Latinx community celebrates heritage

Student organizations host events through October

Maritay+Mendoza-Quiroz+celebrated+Hispanic+Heritage+Month+at+an+event+in+2021%2C+wearing+traditional+clothing.+

COURTESY OF MICHAEL HEIM

Maritay Mendoza-Quiroz celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month at an event in 2021, wearing traditional clothing.

PUNEET BSANTI

National Hispanic Heritage Month, which celebrates the stories and contributions of Hispanic-Americans, starts on Thursday and will continue until Oct. 15. 

To celebrate, the Chicanx Latinx Student Center, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx De Aztlán, Crimson Group and several multicultural organizations plan on putting on multiple events. 

Antonio Fajardo-Mora, second-year senior psychology major, encourages students to follow these groups on social media to learn more about the Latinx Heritage Month events. 

“It’s my last year at WSU so I really want to put an emphasis not only supporting the Latinx communities, but also other communities like the Black community, the queer community, the undocumented community. Anybody that I can connect with,” he said. 

Fajardo-Mora is a mentor for the African American Student Center and spent a lot of time last year in the CLSC. Nowadays, he spends his time going center to center on the fourth floor of the Compton Union Building, he said. 

Born in Michoacán Mexico, Fajardo-Mora said his family moved to Everett, where he was raised when he was 4 years old. He lived in a low-income community and dealt with the stigma surrounding that.

“There’s so many people of color living in the area that I was raised in, so there were a lot of rumors with people saying that’s a bad community,” he said. 

Since coming to WSU, Fajardo-Mora said he got more in touch with his culture through the organizations on the fourth floor of the CUB and cares about supporting multicultural communities. 

Maritay Mendoza-Quiroz, senior political science and foreign languages double major and College Assistance Migrant Program student coordinator, said some events for Hispanic Heritage Month are not confirmed but are being planned.

One confirmed event is an informational meeting, led by MeChA, celebrating the independence days of all Latinx countries. Friday is Mexican Independence Day, but Mendoza-Quiroz said MeChA want to be inclusive with all the Latinx countries. The meeting will be at 5 p.m. in the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education, room 202. 

Mendoza-Quiroz said the Crimson Group is also hosting a meeting, which will discuss racial injustices and discrimination against different minority groups at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the CUB, room 204. 

On Oct. 6, there will be a pizza and movie night at 4:30 p.m. in Wilson-Short Hall, room 12 which is sponsored by Camaradas and the Department of History. The film that will be playing is called “Zoot Suit” and follows the murder of a Mexican-American person at a party, which led to the arrest of 600 Chincanas and Chicanos who were accused of murder. 

If students want to learn more about events going on, Mendoza-Quiroz said they can visit the Chicanx Latinx Student Center, where flyers are usually hung. 

“I feel like during this month is gonna be really good to just go and connect with more students from different Latin countries,” she said. 

Mendoza-Quiroz is from Baja California, Mexico, and came to the U.S. just five years ago. She said she struggled with learning English, which made her very shy at the start of her freshman year at WSU. 

“Even now, I’m still learning, I’m still practicing and that is why I am really involved with the community,” she said. 

Mendoza-Quiroz said being a mentor at Undocumented Initiatives gives her the opportunity to help out new students whose second language is also English. She said she wants to help them feel comfortable by connecting with them. 

“Going to events happening on the fourth floor [of the CUB] and events that other mentors are putting on for students helped me connect with other people and with the community,” she said. “My freshman year had a lot of opportunities with that community, and also opening the doors for me to get out of my comfort zone.”