In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, LatinX In Valparaiso for Excellence (LIVE) is hosting its annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration Dinner. This event was held from 6-7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic safety concerns, the event was capped at forty people.
LIVE President Cecilia Frankewich described how the event is a place for the Valpo community to come together, with guests such as President Emeritus Heckler and his wife.
“This year with there being a smaller occupancy we’re really trying to make it feel cozy since this is for our students, this is for our members, this is for any other students who want to come out and learn about Hispanic Heritage Month, who want to learn about LIVE, who want to come and see what Latinx culture is like. So we really focus on students,” Frankewich said.
Every year the dinner features different elements such as speakers, panels, local musicians and dancers.
“This year we will be having a speaker who’s Saul Flores. We’ve been trying to get him to come to campus for a while. We’re going to be doing it virtually. So we’re going to have him come in and give a virtual presentation, talk to the group about his experiences,” Frankewich said.
Flores had previously participated in a walk of immigrants where he walked from the United States all the way down through Mexico, Central America and South America in order to highlight LatinX culture and the challenges immigrants face.
The attire for the dinner is semi formal and included talking, eating and watching the entertainment.
“We’ll welcome everybody, get some food, sit at the table, get to know who’s around you, get to know other members, other students on campus. When we’ve been together probably about forty five minutes or so then we’ll have whatever the entertainment is. This year it will be Saul and then usually at the end of the night people can stay, take pictures, whatever they’d like to do,” Frankewich said.
The theme changes every year and this year’s theme is family.
“We really wanted it to be a time where everyone could get together and give it a family on campus feel which is going to be a little tricky to do considering we have to keep everybody spaced out,” Frankewich said.
In terms of food, there was representation this year.
“Do a little bit more of a variety with food so people can try different things from different countries to try and have representation within the food because all LatinX students are not from one country so we wanted to try and represent different countries with the foods we are eating,” Frankewich said.
Typically LIVE hosts a second event during Hispanic Heritage Month, but will only host the dinner this semester.
“So typically Hispanic Heritage Month we don’t do a whole week but we try to do another type of event. In the past we’ve done a first generation luncheon,” Frankewich said.
In her last year at Valpo, Frankewich hoped people had a relaxing and fun night at the dinner.
“Even if they don’t take something away from the speaker, take a sense of relaxation and just feeling comfortable within LIVE and within their community on campus,” Frankewich said.