GV organizations recognize Hispanic Heritage Month


GVL / Macayla Cramer

Chloe Schram, Staff Writer

Every year in the United States Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 to commemorate the people whose ancestors came from Spain and Latin American nations.

Signifying the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries of Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, Sept. 15 became the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month in 1968. The month is now celebrated nationwide to honor the traditions and contributions of the Latino and Hispanic communities in America.

Joining the multitude of different methods of celebration, Grand Valley State University has begun collaborations with different organizations across campus for this year’s recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Aiming to celebrate campus diversity through programs and events, the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) at GVSU collaborates with student organizations like the Latino Student Union to host events and provide opportunities for communities to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

Assistant Director of the OMA, Thalia Guerra-Flores is the program lead for GVSU’s Laker Familia Program, which is part of the Laker Connections Program. She plans events across campus for the Laker community to learn more about and celebrate the latino culture.

“I think it’s important to host these types of events because it teaches the GVSU community about how great our culture is,” said Guerra-Flores. “We are very proud of our roots and are willing to teach others if they are interested.”

Two of these events have already taken place and, according to the OMA’s webpage, more are still to come.

On Oct. 31, there will be a Día de los Muertos altar celebration and viewing. The altar will be on display from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Room 1204 of GVSU’s Kirkhof Center. On Tuesday, Nov. 1, the community will also be celebrating at the altar with sweet bread and coffee from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

These programs not only allow Latinx students to connect and celebrate with their community, but also help other communities learn more about Latino and Hispanic culture.

The LSU partnered with the OMA to create programming for Hispanic Heritage Month as well but did not respond to the Lanthorn’s request for comment regarding such plans.

Founded in 1978 with the help of the OMA, the LSU aims to provide a place for Latino and Hispanic communities at GVSU to find community and form connections with those that are part of their culture.

The organization welcomes anyone who is interested in learning more about the vibrant Latino culture and works to create events and opportunities that connect people of this lineage all year round, not just during Hispanic Heritage Month.