By Amanda Nardiello
Sacred Heart University’s Latino Club, La Hispanidad, kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month on Sept.15, with its second annual Salsa Night.
The event kicked off at 7 p.m. with nachos, salsa, sour cream and other ethnic food. After students were done eating, the salsa dancing began.
Students of all ages came together on 63’s Patio and learned salsa dancing by professional dance instructors from Alisa’s House of Salsa in New Haven.
“Dancing is an important part of our culture,” said freshman Ryan Badillo.
Badillo joined La Hispanidad to feel more connected with his heritage.
“I am a Mexican from California, so when I saw a Hispanic club on campus, I thought it would be perfect to join,” said Badillo. “In Connecticut, I feel like a huge minority. Salsa Night made me feel like I was at home.”
Being one of the oldest student-run clubs at Sacred Heart, La Hispanidad’s co-presidents, senior, copy editor of Spectrum, Christian Colon, and junior Manuela Contreras, have revamped the club.
“Christian and I met during the orientation leader program. We started working together and I found a passion to share my culture with the Sacred Heart community,” said Contreras. “Being able to work with this club gave me the opportunity to meet people of similar culture, as well as other cultures. It’s amazing to see the support of other cultures and open-mindedness that we hope to spread.”
Contreras has a different perspective on life because she was born and raised in Colombia. Contreras shared how her culture has shaped her into the person she is today.
“With recent news and all the negativity on Hispanic cultures, I hope to bring light to the good aspects of our culture,” said Contreras. “We want to showcase the best parts of our culture and the great impacts we have had on our American History.”
La Hispanidad has especially played a big part in Colon’s Sacred Heart career.
“I joined my freshman year and as a senior I have been part of the club for the past three years,” said Colon. “I became an e-board member my junior year and it has honestly been one of the best things that I have been a part of. It’s a chance for me to embrace my culture and share my story to the Sacred Heart community.”
This multicultural organization provides opportunities for students interested in the Hispanic culture. It also connects Latino students with their own background.
Salsa Night is one of the many events that La Hispanidad is having this month. They will also be contributing to a viewing party for the presidential debate on Sept. 26. They will also be hosting a movie night to watch “The 33” on Oct. 4 and will be posting influential Hispanic icons around the hallways until Hispanic Heritage Month ends on Oct.15.
La Hispanidad meets Thursday nights at 8 p.m. in UC 110. Students can also look out for emails with more information about upcoming events.