UT students celebrated the independences of various Latin American countries Thursday through cultural activities, local performances and traditional foods at Celebración de Independencias, an event hosted by the Mexican American Culture Committee.
Celebración de Independencias is an annual event that celebrates independences of nine countries including Belize, Brazil and Mexico, which all have their independence days this month. Andrea Hernandez, committee chair and biochemistry junior, said MACC aims to promote an atmosphere of “familia” through their events by promoting diversity and appreciation of Latin American culture.
“I think it’s important to celebrate their cultures but also keep in mind that some countries are struggling to gain their freedom and that’s something that we should appreciate (in the US),” said Andrea Hernandez, committee chair and biochemistry junior.
Andrea said the familial atmosphere of the MACC is a result of the committee members’ similar interests.
“I think something that we all share is our love for putting on great events for people who enjoy the Latin American culture,” Andrea said.
At the event, the nine nations’ flags were draped over the walls and students were able to post sticky notes describing their experiences in that country. Participating students gave out samples of traditional food and drink, including a Brazilian dessert and Mexican fountain drinks.
Lee Clippard, director of Austin Samba, a Brazilian dance and drum performance group, said he enjoys performing the loud and lively Brazilian music every year for this event.
“It’s really nice to play for the UT students and to help the students here celebrate all of the different independence days from various countries that they’re from,” Clippard said.
For Clippard, Celebración de Independencias provides the opportunity for UT students to become more connected.
“It provides us an awareness of these other nations that are around the world,” Clippard said. “I think that’s really important that we’re connected to the histories of those cultures and then also connected to each other in that way, it broadens our understanding of the world.”
Beca Hernandez, a human development and family sciences senior, said she enjoyed playing a trivia game over Guatemalan feminists, trying new foods and learning about other countries.
“I think it’s (important) to recognize the struggles that other countries have been through and to see the cultures and all the background the country has,” Beca said.