ISU Latino community organizes Latino Heritage Month


Meredith Kestel/Iowa State Daily

Victor M. Aguilar-Lopez, president of the Latino Heritage Month Committee, is in charge of coordinating events during this month.  Aguilar-Lopez is working with ISU Dining and has days where food options are Latino inspired. They also will have food available south of the Memorial Union on Oct. 10.

Carolina Colon

For the 23rd consecutive October, the ISU Latino community is getting together to create a month full of excitement.

Latino Heritage Month consists of several events involving education, social networking, cooking and interacting with other Latino cultures. 

“We plan events and coordinate events, not only social events but also educational events,” said Victor Aguilar-Lopez, president of the Latino Heritage Committee.

Marcha de las Banderas will kick off Latino Heritage Month. Students will march in front of the Memorial Union with the flags representing their personal heritages.

“This is my favorite event of the month,” Aguilar-Lopez said. “People who are not Mexican or Venezuelan can hold the flag. Different cultures interact with each other in this event.”

Bridget Garnica, public relations director and advertiser for Latino Heritage Committee, encouraged non-Hispanic students to join the celebration.

“Our culture is slightly different, and only we understand some of the things we go through in life,” Garnica said. “By being united, we learn and know that we are not the only ones going through those certain situations.”

New events will be intertwined with classic events during this year’s festivities.

Latino Game Night involves a broad variety of games that have been played across all of Latin America. 

Top Chef Latino, inspired by the popular Food Network show “Top Chef,” pairs students from different cultures to compete against each other in a cooking competition. Contestants are encouraged to prepare famous dishes from their home countries. 

The most popular event is Noche de Cultura, which consists of a speaker, music and Latin food.

Coordinators said they hope to extend the spirit of Latino Heritage Month into the future. 

“It is difficult to get members that are not Mexicans involved in these type of events,” Aguilar-Lopez said. “We want to learn more about each other. I would like to see the Latino community being diverse in its ethnicity.” 

Aguilar-Lopez said he takes a lot of pride in his heritage.

“Our culture is distinct, I love being a Latino. Nobody should be ashamed of his or her heritage,” he said.

Garnica said she is proud to be a Latina as well.

“I think it’s important for Latinos to be proud of their heritage because that is who we are,” Garnica said. “Being Latino is something no one can take away from you.”