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The Antelope

Hispanic heritage celebration brings Lopers together

Lopers dance to La Rebeldia Nortena traditional music. Photo by Emily Trotter / Antelope Staff

The Hispanic Student Association and Office of Intercultural Engagement and Leadership hosted a celebration on Sept. 16 for Hispanic Heritage Month. The event was open for all students to attend. 

Music, food and entertainment were included to commemorate the contributions of Hispanic Americans, Latinos and Latinas to their culture and society around the United States.

“Here at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, we serve over 700 students that identify as Hispanic or Latino,” said Luis Olivas, interim director for the Office of Intercultural Engagement and Leadership. “I think it’s important to highlight those very different identities so that they understand that here at UNK they are seen not only as an individual but as well as the community.”

Brianna Marquez, HSA president, began the celebration by reading the proclamation signed by Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen commencing Hispanic Heritage Month in Nebraska. 

“A couple of students got the opportunity to travel to Lincoln to be witness to the signing of the proclamation,” Olivas said. “Those types of activities and others show the commitment not only the state of Nebraska, but the University of Nebraska also has for Latino and Hispanic students.” 

Marquez directed everyone’s attention to the original signed proclamation that HSA got to keep.

“We got to learn more about what it means to be Latinos and all the resources that the government gives us that we should take advantage of,” Marquez said.

The event followed with dance lessons for a traditional Hispanic dance.

“What really is the most special thing about these types of events is people getting to express themselves as well as learning from other people,” Marquez said.

This year’s theme of the celebration was inspired by Mexican Independence Day, which took place on the day of the event. HSA also emphasized the celebration of all Latino and Hispanic students around the world and included flags of each country.

The night followed with live music from the band La Rebeldia Nortena, a Mexican band based out of Grand Island. Students had the chance to meet each other and dance together.

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Emily Trotter
Emily Trotter, Reporter
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