Review: Noche de Cultura showcases Hispanic culture through powerful performances


Leilani Padilla, 22, microbiology major, performs her poem “To My City of Lost Angels” during Noche de Cultura presented by El Camino College’s Hermanas y Hermanos Club on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the East Dining Room. Rosemary Montalvo/The Union

Vivid emotion and striking words jumped out from the sheet of paper her poem was printed on.

Leilani Padilla, a 22-year-old microbiology major performed “To My City of Lost Angels,” a tribute to her home city of Los Angeles, re-living her past childhood experiences.

As she spoke her final word of the poem, an applause echoed throughout the room.

After the ovation, the crowd sat in silence, looking as if the air had been sucked out of the room, she had stolen the show.

Padilla’s words attracted a light crowd during the final event of Hispanic Heritage Month at El Camino College, Noche de Cultura (Culture Night) in the East Dining Room Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Presented by the Student Equity Advisory Council and with the help of the Hermanas y Hermanos Club, a Hispanic student club at ECC, students, faculty and staff had the opportunity to read poetry and display art connect to Hispanic culture in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Displays ranged from abstract paintings to portraits that reflected different cultures and their respective aspects.

A couple of artists performed songs that were accompanied by the playing of a rhythm guitar.

Sebastian Alejandro Arque Vera, or SAAV, as he is called by his friends, performed a Hebrew prayer called “Shalom Rav” at Noche de Cultura to highlight his Jewish and Latino cultures.

“I was just trying to beat my stage fright,” Vera said after his performance that seemed to uplift the crowd.

Although a small turnout, Noche de Cultura brought together a small crowd, giving exposure to the up and coming artists at ECC who reflected upon who they are and how their experiences have shaped them.

A huge success for a college campus that is grasping at, searching for a culture to cling on to.

Editors Note: Article was updated Saturday, Oct. 26, at 6:20 to correctly represent the organization the presented the event.