Hispanic students reflect on Latinx Heritage Month

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(Graphic by Shirley Liu ’23 for The Lafayette)

To celebrate the community of Latino students on campus, as well as their culture and heritage, the Hispanic Society of Lafayette (HSL) has been organizing festivities for Latinx Heritage Month.

According to HSL president Eduardo Andrade ’23, the month is a “representation of culture, of family, of a family away from home, and just how multiple cultures are united as one.” 

This sentiment resonates with students of all class years.

“The celebration represents diverse ethnic groups uniting and creating a spirit of acceptance within the community and outside of it,” new HSL member Edwin Reilly ‘26 said. 

“[The celebrations are a] time to form new connections in your own community,” HSL member Gabriela Sanchez ’25 said.  

For international students, the celebrations ease their transition to the United States as well as bring some of the comforts of home to campus.

“The events remind me of home and that I have a home at Lafayette,” Alex Villalba Gonzalez ’26 said. Villalba is the only student at Lafayette from Paraguay.

Associate director of Intercultural Development Karina Fuentes shared how international students experience culture shock when they are boxed in as Hispanic or Latino.

“International students are sometimes confused as to why the color of their skin or their country is part of their introductions in spaces when it’s already been their identity. It’s because the U.S. is such a diverse country,” she said. 

These events can help those students feel more connected to the Hispanic community. U.S. students also find meaning in such celebrations.

“A lot of students in the United States feel like they’re separated from their culture because they weren’t born in their families’ countries, or their families aren’t as tied to the culture as they’d like to be,” Andrade, who hails from the Bronx and has Ecuadorian roots, said. “The month is a chance for people to communicate what they’re missing, what they love or even don’t love about their culture.” 

“This is for the Lafayette community, for anyone who wants to be involved,” HSL social outreach chair Daniel Andrade Felix ‘25 said.

HSL encourages all members of the Lafayette community to acknowledge, participate and engage in conversations about the Hispanic community. All students are welcome to join HSL and can find more information on Instagram at @hsl.lafayette.