KOKOMO, Ind. — Join Indiana University Kokomo for its Hispanic Heritage Month Fiesta, kicking off a month celebrating Hispanic culture and customs.
Starting at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 21 in Alumni Hall in the Kelley Student Center, the event includes mariachi musicians, dancing, free food, and more. The public is welcome to attend, as the fiesta continues until 9 p.m.
Brisbany Villamar Bautista, a student from Logansport, invited people to attend to experience Latino culture in person.
“It’s beautiful, and people should learn more about it,” she said. “It’s important to let them know what our culture is about, to feel the music, to see how we dress, and to know there is more to know than our language. We want everyone to feel welcome.”
It also demonstrates to students from the culture that they are valued on campus, she added.
“It makes us feel welcomed, and not left out,” she said.
Huriel Sandoval-Cruz, Frankfort, encouraged Hispanic students also to join in the celebration.
“We want to welcome students from all cultures and let them know they should be proud of who they are,” he said.
JR Pico, teaching professor in Spanish and humanities, has led planning efforts for what he says will be the largest-ever fiesta held on campus. It’s important to celebrate the month to acknowledge the campus’s growing Hispanic population, which increased by about 18 percent this year.
“It makes our students feel respected, and gives them a sense of belonging,” he said. “We have something for everyone, with dance classes, free authentic Mexican food, a mariachi band, and professional singers. I want everyone to come enjoy it.”
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15.