By Lillian Smith
REFLECTING ON THE PAST
For the TIU’s Latinos Unidos club, this is a very special month. Hispanic Heritage Month is a holiday that celebrates the ancestral and cultural roots of many Americans today. It takes place each year from September 15th to October 15th, starting with the independence days of five Latin American countries, with more being observed in the following weeks. Students at Trinity have been busy celebrating all month long!
They decorated the halls of Waybright with papeles picados, a traditional paper banner decoration. Papeles picados have a history that goes back hundreds of years, but they became most popular in the early 20th century. They are made by intricately cutting designs out of tissue paper and now can be seen at almost every type of celebration in Mexico.
Emma Gallegos, President of Latinos Unidos, shared why Hispanic Heritage Month is so important to her. “Growing up, I didn’t fully grasp how much pride comes with this month,” she explained. “Hispanic Heritage Month begins with many independence days, which shows how much pride is present in the community right from the start. We reflect on what had to happen to get to this point.”
“Hispanic Heritage Month begins with many independence days, which shows how much pride is present in the community right from the start.”
A MONTH OF CELEBRATION
In partnership with Latinos Unidos, student-led worship group FREE christened their weekly worship night on September 16th “Libre” in honor of Mexican Independence Day. Current student Malachai Smith (Criminal Justice ‘25) shared his testimony and experience living as a missionary kid in Mexico City, Mexico.
On September 28th, the Trinity Book Club partnered with Latinos Unidos to host Latina author and TIU alumna Candice Pedraza Yamnitz (Elementary Education, English minor ‘07), who shared how she incorporated her culture into her new book, Unbetrothed. Candice felt called to write a novel after she saw the questionable morals prevalent in many young adult novels. She also saw it as an opportunity to share aspects of her Puerto Rican and Mexican culture, so she included various traditions and phrases in her book that she wanted to pass on to younger readers.
Guests to one of the homecoming sports events may have gotten a chance to try the delicious free churros provided by Latinos Unidos, which were catered from a local bakery. They were a wonderful addition to the festivities of the day, and attendees enjoyed them while cheering on Trinity’s soccer and football teams.
“There are a lot of people who want to learn about the different cultures and countries that are a part of this month.”
Latinos Unidos will end the month with Lotería Night. Lotería is a well-loved Hispanic bingo game that brings together families and friends. It will be a great way for students to bond and learn more about Hispanic culture.
“Something that I’ve been excited for this month is sharing information,” Emma explained, adding, “there are a lot of people who want to learn about the different cultures and countries that are a part of this month.”
Trinity is grateful to have a diverse community of students who are continually excited to come together to celebrate their cultures and learn more about each other.
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