Hispanic Heritage Month celebration begins at ECC with music, food


Students serve themselves hispanic foods at the Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff Festival on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Juan Miranda/The Union

The Latino student club, Hermanas y Hermanos (H&H), and the El Camino College Student Development Office presented the Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff Festival at the South Plaza near the Student Services Building on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Students helped themselves to an assortment of hispanic foods, including carne asada, chicken and beans as reggaeton and salsa played in the background.

Hispanic Heritage Month, which is recognized annually from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, celebrates the independence anniversaries of several Latin American countries, H&H club president Gloria Davila said.

“It’s important for everyone to learn about all cultures, not just Hispanic cultures, [such as] African American, European, and Asian cultures,” Davila said “We [should] learn about each other’s cultures so we can learn to respect and understand each other’s differences, as well as similarities,” Davila said.

Davila added that she felt there used to be a lack of cultural representation on campus, but now students are starting to step up to make sure that their cultures are being represented at ECC.

Student Services Specialist Chris Dela Cruz said cultural representation and comfort is sought by many students on campus and this [festival] gives students the opportunity to learn about their own culture or maybe a different culture that they are not as familiar with.

“Research shows that the more students are involved on campus, the more likely they are to succeed, so showing students that there are student clubs active here will hopefully encourage [students] to be involved,” Dela Cruz said.

Liberal studies major, Carla Melgar believes that there is hardly any representation of cultures on campus.

“It is very important to celebrate other cultures and spread awareness of the diversity of Spanish speaking countries,” Melgar said. “It brings the community together.”

Dela Cruz added that there will be more events presented during Hispanic Heritage Month, as well as throughout October, such as a Platica (discussion) hosted by H&H on Tuesday, Oct. 8 and a Noche de Cultura (Culture Night) on Tuesday, Oct. 22.