by Raechel Fittante
Cinco de Mayo, the Mexican holiday which honors the peasant uprising against the French in Mexico, has been celebrated on campus all week long through the efforts of the Latino Student Forum (LSF).
The string of events for the week had been planned by LSF since Cinco de Mayo, 1994, when plans for a week-long festival were cancelled at the last minute. Fundraisers by LSF and contributions from the Associate Student Federation (ASF) Forum made it possible for the recognition of the holiday.
Cenia Camacho, sophomore and LSF treasurer said, “We’ve been wanting to do something big for Cinco de Mayo for a long time. There hasn’t been enough [cultural] awareness on campus.”
The activities conclude this weekend. There will be a Mariachi Picnic today at 11:30 a.m. in the quad, in which different Latin American foods will be served and a CD player will be raffled off from the tickets sold all week. The picnic is free for all students with meal cards and will include a live Mariachi band.
The week-long string of events will come to a close tomorrow evening, with the sixth annual “Bienvenida Dinner” as the finale.
The dinner is a formal affair for parents and family of Latino students and will be held in Davenport at 5:30 p.m. Those who wish to attend must RSVP today to ensure seating.
Along with a buffet dinner of cultural entrées, there will also be entertainment, including ballet and Spanish folklore dancing performed by El Monte High School students.
Diane Rodriguez, who was one of the original founders of El Teatro Campecino, will be the guest speaker. El Teatro Campecino, through the performance of plays, consolidated the Latino farmers to become aware of the injustices inflicted toward them and rise against government oppression.
Rodriguez will be speaking to the audience about her experiences, as well as presenting a one-act play as an example of what El Teatro Campecino still does today.
On Monday, the first day of May, the ULV Latin American Jazz Ensemble played in Davenport Dining Hall during dinner hours to present and express cultural music to those who may have never experienced hearing it before.
Vendors visited campus on Tuesday afternoon, giving students the opportunity to sample traditional Mexican food, such as churros and homemade sno-cones. Novelties such as shirts and towels were also for sale. LSF members were present at the tables in the quad to answer questions about their organization, including Dina De La O, Juan Pablo Miramontes, Jaime Luna and Luis Morales.
Luna, a senior, said, “This week was to get people aware of Cinco de Mayo and LSF. It was to remind people that the Mexican culture is part of California; it is California.”
LSF has only 12 active members at the present time and wishes to increase awareness through student interest in cultural education.
“Latino Family in the 90’s” was the topic of the lecture given by Dr. Mary Prieto-Bayard yesterday in Founders Auditorium. The lecture noted changes in Latino family values, but encouraged the survival of culture and tradition in the home.
Commenting on the intent of the week, junior Miramontes said, “It creates community among ULV and Latino students. LSF is open/ to people who want to learn and know more about the Latin American culture.”