Latino Club hosts Celebration for Hispanic Countries


Kim Watkins

Dancers at the Hispanic Celebration

Kim Watkins, News Editor

The month of September is full of many important occasions: the start of the school season, the changing colors of the trees and the slightly colder weather. It is also a month that marks the period when many Hispanic countries declared their independence—a fact less known to many.

The Latino club of Southwest Minnesota State University presented the Hispanic Independence Month Celebration in recognition of several countries. The countries observed at this event included Belize, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico.

“Our goals were to educate the community and raise awareness about Hispanic Independence Month…it’s also to celebrate our independence,” Marley Cid, vice-president of the Latino club, said. Although Cinco de Mayo is the more well known celebration outside of Mexico, the country’s independence day is actually in September.

Cinco de Mayo is held on May 5 to celebrate the Mexican army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. September 16 is the official Mexico Independence Day.

Tyler Wagner and Elizabeth Flores gave a huge welcome to the crowd, introduced the performers, and listed a number of fun facts about each country.

Five of these countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua) became independent on Sept. 15, 1821. Mexico’s official Independence Day is Sept. 16, 1810 with Chile following two days later on Sept. 18. Belize received independence over one hundred years later on Sept. 21, 1981.

The event included performances from several people, from singers to dancers to piano-players. The main performance included several dance numbers by the Ballet Folklorico Mexico Azteca dance group.

The event also included free, traditional Hispanic foods and salsa lessons. An after party was held for all SMSU students (including Senior College students) from 8-10 p.m. and was an opportunity “for students to relax before midterms [and] Homecoming,” said Cid.

“We had a lot of help from ISO (International Students Organization) and the Diversity office…many members of the club pitched in. Some were in at 9 a.m. cooking…it was a mutual effort,” Cid said.

The event was sponsored by Access, Opportunity & Success and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

“Club Latino would also like to thank Professor Thomas Williford for helping us with the salsa lessons,” Cid included.

For more information on SMSU events, check out