Latinx culture on display

Latino Heritage Week represented the Valley’s Hispanic community.

By Aimee Martinez, Valley Life Editor

Photo by Solomon Smith/The Valley Star

Valley College presented Latino Heritage Week using cultural staples to highlight the Latinx community on campus.

Sponsored by Mi Comunindad, Chicano Studies and ASU, students were welcome to participate in a number of activities that shared issues and traditions unique to the Latinx community.

The “Know Your Rights” Workshop started off the week with an immigration update on the Federal “Public Charge” Rule. The workshop was hosted by the Workforce Development and Dream Resource Center. According to NPR, the rule named “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds,” would make it more challenging for immigrants in need of public assistance to attain a green card. This kind of aid would include food stamps, cash assistance and housing subsidies.

Wednesday livened the Student Union Plaza with tamales and music by Columbian music group La Sonora Dinamita — musicians credited with popularizing the rebirth of the cumbia genre across Latin America. The plaza was bustling with students as they watched the performance and waited in line for free food. In attendance were clubs like YDSA, Equal Advocates, STEM, Broadcasting and Abilities.

“I love the representation,” said criminal justice major Karina Ochoa. “I’m Hispanic so I love the fact that they’re taking the time to show our culture. I love the music. It makes me feel empowered.”

Thursday celebrated Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with colorful student altars adorned with festive skulls, crocheted tablecloths, and personalized foods. Throughout the celebration, a moderate number of visitors checked out displays of departed loved ones. Absent from the event were the In Tlanextli Tlacopan Aztec Fire Dancers scheduled to perform. The dancers had gotten into a car accident and none of them were injured. Instead, a documentary on Los Angeles’ Day of the Dead was shown.

“We are one of the most diverse campuses not only in the district but in the state,” said Associate Dean of Student Equity Llanet Martin. “It is important that our students feel a sense of belonging, that they feel seen, celebrated and welcomed. The best way to do that is first to highlight and celebrate them.”

Nov. 8 will conclude the Latinx heritage celebration with the sixth Annual Latinx Youth Leadership Conference in Monarch Hall from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm. In addition, Latinx books will continue to be available for check out in the Library until Nov. 15.

Mickie Shaw contributed to this report.