DePaul’s Latine community celebrates Latine Heritage Month
On Thursday, September 22, DePaul’s Latinx Cultural Center kickstarted the year with La Feria, an event celebrating the beginning of Latine Heritage month. Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 and the celebrations ensue until October 15. The event took place after sunset in the parking lot of DePaul’s Welcome Center. La Feria included an array of tabling from Latine involvement on campus, from Movimiento Estudiantil de Solidaridad y Apoyo (MESA) to the DePaul LGBTQIA Resource Center.
I walked into the scene around 7 p.m. As I neared the stage, I was greeted by colorful traditional Caribbean dancing and music. Admiring both the visual and audio aesthetics, I then ran into Maria Jose, better known as Mose, a member of DePaul Cafecito con Tepeyac. The club involves weekly tea-time discussions about the intersection between Vincentianism and Latinidad. As we talked, Mose and I were equally as surprised to learn about the variety of Latine organizations available on DePaul’s campus. A few of the ones we discussed included Cafecito con Tepeyac, MESA and Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA). La Feria helped attendees discover the myriad of Latine involvement on campus as well as simply relish the comfort the atmosphere offered both as a safe space for Latine students and faculty as well as friends.
While waiting in line for an airbrushed t-shirt, a stand surrounded by racks of trendy clothing caught my eye. Here I met Salise Sepulveda, who was tabling for the LGBTQIA center. The table was offering free clothing for anyone interested. Sepulveda is also a part of the Office of Multicultural Student Success (OMSS). I sifted through the clothing available and wondered aloud to Sepulveda, “How do you celebrate Latine heritage month?” Her response was perfect. “Simply by existing.”
A few more attractions at La Feria that I indulged in included the taco stand and the car show, with lowriders and vintage motors. There were two food options – carne asada and tacos. I eat mostly meat-free and completely dairy free, so I wondered if there were any vegetarian or dairy-free options. The taco stand was build-your-own taco, so it worked out. In line, I met two other girls and we had a simple conversation about our hometowns and commuter stories. I found a comfortable standing spot in front of the stage once more and zoned out as I relished in the sensory pleasure that the Latin American food, music and conversation brought me.
Header Illustration by Dayna Teemer