Mishawaka – As September wraps up, we’d like to remember some special events that were held on campus for Hispanic Heritage Month, which is continuing into October 15th. One exciting event was Salsa Night, where students got to learn and practice dancing in the salsa style and purchase boxes of candy from different Latin-American countries as a fundraiser for Unidos, Bethel’s Latino student fellowship. Another event called Heart-to-Heart invited students to come and share or listen about Hispanic Heritage Month and what it is like to be part of a minority group. Finally, on September 25th, a chapel celebration took place with Mexican folkloric dance, Spanish worship songs, and speaker Kerwin Rodriquez. Moving into October, there will be another chapel celebration on the 13th with Pastor Joann Rosario, a Psalmist and recording artist. That afternoon, there will be an independence celebration on the Slab at 3 p.m. with a live band and piñata. A bilingual worship night for students and members of the community will be happening later that evening.
After Hispanic Heritage Month is over, there will be more events put on by Unidos that students should look forward to. There are tentative plans to have a night of Lotería, which is a traditional Mexican game similar to bingo, and a game night for Los Tres Reyes Magos after Christmas. By April, there will be an end-of-the-year gathering called La Despedida for whoever would like to come. As details for these events are still being worked out, there should be more information available soon.
When I asked Tania Gonzalez, the president of Unidos, to tell me why she believes these events are so important to students, she said, “It gives them a sense of connection to campus and also to culture, because I know when I was a freshman, these things weren’t as known or talked about, and I feel like now they’re definitely announced more so people can go to the events. It’s also a sense of belonging to campus for Hispanic students, and then they can also meet more people who relate to them.”