Latino Heritage Month begins

Brenna Scullen, Staff reporter

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Students and staff gathered in Doudna on Monday for a reception to kick off Latino Heritage Month with music, food, and conversation.

The informal reception was sponsored by Eastern, with volunteers from the office of Student Engagement and Inclusion and the Newman Catholic Center.

The chair of the Heritage Month Committee, Kenia Gonzalez, welcomed the group by inviting everyone to upcoming events.

“Everyone is welcome to come support, bring friends and learn more about different cultures,” Gonzalez said.

Eastern President David Glassman, who was also in attendance, said the event grows every year and that he was excited to attend some of the new events this month.

Students and staff in attendance discussed the food, family and cultural traditions, study abroad programs and more, as well as the many opportunities available to celebrate Latino heritage in the upcoming month.

Upcoming events include everything from guest speakers and panels, to dance lessons and a food truck that will be on campus.

Jay Kinkle, an Eastern student, was drawn to the event by the flags that were displayed to recognize many different Latin countries.

“They really captured the atmosphere of Latino culture with the food, the flags, the music,” he said.

Traditional Mexican food was also provided by El Rancherito Restaurant in Charleston.

Options included: charola nacho carne asada and pollo asada, quesadillas, chimichangas, flan and of course, chips and salsa.

Ali Rodriguez, a Spanish major, said, “It’s really comforting to have the good food that makes us feel at home again.”

Chicago journalist Vanessa Perez came later in the day to speak at Booth Library. 

Rodriguez said she was excited to hear Perez speak because of “how (Perez) has been successful in balancing her cultures.”

Brenna Scullen can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]