Celebration and understanding different cultures is the objective behind this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month at Eastern New Mexico University, and coordinators say the free events are open to both students and the public.
Daniela Garcia, director of Hispanic Affairs at ENMU, said the month of recognition is geared to educate people about the Hispanic culture, such as the differences in the music and cooking.
“I think it’s important to celebrate the culture. It gives students the opportunity to learn things about their own culture they don’t know, and (educates non-Hispanic students ) making them a well-rounded person,” Garcia said.
This year’s Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 during weekdays, according to Garcia. All events are free and open to the public, but some require a reservation to ensure adequate supplies will be on hand for the event.
Garcia said there’s no new additions to the routine festivities, just different musical performers, guest speakers and foods made during the cooking classes from last year.
“We change it up each year, so people aren’t seeing and hearing the same things,” Garcia said.
ENMU psychology major Maria De La Cruz came to ENMU about two years ago. She said she enjoys teaching others what her heritage is, and the differences in the language, food and music.
De La Cruz said she hopes to learn more from this year’s heritage month, and hopes non-Hispanics get a better understanding of her culture after this year’s festivities.