Latino Heritage Week successful


“It went extremely well. It was the first year we condensed several events in one week instead of one event per week during the traditional Latino Heritage Month of September 15 to October 15,” says social worker Aracely Canchola, who coordinated it.

Senior Chelcy Coronel, president of Latino Quest, which helped organize the week, was also excited about its outcome.

“Every year it is a success. There are always a lot of people who show up and enjoy it,” she says.

The week kicked off with free hot chocolate and churros in the main lobby. Among the teachers handing them out was Susana Ramirez.

“I’m really happy that I had the opportunity to help out and promote Latino heritage at ETHS,” Ramirez says.

On Tuesday, the documentary Underwater Dreams, which follows four undocumented high school students, was screened. Each showing was followed by a discussion, led by postsecondary counselor Michelle Vazquez.

“The purpose was to educate our ETHS students and staff about what are the struggles that dreamers face in the USA.. and at ETHS! Many of our students were not aware that they are sitting in classrooms and at lunch tables with students that do not have the same opportunities as them because of one thing- a lack of a nine digit [social security] number,” Vazquez says.

For those who missed the viewing, the film is now on Amazon Prime.

Wednesday’s event was the serving of traditional Puerto Rican food in Bacon Cafeteria during lunch periods. On Thursday, speakers Dr. Lisa Calvente, from DePaul University, and Kate Morgan-Olsen, both from the humanitarian organization No Mas Muertes (No More Death), came to discuss violence and racism around the U.S.-Mexico border.

The week went out with a bang with Friday’s Latino Heritage Festival, held in the auditorium.  The audience was treated to music and dance performances by staff and students, and introductions to some of Latin America’s most famous entertainment icons. Refreshments were served afterwards.

“It was a night to celebrate all Latinos from all different countries, and to show how great our culture is,” says senior Dayanara Delgado, who also performed in the event.

“It was a night for our culture to unite,” adds senior Oscar Coronel.

The organizers of Latino Heritage week hope to continue its success in years to come.

“It gets bigger and better every year,” Vazquez says.