Photo courtesy of @yorkactivities
During the last week of October, members of the Hispanos Unidos club planned daily activities and events during lunch periods to share their Hispanic and Latino culture with students. The week was filled with various cultural activities such as a traditional Quinceñera dance performance, the presentation of the ofrenda, loteria and more.
The current Hispanos Unidos club is made up of the former clubs, Latina Dreamers and Hispanos Unidos. Senior and club president, Angie Palomino, shared on why they decided to join the two clubs together and how it influenced their week of showcasing heritage.
“Latina dreamers had always done a week of activities in the commons for Hispanic Heritage Month, and it was like tradition,” Palomino said. “Now that we are joined with the guys from the former Hispanos Unidos, we still thought it would be a lot of fun to do. It was a way for us to spread our Hispanic Heritage with the rest of the student body at York.”
The club presented traditional games and cultural activities during all lunch periods. Students had the opportunity to learn more about the Hispanic and Latino culture and the importance of Hispanic Heritage Month. Members of the club expressed their purpose for hosting this special week.
“I think it was a very important week to host because I don’t feel like enough people recognize what Hispanic Heritage month is,” senior and member Anthony Lopez said. “[Students] don’t really look at other cultures like ours. I feel like if they’re exposed to it, they learn more and they’re less judgmental of what they don’t know.”
The cultural week also helped members of the two clubs become closer and created a stronger bond between them. Team members talked about their personal highlights from the week.
“My favorite part was the quince fashion show because I participated in it,” member and senior Adonis Nogueda said. “It was actually really fun. It made the club members closer together and it was a really good bonding experience and I really enjoyed it.”
The week featured a day where members decorated a Dia de los Muertos ofrenda, a traditional altar which is decorated with photos of passed loved ones, food they might have enjoyed in their lifetime, flowers, pan de muerto (type of bread made on Dia de los Muertos) and other decorations like papel picado. Club leader and social worker, Norelly Avina, explained the significance of celebrating Dia de los Muertos in the York community.
“It’s our time to celebrate and remember the ones that we’ve lost,” Avina said. “With the pandemic that happened last year, I think that everybody has experienced some type of loss. Hispanics view the Day of the Dead as a celebration of that person’s life so we hope that that can bring some hope to others who have lost somebody and show [students] how other cultures look at death and how they celebrate life in general.”