Latinx Student Organization celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

“Being here makes me feel like I can breathe, like I can be Latino, be myself.”

Marilyn Sample

Live music and dancing in Hopkins Green. Fajitas and tres leches cake in Gaines Rotunda. Spoken word poetry in the ARC Basement.

Students have celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15, on campus, and in Lexington, this year.

The Latinx Student Organization invited spoken word poet and activist Michael Reyes to lead an arts and activism workshop on Oct. 2 and to perform poetry on Oct. 3.

Reyes, his stage name, is part of an artist group, “We Are Culture Creators,” in Detroit, Michigan. On Tuesday, he gathered with a small group of students to spray paint white T-shirts and stencils in the atrium of the Ruscio Center for Global Learning.

“Announce yourself,” Reyes said, speaking on the power of images as cultural identity.

The following night, students congregated in the basement of the ARC House, burritos in hand. Reyes opened the floor by asking audience members to contribute song titles and phrases, which he then turn into an improvised poem.

“I use poetry to tell stories,” Reyes told the crowd. “To tell the narrative that sometimes isn’t always told.”

Amalia Nafal Bosch, ‘21, called the poetry event a “whole-body experience.”

“I never thought I could relate this much to spoken-word,” Nafal

Bosch said.

Many of Reyes’ poems focused on his identity as a Latinx person and his struggle as a person of color living in the U.S. to fit in—a “hyphenated” state of being.

“I can imagine that it was a very eye-opening event for a lot of people here,” said Mya Lewis, ‘22.

Nafal Bosch said she’s seen an “exponential growth” in LSO events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, organized by president Edwin Castellanos Campos, ‘20. Castellanos did not respond to requests for comment.

“I come from a majority Latino population,” Bosch said. “Being here make me feel like I can breathe, like I can be Latino, be myself.”