Hispanic Heritage Month features music, dancing, education

Maia Brown, Reporter

The final event of this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration will be on Oct. 15 with a virtual party on Zoom.

The campus celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month included musical, dancing and educational events, and ran from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

The organizer, Samuel Cordero-Puchales, said the month gives a voice to AACC students who want to celebrate Hispanic culture.

He said he designed the events with students to show the campus community that Latinos are more than they are portrayed by typical stereotypes and that they come from diverse backgrounds.
“We are trying to … share with everybody the contributions, especially at AACC, that all Hispanics have [made] to the country,” Cordero-Puchales said.

Puchales was the first Latino to work as a computer science intern at the National Security Agency, he said. He recalled that he faced challenges and discrimination because of his accent.
That experience, in part, led him to become a part of AACC’s Hispanic Heritage Month and a greater effort to help Hispanic students feel welcome at the college.

Ana Derr, a former student who served on the planning committee for Hispanic Heritage month, said this year’s events were popular. She said one of them, “Less Cooking, Laughing Virtually,” had a “great turnout.”

For another activity, called “Voices of Hispanic Culture, We Are Here Together,” students used a padlet to share their own stories and engage with each other.

Because of the month’s events, Derr said, Hispanic students “can see that they’re not alone and that there’s a lot of Hispanic people in the community.”

Second-year communications student Joseph Hayden said the events help students “remember where you came from, so that we can learn from it and grow. If you ignore your past, you’re not going to be able to see a future.”