By Glenn Montepiedra
Beginning Sept. 15 and ending Oct. 15, the Association of Latin American Students will host a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month by planning activities to share the Hispanic culture with the Loyola community.
Throughout the month the club will provide Loyola with several opportunities to celebrate Hispanic culture including morning reflections and recitations of literature from Hispanic writers, a celebration honoring the maintenance and security staff at Loyola, guest speakers, a cook-off event, and an opportunity to try foods from various Hispanic cultures.
Sophomore Josue Pedroza said, “Alberto Ruiz put together a viewing of the movie Stand and Deliver, a movie honoring the life’s work of Jaime Escalante, a Bolivian-American teacher who helped students from East LA to pass the AP Calculus test when the odds were against them. He also plans to get the director of Voces Inocentes, a movie about the Salvadoran civil war, to come in and talk to the club. We also have an appreciation event for the maintenance crew, even if they aren’t Hispanic.”
Senior and president of ALAS club Marco Sanchez said, “I am most excited about the maintenance staff appreciation event just because I feel that they do so much more than they’re given credit for at Loyola, and behind the scenes they stay here all night. They really are part of the community and they aren’t really appreciated as much as they should be.”
Theology teacher and club moderator Tom Cendejas said, “Hispanic Heritage Month is a time set aside to promote awareness of how rich, diverse, life-giving and life-celebrating Hispanic culture can be. Hispanic Heritage Month is a way for that culture to reconnect with who they are and feel happy and joyful about their culture.”
Cendejas said, “To say Bienvenidos in Hispanic culture is one of our cultural rules; therefore, we want this to be welcome to all students, not just those students who identify as Hispanic.”
The Loyola maintenance staff event took place on Sept. 27 at lunch time. Cendejas said, “We had messages of appreciation and wished for a good Hispanic Heritage Month. Once everyone was gathered I briefly introduced what was happening and thanked them for their service and made the connection to Hispanic Heritage Month and wanted to honor them.”