By Bridget Sjoberg | Staff Writer
A performance by internationally-recognized dance group Ollimpaxqui Ballet Company and provided Latin American cuisine will be present at this year’s ¡Parranda! celebration on Baylor’s campus.
The event will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday in the Burleson Quadrangle and is being organized through a partnership with the Baylor Activities Council (BAC) and Hispanic Student Association (HSA). Houston junior Gabriela Fierro serves as president of HSA and described the event as one celebrating Latin American culture and diversity.
“¡Parranda! is a cultural celebration highlighting the diversity and vivacity of Latin America,” Fierro said. “¡Parranda! immerses community members in the diverse cultures of Central and South America through its cuisine, art, music and performances. God’s diverse creations should be celebrated, and ¡Parranda! opens our eyes to the cultures around us and within our own heritage.”
Fierro said that the event is free and welcome for all students to attend, and it will feature Latin American cuisine, as well as entertainment through music and dance performances.
“As guests walk through the festival they’ll be able to listen and dance to Grupo Kache, a Latin fusion band from Houston,” Fierro said. “They’ll also taste Colombian cuisine and a Mexican desert. An international dance group, Ollimpaxqui, will showcase the traditional dances of Afrolatino, Peru and Argentina. Guests will enter Paseo Latino, a cultural immersion tunnel and discover the beautiful cultures of Latin America.”
The event, which was once promoted as HSA’s ¡Fiesta!, was switched to ¡Parranda! to offer a fully immersive Latin American experience. Fierro appreciates how HSA has been able to collaborate with BAC to bring together a campus event that the student body can fully participate in.
“HSA’s historic ¡Fiesta! is now a collaborative Latino American experience known as ¡Parranda!. In conjunction with BAC, this event is a collaborative effort between Global Baylor, First in Line, the School of Music, Student Life and many others. It’s an annual event spanning over 30 years of Baylor tradition,” Fierro said. “Partnering with BAC has been a wonderful journey. Over the past couple of years, they have provided logistics and strategy while prioritizing HSA’s vision and the cultural integrity of the event.”
Trussville, Ala., junior Maggie McBride serves as president of BAC, and she appreciates how partnering with HSA on ¡Parranda! has allowed the groups to work together and learn from each other.
“We love working with HSA—not only do we get to plan a wonderful event with them, but we also get to learn more about the Latino culture in the process,” McBride said. “Our goal is to create programs with our partners so that the entire Baylor University community can come together and share a unique experience.”
McBride hopes the event helps the student body learn more about Latino culture and that all interested in the event come out to experience ¡Parranda!’s performances, food and other features.
“¡Parranda!’s ultimate goal is to help HSA share the Latino culture with Baylor students,” McBride said. “Attendees should look forward to learning more about Latin American countries, experiencing cultural music and food and watching dance representatives of the Latino community.”
BAC is currently recruiting new members, along with the other two campus programming groups (Union Board and Student Productions). More information can be found on baylor.edu/studentactivities. HSA is also accepting current applications for the 2019 to 2020 leadership board, and more information or a calendar of events can be accessed by emailing the current vice president at firstname.lastname@example.org.