Banquet to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

By Brianna Bassett | Reporter

The Hispanic Student Association will be hosting its 29th annual Hispanic Heritage Month Banquet at 7 p.m. today in the Cashion Complex fifth floor banquet hall.

Sept. 15 marked the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

To celebrate this, Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. During this month, people recognize and celebrate the contributions and culture of Latin America. The banquet was originally planned for Oct. 6 but was postponed to today.

The event is open to students, faculty, staff and the general public. Attire is business casual. There will be a full three-course meal provided. Tickets are $10 for students and $20 for the general public. A limited number of tickets are still available by contacting Elysse Reyes at

Geoffrey Griggs, assistant director for the department of multicultural affairs, said this event is put on and run by the Hispanic Student Association to celebrate Hispanic culture at Baylor.

Griggs said he expects around 150 people to attend the event.

Houston junior Damian Moncada, president of the Hispanic Student Association, said the event highlights the diversity within Hispanic culture as well as the contributions of Hispanic-Americans.

Austin senior Caroline Bentley attended the event last year and said she is looking forward to attending again this week.

“I thought it was beautiful how Baylor celebrated a heritage so important to our nation, state and university,” Bentley said. “History and culture were spoken about eloquently, and the preservation of such a rich culture was discussed and thought about.”

Each year, the banquet hosts a guest speaker.

“We try to bring in essential speakers. By essential, I mean those that have made a change or an impact in the Hispanic community,” Moncada said.

The speaker this year is Rick Najera. His titles include “comedian, screenwriter, director, producer, actor, author, playwright, coach and national speaker,” according to Najera’s blog.

Najera has spoken to numerous audiences including Google, CNN, NPR, CBS, and multiple universities.

Moncada said Najera is a very funny and charismatic speaker. He hopes that Najera will bring a refreshing perspective that all attendees will enjoy.