With a game of Lotería, Latin food, a piñata and dazzling live performances by Mariachi Amigos de Nuevo México and Ballet Folklórico de Durango, Fort Lewis College celebrated the 30th Fiesta on the Mesa on September 14.
Hosted by El Centro de Muchos Colores and Club del Centro, the event kicked off the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15.
To celebrate three decades of Fiesta on the Mesa, Mario Martinez, FLC’s provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, spoke about his family roots in New Mexico and celebrated the diversity within the Hispanic community.
Jenni Trujillo, dean of the School of Education, told attendees she attended the very first La Fiesta and spoke about the founding of El Centro.
“While El Centro has been housed in various places, the people—la gente—have been here continuously, working alongside our Indigenous peers, friends, relatives, and people from all backgrounds,” Trujillo said. “The original group always promoted this as a center of many colors—open to all!”
The speeches were followed by a ceremony to recognize Trujillo and many others for their contributions to the founding of El Centro. The theme of Hispanic Heritage Month this year is “Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America,” so it is only appropriate that FLC recognized the contributions of those who first worked to build an inclusive space for Latinx students and faculty to gather and share their cultural heritage.
This year, for the first time in FLC’s history, the student body is 15% Hispanic, paving the way for the College to become an Emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution, according to FLC's most recent enrollment report.
While Hispanic Heritage Month is halfway through, FLC still has many exciting opportunities to get involved and have fun. Every Wednesday, El Centro hosts a Spanish Conversation Hour from 11 a.m. until noon. All levels of Spanish speakers are welcome. On October 2, El Centro will host Latinx College Day from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Vallecito Room at the Student Union. Please RSVP with El Centro for this educational event. For more fun and relaxation, check out the Lotería Night on October 4 from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Vallecito Room, and don't miss Bilingual Karaoke Night on October 10 from 6-9 p.m. at El Centro.
Check out the schedule to see how you can get involved this semester.