hispanic History month since 1968. September 15, the start of the month, is the anniversary of independence of five South and Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days within the month as well on October 12. Hispanic Heritage month is intended to honor the important contributions of Hispanic and Latin American cultures to the United States.

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