By MARCOS BROCH & JOEL RAMIREZ, NEWS3 Reporter & Guest Reporter
MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) — Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 is celebrated nationwide as National Hispanic Heritage Month. At WIU, the Multicultural Center and Casa Latina host a variety of events that recognize the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans in the United States.
“Latin heritage month really gives you a restart with your own culture and your own identity,” said Eiran Saucedo-Rodarte, a graduate assistant at Casa Latina in the Multicultural Center. “Your culture and your identity are something that should be celebrated.”
For some WIU students who identify as part of this community, these types of events are very much appreciated, as they say they make them feel closer to home.
“Being around people who grew up the way I did and have traditions similar to mine and pillars that are similar to mine makes me feel more secure and makes me feel like I have my home,” said senior Israel Alberto.
While for other students, these events are an opportunity to learn more about other cultures and the Latinx Community.
We have also seen a rising trend of students that do not identify within the Latinx community that also come out to the events, Saucedo-Rodarte said.
Sophomore Grace Wright signed up for the events because “I want to learn, I’ve always been open-minded and wanted to get experience to be able to talk to everybody.”
Although she is part of the community, sophomore Kaitlyn Crisantos said she “didn’t know too much about the Latinx community” when she first came to college. “These events definitely opened my eyes, and now I’m more open-minded.”
Meyani Montano, another graduate assistant at Casa Latina, said the Multicultural Center makes an effort to promote “diversity, equity, and inclusion, and making sure we create spaces where they feel safe, comfortable but also celebrated.”
Although the Latinx Heritage Month celebration is about to end, the Multicultural Center, along with Casa Latina, offers a lot of opportunities throughout the year to learn more about other cultures.