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The Blue & Gray Press | December 17, 2018

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UMW community celebrates Latino Culture with month of celebration


The University of Mary Washington is hosting several events to celebrate Latino Awareness Month throughout September.

The Latino Student Association (LSA) and James Farmer Multicultural Center worked together to plan events. There will be a discussion entitled “D.R.E.A.M.  Act or Nightmare,” which is set to explore the effect of the D.R.E.A.M. Act on Sept. 19.

On Sept. 21 there will be a speech from motivational speaker Bobby Gonzalez, who will speak of how he grew up in a bicultural environment. There will be a Zumba Bash on Sept. 26 as an exploration of Latin roots in popular music.

Daphne Tsamouras is a sophomore art major with both Greek and Mexican backgrounds.

“I think it’s a good idea to have events, but because UMW is so short on Latinos [and] Latinas I think there are better and more entertaining ways to get the whole school involved,” said Tsamouras.

22 percent of UMW students identify as African American, Indian, Latino or multicultural.

Latino Awareness Month did not officially begin until Sept. 15, but often the entire month of September is celebrated. Sept. 15 marks the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Each is held to show the significance during their fights for independence.

“I don’t do anything special for the month because I’m aware of my heritage and celebrate it every day,” said Tsamouras.

The month is most often observed by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

“It’s nice to know it exists because the Latino community is seen in a negative way,” said Tsamoura.

The celebrations and lectures will help people learn and reconnect with the Latino culture. “Discover the importance of culture in our daily lives and decisions,” according to a brochure from the James Farmer Multicultural Center.