Starting at 9:30 Tuesday morning, the Hispanic Heritage event was held in the SCC Boardrooms. This year is the fourth year for Saint Leo University to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month in this way. Dr. van Olphen, assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese, and Dr. Bryant, assistant professor of Fine Arts, thought to start this event a few years ago to bring people together in celebration of Latin, Latin American, and Spanish culture.
The majority of the students attending the event came for either a class assignment or extra credit, but that did not stop students from having fun. To entertain and educate, there were several Hispanic movies played such as “Chico and Rita,” directed by Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal, and Tono Errando, “Instructions Not Included,” directed by Eugenio Derbez, and El Libertador, directed by Alberto Arvelo and a Classical Guitarist, Daniel Girón. Girón performed by invitation of Dr. van Olphen.
Girón, a musician from Colombia, plays the classical guitar and the flamenco guitar. At the event, Girón played several songs, all of which are Spanish based. Klaudia Nika, a senior taking a class on immigration, attended the event for a class assignment. Although Nika was there on business, she still enjoyed herself.
“I like it,” Nika said, when asked about the music. “I like the rhythm and the beat.”
In addition to the excellent entertainment provided, Dr. Bryant and Dr. van Olphen brought Cuban and Costa Rican coffee, fruit water, and Mexican pastries. The pastries were provided by Guerrero’s Bakery and Mexican Restaurant in Sarasota, FL.
About a third of the room was filled with posters depicting a variety of popular Hispanic and Latino figures such as George Lopez the comedian, talk show host, and actor, Guillermo del Toro the film director, producer, and writer, Shakira the singer and song writer, Frida Kahlo the artist, and many more. The posters, most of which are graded projects for Dr. van Olphen and Dr. Bryant’s classes, allowed viewers to walk around through a maze of beautifully displayed bibliographies.
Dr. van Olphen is excited about next year. Dr. van Olphen anticipates more students to be involved next year.
“I would like for [students] to participate; they can bring posters…on anything that pertains to the Hispanic culture. Another thing that would be nice is if [the students] would come and give us assistance on what they would like to see during the Hispanic Heritage month.”
Dr. van Olphen wants to inform students that posters must be related to Hispanic culture and be relevant to their major.