Written by Isiah Price. Media by Momoka Murata.
On Thursday, October 12, Professor Richard Huston’s Latin American Studies class hosted a Hispanic Festival in the Dining Commons on the Greenville University campus. The assignment for his students was to create a cultural atmosphere of their chosen countries to present at the event.
Some of the Latin American countries given to students to research were Brazil, Paraguay, Guatemala, Mexico, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. Many students of the class had to create a poster containing information about their country. They were also required to create an art and picture display on their poster. The class was also to show off their magnificent project in the DC for students attending the festival.
The Hispanic Festival also had Latin American music playing and Caribbean food served. Dinner included black beans and rice, fried sweet plantains, Caribbean corn casserole, fruit, glazed chicken, and much more traditional Caribbean food. Not only did the event have a great main course, but there was also delicious desserts, including Pineapple Flan, Arroz con Leche (rice pudding), and Bizcocho Dominican Cake.
Latin American History students were excited to present the displays they had worked so hard on. Many students set up their projects on tables for the guests to see. Some projects also included foods and antiques such as coconuts, scarfs, silverware, cups, and baskets.
Students began arriving for dinner at 5:00 PM. They filled their plates with the amazing foods that were prepared for them. Others danced to the traditional music, while still others walked around looking at the different projects. “It’s hard for me to single out a specific display for special attention,” said Dr. Huston, “But my eye is always drawn to those displays that give prominence to the colors of their country flag, and that populate their displays with artifacts and a food or drink sample. It’s hard also, for me to resist giving special attention to those countries that I have lived in or visited. In descending order, they are Paraguay, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Brazil, Honduras, Argentina, and Chile.”
Some of the students at the festival showed great attention to the projects they displayed to viewers. “I thought they were very interested in the different countries and asked some insightful questions. It was also great that the people there showed tremendous attention to us,” said Ethan Leib, a student in Huston’s class. “Our project consists of Argentina; I feel like we did great on our project as well as the other students. We really came together as one and showed the wonderful people our projects.”
As previously mentioned, audience engagement was certainly a key factor in this event. “What amazes me the most is when Hispanics themselves tell me that they enjoyed the festival,” said Huston. “I’m excited that we have a growing number of Hispanics in our faculty and staff and especially in our student body. To see some of our Dominican students dancing to the Meringue music brought special joy to my heart.”
The Hispanic Festival ended with great thanks to all the people that supported the student’s projects. Many people carried with them smiles and laughs as they left the event, beaming with new information about Latin American countries. The Hispanic Festival was a great experience for students and faculty at Greenville University, and it is my hope that you had the opportunity to attend such a wonderful event!