Fiesta to be held Friday to showcase Hispanic, Latino cultures at Baylor

The Hispanic Student Association hosts Fiesta every year to celebrate multiple Latino and Hispanic cultures for the Baylor community. Photo courtesy of Theodora John Milton

By Stephy Mahoney | Staff Writer

The Hispanic Student Association and Baylor Activities Council will be hosting its annual Fiesta event at 6 p.m. this Friday on Fountain Mall to showcase multiple Hispanic and Latino cultures for students to celebrate through food, music and games with prizes.

HSA aims to foster an enriching experience of Hispanic culture while maintaining their four core values of diversity, harmony, scholarship and development.

Marcos Landin, Katy junior and special events coordinator for HSA, said Fiesta is a cultural showcase introducing the multiple cultures within the Hispanic community to the Baylor and Waco communities.

“We have chosen 10 different countries from Latin America to showcase their traditions,” Landin said. “We are going to have people manning those stations that will go over their history and culture.”

Landin said anyone and everyone is welcome to come and stop by and learn more about the countries. “Knickknacks” will also be provided for attendees along with a visual aid of things that come from each country.

“We have different dances from different countries. … The dance company that we have is going to do a performance that goes over the different dances from different Latin American countries,” Landin said.

Landin also said he enjoys representing his and all Hispanic cultures to people who may not be familiar through HSA. He said he also helps find outlets for students looking for connections at Baylor.

Richmond senior and HSA President Jessica Sanchez said this is her third time organizing Fiesta and has high hopes for what the event will look like.

“I think it’s really important to have organizations and safe places like this on campus, especially for people that go further than just within our country,” Sanchez said. “We have a large quantity of international students that end up joining multicultural organizations, and that’s what makes them feel [at] home.”

Sanchez said the Fiesta following COVID-19 wasn’t as great as they were hoping it to be because it was held inside of the Bill Daniel Student Center and didn’t think many people were aware the event changed locations.

The following year, Sanchez said her team worked diligently to be able to have a big comeback for the community. She said they aimed to do “something big” since before COVID-19, as this was an event highly enjoyed by the Baylor community.

“We wanted to go all out … we had music, live animals, fresh food that people could come and get,” Sanchez said. “We are hoping to come back in the same way this year.”

Sanchez said international students can’t regularly go home whenever they want unlike other Baylor students, so this event hopefully pays homage to familiar cultures.

“They can’t just drive across or take a two-hour flight back home, and sometimes they’re not able to go home for years,” Sanchez said. “I think it’s very important to show that Baylor is your home, and that Baylor is trying to make an effort to make everyone feel like home.”

Landin said HSA is not just for Hispanic students but for anyone who “enjoys the Hispanic culture, the food, music or dances,” and wants to be a part of or experience the community.