September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, and Southwest celebrated with several unique events.
The celebration kicked off with a Hispanic Heritage Month Eucharist on September 15. The bilingual service had music led by Francisco Chavez, readings from students, and Eucharist presented by the Rev. Nancy Frausto, Southwest’s Director of Latinx Studies.
On September 19, Southwest hosted a reception for Arte de Lágrimas in the Weeks Center. Arte de Lágrimas is much more than a collection of drawings or pieces of art from refugees and asylum seekers. It is the story of those who for too long have been kept at the margins, othered, and vilified. It is a call to action for everyone with a conscience to see, hear, and feel the stories of those who often are not given a chance to speak for themselves through a variety of mediums. Dr. Gregory Cuellar, Associate Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew Bible at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, led a conversation about the exhibit.
“This year we partnered with Dr. Gregory Cuellar, Hebrew Bible Professor at Austin Presbyterian Seminary,” said Frausto. “Thanks to his efforts, we could have an art exhibit created by migrants at the border. It was a powerful experience to walk and read the stories of children in detention centers who pointed towards a hopeful future in their drawings.”
A service and fellowship at Casa Marianella took place on September 25. There was a bilingual service with food, dancing, and helping the residents of Casa Marianella restore their beautiful mural.
To wrap up a month full of events, Southwest hosted a Hispanic Heritage Month community hour on October 10, complete with elote bar and Millenial Loteria.
“Hispanic heritage month at SSW was filled with colors, music, stories, food, and laughter,” said Frausto. “Our excellent staff and students who took the time to organize and execute a month filled with activities made these events possible. As the Latinx Studies program continues to grow, so do the events to celebrate the diversity within the Latinx community.”