By Rob Bradfield
Baylor’s Hispanic Student Association is helping Baylor and Waco celebrate Latino culture.
The sixth annual ¡Fiesta!, a celebration and exposition of Hispanic culture, is being held today in the Union Bowl. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. and will feature free food, live music, dancing, games and displays of culture from across the hemisphere.
Decatur senior Delia Martinez, Hispanic Student Association vice president and ¡Fiesta! coordinator, said this year’s celebration will be bigger than ever before.
“[¡Fiesta!] has grown quite a bit,” Martinez said. “This year, we are expecting 2,500 to 3,000 people.”
The event is free and open to the public, and a variety of activities and entertainments are scheduled.
Taqueria la Milpa will be giving away free tacos and corn cups and the association will also provide a variety of foods from across Latin America.
Artists appearing include the Austin-based Latin-dance-fusion band Salero and the University High School Mariachi Band.
The Texas A&M Ballet Folkorico group will also put on a performance and there will be a host of other activities such as loteria, a game similar to Bingo, prize giveaways and inflatables.
“It’s pretty much anything, with a Latin touch,” Leslie Ysuhuaylas, Plano senior and HSA president, said.
Although this is the sixth year for HSA to host the event, the tradition of ¡Fiesta! is more than 20 years old. It began as Fiesta on the River!, which was eventually taken over by the association, given a new name and has since become one of the biggest multicultural events on campus.
Martinez said this year’s event will include more cultures from across Latin America. “Every year, we try to get bigger, better and more enjoyable,” Martinez said.
The Baylor Hispanic Student Association is a social and service organization that was founded 25 years ago. The association celebrates Hispanic culture and provides opportunities for service and academic advancement to its members.
¡Fiesta! is its largest public event, but the association puts on several others throughout the year, including a banquet and several service projects.
The association is represented by a diverse membership from a variety of cultures.