Matt Lutz. Alma Latina opens Hispanic Heritage Month with Latin Fest. September 21, 2004
Latin Fest encouraged students and faculty to learn about ten different Latin countries through informational display boards. The countries were selected by Alma Latina’s interim president and Latin Fest DJ, Esteban Renderos.
Renderos said he chose to include countries that people don’t normally consider Latin, such as Peru and Trinidad and Tobago. In addition, he said, He deliberately did not display Mexico because he wants to raise awareness that there is more to the Latin world than just Mexico and its culture.
“Do you speak Mexican?” Renderos recalled being asked once.
His reply? “Mexican isn’t a language.”
Through Alma Latina and Hispanic Heritage Month, Renderos’ goal is to redefine the campus concept of Latino, as well as raise awareness of the rich variety of cultures included in that term.
Through Renderos’ redefinition of Alma Latina, exploring Latin America would become a greater focus within the organization. Renderos wants to celebrate and demonstrate more about what it means to be Latino in the U.S. and also what it means outside of the U.S.
“We don’t just salsa dance,” he said. “We also do spoken word.”
He added that when students think Latino, he wants them to be thinking about the faces in Alma Latina.
Renderos said he’s concerned with the current membership numbers for Alma Latina, which are around 15 members…
Hamline’s Oracle (student newspaper) is running under Movable Type! And under full school staff permission! Hot stuff!
Stephen Renderos’ still got some wild organizing going on there (although the “Latin” and “countries” is bugging me)