Latino Heritage Celebration

Not even the wrath of Sandy stopped the Latino Heritage Month Assembly from promoting educational and social cultural awareness to DMAE students and faculty during second and third periods on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012.

After a quick introduction and a speech from Principal Peter Elbert, the party began. Music filled the auditorium as a parade of flags, from different Hispanic countries, were carried down the aisles of the auditorium by student performers. As the parade of flags went by, students in the audience joyfully searched for their flags and cheered loudly when they found them.

“I think the best part was the dancing,” senior Gerardo Salguero said. “I would really like to see more flips and turns like when Amy Badia was thrown up in the air. Everyone thought she was going to fall and it was exciting to hear the crowd’s reactions,” he added.

Amy’s flip in the air was one of the many dances students enjoyed due to the planning and hard work of program coordinator Saadia Gil. Students also danced Salsa, Cumbia, a dance mix and a group dance at the end. To everyone’s surprise, Ms. Gil even danced in one of the performances in place of a dancer who was absent.

Dancing was not the only venue: students and faculty also saw PowerPoints and videos. There were three student-made PowerPoints. One was about highly successful Hispanic athletes, another was on why Hispanic Heritage Month is important to celebrate, and a third was a glimpse into the Hispanic culture including traditional dishes.

Two videos were shown during the assembly. One of them was the hit music video for “We Are the World” sung by different Latino artists that featured pictures of different flags. Students sang along and waved their arms as if transported to a place in their own memories. The second video was made using Latino students and staff that allowed viewers to get a glimpse into the diversity and strong pride of Latinos on the campus.

“It was amazing to have been able to have the assembly, but it was a bit disappointing,” said senior Manuel Barrientos who served as an emcee of the event along with senior Melissa Giron. “The first assembly we held for the underclassmen had a livelier crowd than the one we held for the upperclassmen.”

What made the first assembly different was time and perhaps experience. There was more time for the first assembly making it possible for the entire program to run: students and staff were able to see more things with nothing cut off as it was in the second assembly. In addition, because it was the first time some of the underclassmen were viewing the assembly, they were more excited.

The party atmosphere helped make the assembly fun, but Ms. Gil hopes for greater participation and plans to have more practices next year to bring the Latino Heritage Assembly to the next level.

“In the upcoming years we need to have a dress rehearsal,” Ms. Gil said. “We need to go through the entire show the day before because if we do, it will help the assembly flow in a much better manner.”