By Carlos Fernandez, CLAC Director
On November 3, the Latino Student Council and the Center for Latino Arts and Culture celebrated their 25nd Annual Latino Heritage Month Opening Ceremonies at the Cook Campus Center.
The Latino Student Council (LSC) at Rutgers University established Latino Heritage Month in 1990 to help bring recognition to the diverse histories, cultural traditions, and social and political experiences of U.S. populations originating from countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
In contrast with Hispanic Heritage Month—enacted in 1988 and celebrated nationally from September 15 to October 15—Latino Heritage Month provides an opportunity for Latino student organizations to produce a variety of programs for the larger community at Rutgers during the heart of the fall semester.
The theme for this year’s program was Celebrating Music! The keynote speaker was Dr. Salvador Mena, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Dr. Mena, who joined Rutgers this fall, discussed how music was part of his family upbringing and is a constitutive part of his cultural identity.
The program also included CLAC Director Dr. Carlos Fernandez, a guitarist and singer, who performed songs from various Latin American countries, including Cuba, Nicaragua, Chile and Argentina, as well as RU Salsa which performed wonderfully stylized renditions of Latin dance.
The program ended with carnival masked dance performances by the Asociacion de Diablos Cojuelos de New York (ADICOONY). Food was provided by Dominican Restaurant Pikalonga.