Hispanic Heritage Month begins Wednesday with an 11:30 a.m. meet-and-greet event, Bienvenida Latina, at the North Plaza. Students can mingle and learn about Hispanic student organizations on campus, as well as enjoy free food and music.
National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs through Oct. 15, is a time when Hispanic Americans’ contributions are recognized and commemorated. It was started in 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson.

Special events this week for Hispanic Heritage Month

Wednesday, Sept. 15
Bienvenida Latina
North Plaza
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 16
ODPS Common Grounds: “Language, Power and
JC, Gold Room
7:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 17
EFF Reite! Comedy Jam
JC, Dewberry
7:30 p.m.

Everyday this week:
Nuestro Orgullo Latino
JC Gallery 123
Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

“Hispanic Heritage Month is the most beautiful month of the year because it gives people the opportunity to celebrate their roots and traditions,” said Adriana Bonilla, a senior government and international politics major with a minor in Spanish. “It also gives the opportunity to other individuals from different backgrounds to learn more about the Hispanic Culture.”

“When I look into the mirror, I see all of my ancestors, and I also see all those that will become future leaders in our community,” Bonilla said.

Bonilla is of Salvadorian and Columbian ancestry and is the 2010-11 president of the Hispanic Student Association (HSA).

“Being Hispanic means so much more than how we look, how we speak and how we act,” Bonilla said. “Being Hispanic is being a part of such a long, diverse history of culture, tradition and pride.”

“It’s not just a term. Being Hispanic means much more. It is my culture, my identity and my lifestyle,” said Cristian Pineda, a junior communication major and also HSA’s public relations spokesperson.
For many others, using the term Hispanic may not do justice.

“I prefer the term Latino,” said Gladys Abreu, a senior conflict analysis and resolution major. “It is a word we gave ourselves, unlike Hispanics, which others gave to us.”

HSA is working with other organizations to put together Hispanic Heritage Month events.

Other events include the Nuestro Orgullo Latino art exhibit, a comedy jam featuring The Real World: New Orleans’ Eric Patrick and a dance party to finish the month.

For more information regarding Hispanic Heritage Month, contact Jennifer Crewalk, Assistant Director at the Office of Diversity Programs and Services, or visit their website at www.odps.gmu.edu.