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CLC students celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Last fall, the College of Lake County held numerous events to celebrate the rich culture of Latinos. Hispanic Heritage Month commenced on September 15th until October 15th. During that, we highlighted Latinos’ important contributions and came together as a community to celebrate Hispanic culture.

Many events were going on during this busy month such as the showcasing of “A Million Miles Away”, National Taco Day, Sabor Latino, and putting up the alter for Day of the Dead.

In the film, “A Million Miles Away,” Jose Hernandez is determined to become an astronaut even though the odds are against him. His perseverance and discipline are what led him to become one of the crew members of the space shuttle mission.

On October 4th, CLC was handing out tacos for National Taco Day. Many students lined up to taste the delicious tacos with salsa.

Rodolfo Ruiz-Velasco, the Latinx Student Outreach and Programs Coordinator, directed and organized many of the events including Sabor Latino. “Sabor Latino” translates to “Latin flavor.” In the event, Sabor Latino, there was corn in a cup and chicharones. Students could add Valentina (a type of spicy sauce), butter, lime juice, and cheese to their liking.

“We are trying to give students a taste of street food,” said Ruiz-Velasco. He emphasized how they were giving out corn because it’s not just popular in Mexico, but all of Latin America.

Ruiz-Velasco shed light on the importance for students who are not Latinos to try different foods and learn about other cultures. He also comments on how in the United States, there is a blending of cultures and how the growing Latino population has influenced other cultures.

When asked about his personal experiences with Latin food, Ruiz Velasco reminisced how in his childhood he would often eat pozole. “I am originally from Guadalajara, Mexico so a lot of the popular food we eat is pozole, tacos de birria, tortas ahogadas, and of course, tacos!”

“Food is very important in all cultures but especially in Latino culture. When we celebrate, we celebrate with food,” said Ruiz-Velasco.

Ruiz-Velasco emphasized the importance of having events like Sabor Latino at CLC because these events bring students together and help them learn about other cultures. “Latino students feel validated and that their culture matters in events like these,” Ruiz-Velasco said.

He shed light on how events like Sabor Latino help students feel like they belong. The premise of the event was for students who were passing by to reminisce about their memories and their families.

“It’s important to have different cultural events so that students from different cultures feel validated and that their culture matters,” said Ruiz-Velasco.

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