Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 4
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Club Latino spices things up

This year Whitman’s Latino community is making itself heard, both on campus and off. From Club Latino to Spanish professors to the immigration group, this year promises to be full of Latino culture. Club Latino spices things up | By Lisa Curtis

“The first word that comes to mind is energy,” said Spanish Professor Andres Lema-Hincapie about the Latino community. “I think they are all very active, very energetic. They have a strong presence in Walla Walla and on campus.”

Club Latino has already made their presence felt this year. They hosted a dinner at La Casa Hispana featuring Brazilian chicken soup for Brazil’s Independence Day. They were also essential to informing the Latino community in Walla Walla that Luis Alberto Urrea was coming to speak. They used creative methods to get out the word, walking around neighborhoods and going to soccer games.

Traditionally, Whitman hasn’t interacted much with the Latino community of Walla Walla. One of the co-presidents of Club Latino, Jazmin Lopez, is intent on bridging the gap between Whitman’s Latino community and Latinos in Walla Walla.

“When I was a high schooler I really didn’t see much of Whitman College. I never met anyone outside of the tutoring program,” said Lopez about her experience growing up in Walla Walla.

Club Latino is already planning events that they would like to get the community involved in. The first event is Día de Los Muertos which will involve bread-making, pan de muerto as well as making tamales at La Casa on Oct. 27.

The second event is Las Posadas, traditionally a nine day Mexican holiday that represents the difficulties that Joseph and Mary faced when traveling to Bethlehem. In Mexico, people travel from house to house singing a traditional song requesting lodging (posada) which is refused until they reach the designated house for the party.

Club Latino hasn’t decided all the details on Las Posadas but knows that they would love to get the community involved.

Next semester, their big event is Cinco de Mayo, which Lopez sees as having the most potential for getting the community involved as they can hold events outside.

“The goal of Club Latino is to show that there is a Latino community here in Whitman. There’s a small community, but it’s here, and we’re here to teach Latino culture,” said Lopez.

However, Club Latino isn’t only for Latinos. The club boasts over 30 members from all different races and countries. As Lopez said, “It’s not just Mexicans, there’s this misconception that all Latinos are Mexican.”

Lema-Hincapie tries to show different aspects of Latino culture through his radio show, “Vamos al Sur.” The show runs every Thursday at 9 p.m. and features culture and news from the Hispanic world. Lema-Hincapie also plans to invite people from the Latino community to come on his program and broadcast their ideas.
One issue important to many Latinos is immigration. Whitman has an immigration club made up mostly of students who have gone on Professor Aaron Borbrow-Strain’s U.S.-Mexico border trips.

“I think the trips help approach border issues from multiple perspectives and provide a way to process them. We [students who have done these trips] only recently decided to become a club because we are hoping to get more people and raise more awareness,” said club member Mallory Powers.

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