Asst. Campus Life Editor
In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, K-Poet Radio, Whittier College’s student-run online radio station, and Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A), a Whittier College Hispanic affinity club set on the encouragement of Chicano/a and Latino/a people in their pursuit of higher education, collaborated on the organization of LatinX Night. The cultural night took place on September 30th from 6 PM to 8 PM, and included a host of activities to partake in.
The event began with the serving of staple Hispanic-themed dishes catered by Mi Burrito Mexican Grill. These dishes included hard-shell tacos, able to be packed with several toppings, and vegetarian-friendly cheese enchiladas served with sides of rice and beans. There was also a wide variety of popular Hispanic beverages to choose from, such as Jarritos soda. Last but most certainly not least, each seating area was accompanied by a selection of sweet and spicy Mexican candies. All of these offerings were free and served on a first come first serve basis, with only late attendees having trouble finding something to eat.
After a majority of the attendees had a chance to grab and eat their food; the first of the two games was played, Loteria. Loteria is a traditional game of chance relating mostly to bingo, but uses images on a deck of cards instead of numbered ping-pong balls. Like other popular games, Loteria has several variations to play, for LatinX night, many attendees and I played several rounds of a millennial-themed version of Loteria, boasting cards with pictures and labels such as “El Student Debt,” “La Student Loan,” and “Las Bitcoins,” inducing laughs in many of the players. As a reward, K-Poet Radio tees were given to those who won each round.
Following several rounds of Loteria, attendees began to gather around the hosting area for the event, standing before a set of chairs placed back to back with one another. What ensued afterward were some very fun (and exhilarating to watch) rounds of musical chairs, the second of the games played. In pace with the upbeat music being played, students speedily walked around the arrangement of chairs before quickly clamoring for a spot to sit when the music suddenly stopped, each round becoming more anxiety-inducing than the last. The same reward was also offered for those participating in the game, increasing the player’s competitiveness.
To provide attendees with one more opportunity to win a prize, a raffle was held. Used as the centerpiece to each of the tables attendees sat at, a can of beans was situated. Participants of the event had to guess to the best of their ability how many beans sat in their can. The closest to guessing the actual number of beans would win the aforementioned prize.
To close out the night, a majority of the event-goers took up hands with their friends and partners and began dancing along to various Hispanic songs. One memorable scene of the night was that of seeing students form a dance circle with multiple attendees flowing in and out of the ring showing their practiced dance moves. The peak of the night dancing occurred when the popular line-dancing song “El Payaso del Rodeo,” by Caballo Dorado began playing. Being familiar to many of the student’s ears, attendees danced in formation in rhythm with the music. It was noticeable that the highlight for many of the participant’s was dancing with their friends or meeting new people whilst doing so.
Unfortunately, the night had to come to an end, but the fun experiences shared will surely be remembered by many who went. Not only did the attendees have a fun time with the event, but so did the organizers from K-Poet Radio and M.E.Ch.A who were able to bring the event to life and provide as many enjoyable experiences as possible for those who came. And while the organizers at K-Poet Radio and M.E.Ch.A should be applauded for their ability to host such an entertaining event, they should be commended even more for their success in providing a cultural experience for Hispanic and Latino/as during Hispanic Heritage Month. LatinX Night brought Whittier College students from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, and allowed them the chance to experience an authentic Hispanic cultural event that they may have never had the opportunity to do before. This Whittier College event did what countless other Whittier College events do best, bringing the college’s community ever closer together.
Photo Courtesy of Alex Romero / Quaker Campus