The national flags of Mexico, Peru and all of the countries in between flew over the HCC courtyard Wednesday in a celebration of Latin American culture during the first HCC Expo Latino.
Students, faculty and staff sampled free empanadas from Colombia, emanadillas and alcapurrias from Puerto Rico, chips and salsa from Mexico, Colombian and Puerto Rican style snow-cones; they viewed displays of Latin American art donated for the day by faculty and staff, and listened to music from Inca Son, a traditional Andean band.
"This is a way for Latin American students to share their culture, bring it to life," said Veronique Leroy, HCC club coordinator.
The event was sponsored by Student Activities, the HCC LISA (Latino International Student Association) Club and the HCC Spanish Christian Club.
"It is wonderful to be able to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month in such a large and festive way, especially since we have a large Hispanic population at HCC," said Student Activities Coordinator Liz Golen. "My goal was for all South American, Central American, Mexican, Island and Caribean cultures to be recognized and for the entire campus to be invited to participate. That's exactly what happened."
Many people in attendance wore traditional and colorful Latin American clothes and sported stickers that said, "Latino (or Latina) & Proud." There were also tables set up for people to play dominos.
"Dominos is a common game throughout Latin America," said Leroy. "It's something to bring us together."
The long lines toward the art displays and free food was testament to the success of the event. Golen said it will certainly not be the last. "I look forward to making it bigger and better next year," she said.