More than 150 people helped Furman celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 20 with the 4th annual Fiesta Hispana sponsored by the Hispanic Organization for Latinx Awareness (HOLA) and the Center for Inclusive Communities.
HOLA President Erik Ortiz ’20 called the event “a great success.”
HOLA sought to display Latinx and Hispanic culture that reflects the diversity on campus. Performances included a demonstration of the Afro-Brazilian martial art capoeira by NC Brazilian Arts Project; dance lessons by Rumbao Latin Dance Company; and traditional salsa music by Orquesta Mayor.
Besides exposing attendees to authentic Latinx rhythm and cuisine, Ortiz, a psychology major and Latin American studies minor, says this annual event has far greater meaning in the overarching diversity and inclusion picture on campus.
“Fiesta Hispana and the upcoming En Memorias Vivas in celebration of Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) provide a platform for Latinx and Hispanic students to have representation, a voice and power to emerge as leaders on campus and beyond,” he said.
The kind of programming provided by HOLA “gives space for our underrepresented students to celebrate themselves and an important part of their heritage and history,” said Deborah Allen, director of the Center for Inclusive Communities.
“These events allow students to share a piece of their culture with our entire community in hopes of a greater understanding of and appreciation for the vibrancy and beauty within Hispanic and Latinx cultures,” she said.