Bidi Bidi Banda performs for Calle UTSA in front of the HEB UC. Photo Courtesy of Ann Margaret Trujillo, Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion.

Several programs and organizations at UTSA are hosting a series of events celebrating the heritages, histories and cultures of the Hispanic and LatinX communities present on campus and around the world during National Hispanic Heritage Month, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of many regions and cultures around the world.

“When people think Hispanic, they think of only Mexico. People think everything in Hispanic culture is only related to Mexico. It is not,” Vice president of the UTSA Spanish Club Karina Garcia said. “Hispanic culture represents many other voices and cultures.”

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Roadrunners and the San Antonio community are invited to attend the many UTSA centered events that celebrate the achievements and contributions of Hispanics.      

“Calle UTSA,” hosted by the Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion, occurred on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at the University Center Paseo.

The musical entertainment was provided by Selena Tribute Band Bidi Bidi Banda and UTSA student DJ Matt Hinojosa, with other performances by the Latin Dance Society, Ballet Folkorico de UTSA and Multicultural Greek Council. The event celebrated the diverse heritages and cultures that make up the Hispanic community with an array of fun activities.

A variety of specialty foods from different countries were also provided.

“We do food tastings and provide information about the different types of Latin cuisines. We had food from Ecuador, Brazil, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Cuba and other countries in Latin America. This is one way we try to include everyone within the Hispanic culture,” Ann Margaret Trujillo, associate director of the Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion, said.

The next UTSA Hispanic Heritage Month event, the Loteria GX Challenge, will be hosted by the Campus Recreation Center from Monday, Oct. 2 to Friday, Oct. 13. Students are encouraged to pick up a Loteria card by attending a group exercise class at the Recreation Center, which they can attend between Oct. 2 to Oct. 13 by coming to different classes. After completing the Loteria card, participants will win a prize.

On Thursday, Oct 12 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the sixth annual Cultural Afromestizaje Symposium will take place at the University Center Denman Room (UC 2.01.28).

The event is coordinated by bicultural-bilingual studies professor Marco Cervantes, with the topic “Breaking Borders: DJs, Beat Makers, and Black and Brown Sounds.”

The symposium will feature a panel of scholars, DJs and artists who will discuss the African-American and Hispanic histories within the DJ and beat-making culture.   

The last event of UTSA’s Hispanic Heritage Month is the Gala Latina, also hosted by the Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion, on Friday, Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. in the HEB University Center Ballrooms (HUC 1.104 and HUC 1.106).

The Gala Latina is a semi-formal banquet that includes dinner, dancing and presenting of the Outstanding Latinx Student Leadership Award–nominations for the award are currently being accepted. The keynote speaker for the Gala is Enrique Aleman–UTSA chair and professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Admission to the event is $15 for UTSA students and $20 for guests.

Every Roadrunner and community member is encouraged to attend, regardless of their racial identity. “We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month because of the general diversity on our campuses and also to spread awareness of that diversity,” Trujillo said. “We want to strengthen inclusivity and diversity on our campuses. By interacting and engaging at these events, people will become more aware, understanding and connect better with each other.”

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