W&L Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month The Comunidad Latina Estudiantil has planned and organized numerous events in collaboration with the Office of Inclusion and Engagement.
This year’s Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) celebration at Washington and Lee University is packed with activities for the entire campus. HHM is observed from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 and celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Washington and Lee’s Hispanic and Latinx student organization, Comunidad Latina Estudiantil (CLE), has planned and organized numerous events for this period in collaboration with the university’s Class of 1994 Office of Inclusion and Engagement (OIE).
The kickoff for the month’s schedule of events was a Sept. 15 outdoor fiesta with food from Tres Veces Feliz taco truck and snow cones on Cannan Green. CLE hosted the gathering with assistance from OIE, the university’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program, the Student Activities office, the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, Residence Life and Around the Globe, a new global cultural-dance student organization.
The second event was CLE’s first student body meeting of the semester. This session took place at the Nuestro Hogar Latino theme house on Sept. 18. Through this event, CLE welcomed its newest members to the Latinx student community on campus.
On Sept. 24, CLE organized a sunset drive in Rockbridge County. Shuttles were arranged to pick up students from the quad in front of Davis Hall for a relaxing drive to watch the sunset over the nearby mountains.
CLE is also keen to engage faculty during Hispanic Heritage Month. The organization will offer a dinner with Latinx-identifying professors on Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. at the law school pavilion. Students are invited to meet and converse with professors while sharing a meal together.
In collaboration with Around the Globe, CLE will offer a Latin dance workshop on Oct. 1 as a part of their weekend get-together, “Tío’s Weekend.” The workshop will take place at the Nuestro Hogar Latino theme house at 8 p.m.
CLE and OIE will host their annual dance, the “Baile,” on Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. in Evans Hall. The Baile will be open to the public and tickets will be sold online in advance of the event, as well as at the event itself.
In addition to being an incredibly fun function, Baile serves as a fundraising vehicle for a selected area non-profit. Last year’s Baile was voted the campus event of the year at the university’s annual LEAD awards banquet and all of the dance’s proceeds were donated to the Latinos in Virginia Empowerment Center. This year, the ticket sales will be donated to ESOL’s summer program, “Programa SOL,” which provides accessible academic emergence programming and social activities for Lexington youth.
Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, the Tea House, located in the Kenneth P. Ruscio Center for Global Learning, will sell Latinx drinks such as the “Abuelita Hot Chocolate” and Jarritos soda to show their support.
To keep up with the events CLE will be hosting this academic year, follow the organization on their Instagram @wlu.cle.