Student organization hosts Latin American celebration

The Baylor and Waco communities came together to enjoy Latin American culture and heritage on Thursday evening in the Vera Martin Daniel Plaza. The event was hosted by the Hispanic Student Association. Photo credit: Pablo Gonzales

By Pablo Gonzales | Assistant Web Editor

Vera Martin Daniel Plaza resonated with the sounds and colors of Latin America on Thursday evening during Fiesta!, Baylor’s all-university celebration of Latino culture and heritage.

Fiesta!, hosted by the Hispanic Student Association in conjunction with the Baylor Activities Council, is an annual tradition that brings a Latin flare to the Baylor campus. Attracting both the Baylor and Waco communities, the goal of this event is to promote a cultural exploration of Latin America in a fun and relaxed setting, said Houston junior Damian Moncada, president of Hispanic Student Association.

“Fiesta! brings the culture of Latin America and South America to Baylor,” said Houston freshman Gabriela Fierro, special events chair for Hispanic Student Association. “This event showcases than the stereotypes that we have and it allows people to enjoy the music and culture of Latin and South America.”

The Hispanic Student Association partnered with the Baylor Activities Council to present this event. With attendance increasing every year, the BAC looks forward to working with the Hispanic Student Association in making this event happen.

“We have worked with [the Hispanic Student Association] for seven years now,” said Fort Worth junior Kymille Brown, program coordinator for the Baylor Activities Council. “[The Hispanic Student Association] is a very motivated organization. They are very organized and have all of their ducks in a row.”

This year, Fiesta! featured live performances from Mariachi groups and Folklorico cultural dancers along with free food from Fuego, games and interactive activities such as ring toss, giant connect-four and a photo booth.

“This year, we are being more holistic,” Moncada said. “We are comprising more Latin American cultures other than just Mexico. I think people are used to seeing Tex-Mex culture and not really Latino culture, and so this year we are showcasing all of the Latin American countries by showcasing the food, culture and dance of these places.”

Fiesta!, provided the Baylor community with an opportunity to learn more about other cultures and celebrate the differences among people.

“It’s fitting that Hispanic Student Association puts on ¡Fiesta!,” said Macarena Hernández, the faculty adviser of Hispanic Student Association and the Fred Hartman distinguished professor of journalism. “It’s a way to break bread with people we might not with otherwise and make interpersonal connections. It’s a way to cross ethnic lines in a fun way. What better way than through music and food?”