May 23, 2024

A Hispanic heritage celebration took place at California Baptist University on Oct. 7. This event was planned in a collaborative effort by Community Life and the Spanish Club to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, which takes place every year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Cumbia and salsa band Clave Dura performed in Lancer Plaza, where Community Life also offered free food from different Latin American countries for attendees. 

The event also included an art show featuring famous Hispanic and Latino artists as well as art by CBU students.

Yesenia Rocha, senior nursing major and Community Life intern, shared Community Life’s motivation behind the event and discussed the importance of including all Hispanic cultures.

“The motivation was to include all of our Hispanic community, not just the Mexican (community),” Rocha said. “There are so many other countries, so we really wanted to incorporate those countries. We have an art gallery that has student art from different countries and representation of all sorts of different things, and then same with our food. That was our main goal.”

Jessenya Scherler, sophomore public health major and Community Life intern, agreed that the Hispanic Heritage celebration was for all Hispanic cultures. She also believes that these events can reach those who want to learn more about people from Spanish-speaking countries.

“We really want to make sure that we target in on specific things,” Scherler said. “We want to focus on both the people (who) are a part of this community, but also people who are not but are interested in learning.”

Chris Hofschroer, assistant dean of students for Community Life, also spoke about the importance of inclusion in Community Life events, specifically for those that revolve around culture. He said that Community Life’s mission statement connects to that idea.

“With all of our cultural celebrations, we really want to hear from students who represent who we are celebrating,” Hofschroer said. “Community Life’s mission statement, which drives everything we do, is to enhance the CBU student experience through purposeful co-curricular programs and services. With Hispanic Heritage Fiesta, and all of our cultural celebrations, we strive to highlight the beauty of our culturally diverse student body and encourage others to expand their worldview.”

Rocha discussed Community Life’s future plans for representation at CBU. She also shared what Community Life could do differently to spread the word about events and representation.

“I think doing more events like this and just making sure that we really publicize it (is important), so then we can get more people to know about the different countries and about different cultures,” Rocha said. “It’s just a great way to reach a large amount of people and let them know that it’s not just Mexican, it’s not just Spanish, it’s really a bunch of different places.”

Future cultural  events will include Black History Month, Lunar New Year and Festival of Color.

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