Eastern New Mexico University will embark on a Mexican Independence Day celebration today, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Campus Union Ballroom.
The ENMU Hispanic Affairs organization is sponsoring the event.
“It allows the community to celebrate their culture,” Student Advisor of Hispanic Affairs Nancy Valeras said. “It shows how diverse the community is. We celebrate Cinco De Mayo with the community. We work with groups such as Cultura Organization from Portales. We’ve (ENMU Hispanic Affairs) established a good relationship with the community.”
According to Varelas, some ENMU students helped out on Sunday with the Dia de Los Familias event which took place at Lindsey Park. The event had bands and barbecue.
There will be a dance group named the Raramuri from Chihuahua, Mexico at 5:30 p.m. The group of dancers who will perform dances from different states of Mexico. The fireworks display will take place in between the ENMU bookstore and the water fountain after the dance. There will also be prizes given away.
Varelas was born in Chihuahua and realizes how important it is to never forget her background.
“I respect the fourth of July holiday, but I believe it’s important for us to celebrate the Mexican Independence Day,” Varelas said. “You have to keep your culture. You can never change that.”
Last year the Saving Our Youth mariachi band performed and the Hispanic Affairs Organization sponsored a barbecue in the Dallen Sanders Plaza.
“We expect a lot of people from the community and ENMU students,” Valeras said. “We had a good turnout last year. It’s really important to teach our Hispanic kids who are born here our (Mexican) culture. They’re not going to know where they came from if they don’t hear it from us.”
Mexico claimed it’s independence from Spanish rule in a time when Napoleon invaded Spain and he imposed his brother, Jose Bonaparte, as the king of Spain, and ruler of Mexico. He was the king of Spain from 1808 to 1810.
Father Hidalgo rang the bell of his church in the early hours on Sept. 16, 1810, declaring Mexico’s independence and calling for everyone to fight a war, which would last 10 years.