Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival
On Saturday, September 23, 2017, Greenville University’s Latin American History class attended the Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival. Dr. Richard Huston, the GU professor in charge of the field trip, said,
The sights, sounds, smells, and flavors of the festival nourish my soul. The Authentic food is delectable. The Latin Jazz music strums the strings of my heart. And being around so many people speaking Spanish makes me feel at home. But the two things I look forward to the most are the Bolivian sultanas (baked meat pies) and the Mexican tamales. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!”
The Hispanic Festival starts by introducing everyone involved to the community. Everyone at the event seemed happy and proud of the festival. The flags of the countries represented were introduced; Brazil, Guatemala, Argentina, Cuba, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Panama, and Venezuela were just some of the many places featured during the festival. Young ladies strolled through the festival dancing with their countries’ flags. Seeing these flags are Dr. Huston’s favorite part of the event. He said, “Having lived most of my growing up years in Paraguay, I love seeing the flags. But I have also lived in Nicaragua and traveled there many times, and have a special affinity for that country.”
Greenville University students had the opportunity to walk around the festival to visit the different booths, which had anything from authentic food and drinks to clothing apparel. The food that was sold included amazing beef or steak tacos and complimentary fruit bowls. There was an exotic petting zoo with animals such as llamas, goats, and different species of birds. The annual event aims to admire the growth of Hispanic nations. Therefore, the proceeds from the festival went towards providing scholarships for many students of different ethnicities across the globe, as well as funding for schools in other countries.
“I started attending and bringing students [to the festival] about ten years ago,” said Dr. Huston, “After going with my family, I decided to promote the event to my Latin America class by offering generous extra credit to generate interest and motivate participation.”
The Hispanic Festival is an incredible event full of loving people passionate about their countries’ culture. “My first experience at the festival was great. It was more diverse from where I come from,” said Adam Warren, a freshman on GU’s men’s basketball team, “Being a student in Dr. Huston’s class has also made me more aware of Hispanic culture. I really liked getting to go to the event in the beautiful city of St. Louis.”
Next year, if you have the opportunity, I urge you to attend the Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival. There is so much to see, learn, and experience; you will not be disappointed!