Students say ‘adios’ to HHM

Katrina Prehoda

People wait in line to get tacos from El Norteno on Sept. 22 on Jesse Rogers Memorial Promenade. Photo by Gabriella Solis.
People wait in line to get tacos from El Norteno on Sept. 22 on Jesse Rogers Memorial Promenade. Photo by Gabriella Solis.

Hispanic Heritage Month, also called HHM, concluded on Oct. 15. There were 12 events held on and off campus to celebrate the month.

1. The film Peril and Promise was held at the Wichita Falls public library at 6 p.m. on Sept. 15. This film was the sixth episode of the PBS series about Latino-Americans and undocumented immigrants. Following the film, there was a panel discussion initiated by Dr. David Barbosa where attendees could ask questions about the film.

2. Cocina y baila was held at 6 p.m. at the Sunwatcher Clubhouse on Sept. 16. Students who attended learned how to cook Hispanic meals and got dance lessons from Claudia Montoya, associate professor of Spanish.

“It was a blast,” said Ashley Viar, marketing junior. “Dr. Montoya was great at getting people to come out of their comfort zone and in the mood to dance.”

Seth Miranda, history freshman, also attended. “It was a fun evening. We learned a few quick and easy Hispanic recipes as well as a few dance moves from Dr. Montoya. That was my favorite part,” Miranda said.

3. On Sept. 17, comedian Jose Barrientos performed for students in the Clark Student Center at 8 p.m. The event was free for students with an MSU ID.

Mary Whitaker, undecided sophomore, enjoyed the act. “I thought he was pretty funny,” Whitaker said. “Although I had never heard of him before, I would definitely go see him again if he came to Wichita Falls or even Dallas,” Whitaker said.

4. El Norteños hosted Taco Truck Tuesday on Sept. 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Jesse Rogers Promenade. Most of the menu items offered were less than $6, including tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and taquitos.

Melissa Hayes, dental hygiene senior, said, “I loved being able to grab a quick bite to eat while walking across campus. I think the school could really benefit from having more food trucks available to students and staff on campus, instead of just having to choose between Chick-Fil-A or the Burrito Bowl.”

5. Also on Sept. 22 was the Hispanic Heritage Display held all day in the Atrium. The displays gave information about Hispanic leaders in the United States and at MSU.

Colton Carlisle, athletic training sophomore, enjoyed the display. “I thought it was a great idea to have a walk-by display so those people who are limited on free time are able to learn a little about why the month is celebrated and about their independence,” Carlisle said.

6. Sigma Lambda Alpha, an American-Latina sorority organization, held a burrito sale on Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Clark Student Center Food Court. Menu items included cheese, chicken or ground beef burritos, and specials such as buy three burritos and get a free soda. All menu items were made fresh.

7. Midterm Piñatas was held on Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. in the Atrium. Two life-sized piñatas were available for smashing and their insides consisted of Hispanic candy, snacks, and midterm supplies such as scantrons and pencils.

8. Latin Themed Night was held on Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. in the Mesquite Dining Hall.

Devante Louis, undecided sophomore, was one of the students who participated.

“I spend a good amount of my time in the café,” Louis said, “I had no idea it was Latin Night until I walked through the doors in the student center and saw the line of people strung out the door. They were cooking up so many different things, like tacos quesadillas and Hispanic desserts. It smelled amazing in there.”

9. The Two Piano Latin American Concert was held on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. in Akin Auditorium. The concert included a performance from Martin Camacho, dean of Fain College, and Adonis Gonzalez. Gonzalez brought a special guest percussionist with him, a Latin-Grammy nominated pianist, Gordon Hicken.

“It was sensational,” said Gonzalo Ramirez, psychology senior. “I wish they would have had multiple nights to go see them play. I would have made time to go to all of them.”

10. The culture festival, “calle ocho,” was held on Oct. 3 from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the farmer’s market downtown.

Cole Craigg, personal trainer, saw the festivities and said he had to stop by. “It was nice being able to try new foods and learn about another culture at the same time,” Craigg said.

11. The movie Spare Parts was shown at 7 p.m. on Oct. 6 in Shawnee Theater. The movie, starring George Lopez, is based on the true story of four undocumented Hispanic students who competed in a robotics contest with their teacher.

David Wirsch, finance sophomore, said the movie was life changing.  “It really gave me the motivation I needed to keep on going through the second half of this semester and made me realize how easy I have it compared to other people,” Wirsch said.

12. The final HHM event was held on Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. in the Atrium. Top Chef Latino Style was a cooking contest based on the reality TV show ‘Iron Chef’. Judges chose three winners and the first prize winner won a gift card.

Michelle Fitzpatrick, nutrition junior, attended the event. “I thought it was really awesome seeing how different Hispanic foods are compared to the foods eaten here in the U.S.,” Fitzpatrick said.

Who helped make HHM happen?

There were 12 sponsors who all worked together to create the month long celebration for Hispanic Heritage Month, including Student Development and Orientation, Sigma Lambda Alpha, Fain Fine Arts, El Norteños, Residence Life and the Foreign Languages Department.


Hispanic Heritage Month was established as Hispanic Heritage Week under the Johnson Administration in 1968. It was later changed to Hispanic Heritage Month in 1988.

This annual tribute recognizes contributions made by the Latino and Hispanic Americans who have positively enriched the nation, as well as celebrate their heritage and culture.

The term ‘Latino’ or ‘Hispanic’ refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish origins regardless of race.

The month begins Sept. 15, the anniversary of Independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Belize, Chile and Mexico share their independence during the month as well. Nearly 17 percent of Americans, or 55 million, are Hispanic or Latino, with another 3.7 million residents from Puerto Rico.