Kicking off Latino heritage month with Latinos Unidos

Dancers at the Latino Heritage Festival, 2021. Submitted by Wendy Soto.

Dancers at the Latino Heritage Festival, 2021. Submitted by Wendy Soto.

by Kyle Werner, Feature Editor

Hispanic Independence Day marks the beginning of Latino Heritage Month, Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, and Latinos Unidos is planning on taking it to the next level this year. 

The mission statement of Latinos Unidos includes inclusivity for those interested through “events and activities such as study breaks, discussion groups, dinners, and movie nights.” And this year, they will be doing precisely that. 

Latinos Unidos president, Wendy Soto, gives insight into what they will be planning for the coming weeks to celebrate, kicking the month off with celebrating Hispanic Independence Day on Sept. 15 in conjunction with the International Students Organization (ISO).

“The event will take place on the Patio outside of Holy Grounds. There will be food, music, and a pinata,” Soto said.

Sept. 15 is significant across Latin America as well as here on campus, as it marks the day that Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua were able to declare their independence from Spanish rule. 

Mexico celebrates its independence from Spain on Sept. 16 and Chile on Sept. 18.

Kylie Torres explains the importance of celebrating Latino Heritage Month. 

“It is important to celebrate Latino heritage month because Latinos have faced massive amounts of discrimination and hatred throughout the years,” Torres said.

Latino Heritage Month is a celebration of Latino cultures, customs, and freedom from colonizers. 

“It celebrates fighting for countries and territories that still deserve their freedom to this day. It is our blood and our ancestors that we continue to be proud of and rep day in and day out,” Torres said.

Latinos Unidos will be continuing to celebrate Latino Heritage Month by hosting a movie night and a game night. These are still being planned, so keep an eye out for a date and time. 

Soto also wants to promote education and local support throughout the month. “We also plan to post on social media promoting Latinx-owned businesses and the history behind Hispanic Heritage Month!”

Latinos Unidos will continue to host events throughout the year. They will celebrate Dia de Los Muertos at the beginning of November. 

“At the beginning of November, we plan to make an ofrenda at the chapel. Last year we had Simpson students send in their photos of their loved ones, and we helped frame them to put on the ofrenda. We had a lot of fun doing it last year, and we plan to continue this tradition this year,” Soto said.

Keep an eye out for upcoming events, promotions of Latinx-owned businesses and the history behind Latino Heritage Month on their Instagram: @latinosunidossc