Fiesta on the Mesa bursts with culture and vibrancy
The Fort Lewis College Student Union Outdoor Plaza was bustling with laughter, color, and culture during the annual Fiesta on the Mesa. This event kicked off FLC’s programming for National Hispanic Heritage Month. A celebration of the landmark achievements of Latinx/Hispanic peoples, Fiesta on the Mesa was organized by Club Del Centro, El Centro de Muchos Colores, the Diversity Collaborative, and Gyana Bandy Gomar, the assistant director of El Centro and the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center.
Students, staff, faculty, and community members showed up in droves to the Fiesta. “It’s vital that we acknowledge the contributions and culture of Latinx and Hispanic communities,” said Tom Stritikus, president of FLC. “I see so many students and community members here celebrating that, and that’s amazing.”
To that end, Fiesta on the Mesa attendees partook in traditional food, games, and performances. The event opened with a game of lotería, followed by a special dinner at San Juan Dining that was prepared with guidance from El Centro de Muchos Colores.
As attendees savored their meals, they were treated to delightful performances by Mariachi Amigos de Nuevo México and Ballet Folklórico de Durango. A powerful speech from Maria Samora Ph.D. (History, ‘95), one of the founders of El Centro de Muchos Colores, capped the evening with thunderous applause.
“Latino and Latinx communities should be celebrated,” Samora said. “Especially in the Southwest, where our history here goes so far back and there are so many places with Spanish place names. It’s also important for me as an alumna to reconnect with my alma mater in this way.”
"As an immigrant myself, I think it is important that we acknowledge and celebrate the long-standing, continuous contributions of Latinx/Hispanic communities to this country."
GYANA BANDY GOMAR
FLC’s National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration is far from over. Until mid-October, Club Del Centro and El Centro de Muchos Colores will host events like Latin Dance Night and Yoga en Español: Spanish Yoga. They provide a cultural outlet for students who identify as Latinx or Hispanic and are open to anyone who wants to engage with the community.
“It’s been very exciting to help organize these events,” Gomar said. “As an immigrant myself, I think it is important that we acknowledge and celebrate the long-standing, continuous contributions of Latinx/Hispanic communities to this country.”