Latinx Heritage Month kicks off next week

Event aims to celebrate cultural diversity, help educate community



Carlos Salazar, a retention counselor for the Chicanx Latinx Student Center, talks about the inclusiveness of Latinx Heritage Month on Tuesday afternoon.

CHERYL AARNIO, Evergreen reporter

In celebration of Latinx Heritage Month, several sponsors on campus including University Recreation and the School of Languages, Cultures and Race will host a series of events over the next few weeks.

The events will be held in different locations throughout the CUB and Chinook from Sept. 19 to Oct. 16. Among the activities are Zumba dance lessons, a trivia night and workshops.

“[The celebration is] one way to show these [Latinx] students that we’re here for them,” said Daniel Liera-Huchim, School of Languages, Cultures and Race program coordinator. “That is our way of making them feel connected back to home.”

Carlos Salazar, the Chicanx Latinx Student Center assistant director, coordinated the Latinx Heritage Month celebration.

“It’s basically showcasing who we are as a people … with our diverse music, our food, our culture,” Salazar said.

The workshops are meant to showcase Latin America as a whole not just Mexico, he said.

Liera-Huchim said the event is meant to be less formal with more engagement through activities like dance lessons and workshops.

Both he and Salazar said this is an event for all students and for the WSU community.

“We’re trying to include as many people as possible,” Salazar said.

In the future, he would like to get the Pullman community involved.

“We just want everybody to understand who we are,” Liera-Huchim said.

The event required a whole team to put it together, Salazar said, including UREC, ASWSU and numerous organizations. Students, faculty and staff also helped in the planning process.

Manuel Acevedo, director of Multicultural Student Services, also had a supportive role in the event.

“I’ve been pushing hard for speakers,” Acevedo said.

In the future, he would like nationally-recognized speakers at the Latinx Heritage Month celebration in hopes to increase participation and attendance.

He said he is happy that there is a stronger program than last year.

“I’m excited about seeing people engaging and getting to know more about this community,” Acevedo said.

Marcela Pattinson, co-chair for Chicanx Latinx Faculty and Staff Association and Allies, said she and her team helped plan the event as well.

“The idea is to just create awareness,” Pattinson said. “It’s a space to embrace diversity and share it.”

The kickoff is from noon to 2 p.m. on Sept. 19 with food and workshops including soccer, Zumba, a jazz band and Folklorico dance.