Assumption College – On Oct. 9th, Thursday evening, the cross-cultural center hosted their annual Latino festival. Students from all grades gathered at the Hagan Campus Center to enjoy Latino culture, food, performances, and a live band.
Current juniors Nathalie Vega and Michael Blandon hosted the event.
Food scents filled the air as food was set up from 5 different countries including the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Guatemala, and Ecuador. Each table was at full capacity as about 200 students and faculty attended the event. Professors from different departments and students from a variety of years attended the event.
A big event every year is the celebration of the piñata. In honor of the Mexican tradition, students were blind folded and spun around 3 times. When they begin feeling dizzy, they attempt to break the piñata in order to get the candy out of the donkey and run to the middle as the candy falls to the ground.
Current Junior, Michael Blandon and alumni Jessica Familia opened up the show with a salsa performance for the second year in a row. Their twists, turns, and flips awed the crowd as they ended their performance with a roar from the crowd. They performed a salsa routine that they had rehearsed prior to the event. Local groups from Worcester performed as well dance performances called the bachata, merengue, and salsa.
The band, known as, “Grupo Fantasia” has performed at the festival for over 10 years now and loves coming back every year. Director of cross-cultural center, Bea Patino, said, “They are good, they pump up the crowd up, and I love their music. We’ve established a good relationship with them and we are supportive of local artists.” The band performed songs from a variety of genres including cumbia, salsa, cha-cha, merengue, and bachata. They entertained the crowd as the hosts transitioned between events.
The event ended with an open dance floor as everybody got a chance to show off his or her dance moves. This was the first event put on by the ALANA Network at Assumption College. Future events put on by the ALANA network include their multicultural day in November, and their step and dance show in the spring semester.
Events are always announced and promoted through the cross-cultural center, and are open to all different cultures and schools. The ALANA network is a network that unifies the Worcester consortium and they attend each other’s events.