California State University, San Bernardino

Preparations for Dia Latino at CSUSB

The annual Dia Latino celebration was be held on Feb. 8 from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Santos Manuel Student Union Event Center at the Cal State San Bernardino campus. With the first event organized ten years ago, Dia Latino is a collaborative effort among the Acto Latino and Los Amigos student clubs and the department of world languages and literatures.

Dia Latino Febuary 2017
Dia Latino attendees pose with university president Tomás D. Morales. Photo courtesy of Valerie Salazar.

The celebration will feature tables representing all of the Latin American countries with information on the native languages and dialects spoken, notable people, traditional cuisine, music, and holidays. There will be sample food items at each table and a variety of Latin music, such as bachata, banda, bossa nova, and flamenco.

Interactive activities that attendees can participate in during Dia Latino include “la loteria” and guessing games involving identifying different Latin countries on a map or matching them with their flags.

“Participating in Dia Latino is such a rewarding experience. Students and faculty all come together to celebrate and learn about the beautiful cultures of Latin America. Through this event, we are able to promote cultural awareness on our campus and share our experiences as proud Latinos,” Los Amigos President Gabriela Resendiz said.

Dia Latino 2018
Dia Latino promotional poster. Photo courtesy of Valerie Salazar.

Putting on an event like Dia Latino takes months of preparation.

Acto Latino and Los Amigos encourage Spanish classes to participate by having them choose a country they want to represent as a group. They also reach out to Latino-owned vendors such as Kultura Ink, MGCustomPrinting, and Folklore Accessories to promote their crafts at the celebration.

“Dia Latino is one of my favorite events. I enjoy seeing CSUSB students and faculty engage in this gathering that is intended to promote diversity and explore the traditions and cultures of Latin America. I encourage everyone to join,” Acto Latino and Los Amigos member Melissa B. Osorio said.

Not only does Acto Latino have to prepare for the upcoming Dia Latino event, but the club will also perform plays at both the CSUSB campus and in Colombia.

El Soldado Razo
Acto Latino will perform two plays at the SMSU Theatre on March 16. Photo courtesy of Valerie Salazar.

On March 16, Acto Latino will be performing two plays in the SMSU Theater at 7 p.m.

“El Soldado Razo” is an adaptation of an original play by Luis Valdez while “El Cruce de los Suenos” is an original production inspired by the real-life experiences of Acto Latino students. Tickets for the performances will be priced at six dollars.

The club will also venture to Colombia to participate in the Alternative Theater Festival, FESTA, in Bogotá on March 20. At this festival, other theater groups such as Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani from Peru and Grupo Malayerba from Ecuador perform. This is not the first time that Acto Latino has traveled to Colombia, as they were first invited in 2016 to perform plays by Luis Valdez.

Acto Latino has also performed at local elementary and high schools in San Bernardino, along with universities in California such as Cal Poly Pomona, San Diego State, and Cal State Long Beach. The student organization most recently performed at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

“I feel very fortunate to share my culture, traditions and language to other members of our campus community. As a proud Latina, I want people to see what we’re all about. This proves that we can all come together as a diverse community and learn more from our neighbor countries in Latin America,” Acto Latino President Leticia Hernandez said.