Latinx Heritage Month (LHM), or Hispanic Heritage month, is celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Mills and the Latinx club on campus, Mujeres Unidas, celebrates the month by hosting an array of events including the LHM kick-off, Ballet Folklorico and dinner at Founder’s. These events serve to celebrate and share the culture with the community.
To incorporate the anniversaries of Latin American independence, the celebration of Latinx Heritage spans one month. Five countries observe their independence days on Sept. 15: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, and Mexico on Sept. 16, Chile on Sept.18 and Belize on Sept. 21.
LHM is for students to bring a piece of their culture and home to campus. For others, it’s an understanding and appreciation of a different culture.
Sophomore Gladis Munguia, who identifies as a Salvadorian American Latina,
previously attended schools that didn’t observe LHM and was not aware that September begins LHM until she came to Mills last fall.
“I grew up in a household that spoke predominately Spanish,” Munguia said. “Being Latina was just who I was, I wasn’t told much about it, like I didn’t know the history of my country.”
Mujeres Unidas, has been working alongside the Ethnic Studies Department, Diversity and Social Justice Resource Center, Associated Students of Mills College and School of Education to host events throughout the month.
One recent event that Mujeres Unidas hosted was the Ballet Folklorico workshop on Sept. 11. Participants met in the Student Union to attend a lecture and learn choreography from instructor Steven Koneffklatt of Ballet Folklorico Costa De Oro.
“I liked the diversity of students that were [present],” class of ’78 alumnae Albertina Zarazúa Padilla said about the event. “I liked the history and flourishes in some of the steps and how some dances have evolved or changed. He spoke about dances from 50 years ago and I remember them.”
Padilla thinks that the sisterhood she saw at the event should be integral to curriculum and daily life.
“The importance is that it serves to share our stories and serves a solid foundation for Latina students to participate in a global world future,” Padilla said. “When you’re strong in foundation, you’re strong all around and strong in your story.”
President of Mujeres Unidas, junior Laura Elizarraras, has been working closely with her fellow club members to put together fun and educational events for the community.