The 11th Annual Latino Welcome dinner hosted on the evening of September 21st can be best described as a success. The number of attendees coupled with the diverse representation of various members from different student organizations made for an eclectic event that showcased the true meaning of Latino hospitality.
After an opening prayer by our very own Father Carnes, S.J., the event kicked off with dinner, where newly elected board members of MEChA served the crowd delicious Mexican taco cuisine, with fillers including pollo desabrado (shredded chicken), carnitas (beef), guacamole, beans. The dessert included a selection of Mexican specialties such as tres leches cake, arroz con leche (rice pudding), and flan.
Co-chairs Chantal Portillo (SFS’16) and Lorena Santiago-Hernández (SFS’ 16) presented the board and expressed their thanks alongside ex Co-Chair Antony V. López (COL’14). Lorena presented the keynote speaker, Rosie Hidalgo, who is the director of public policy for Casa Esperanza, an organization that assists and supports Latina women with various resources including family support, immigration assistance, and domestic violence. As an alumna of Georgetown, she touched upon some of the fond memories she had as a student on the Hilltop including some volunteer work and critical experiences that shaped her future. Her message to us was clear as she cited the Bible verse Luke 12:48: “To whom much is given much is required” as the backdrop for the speech. She expounded upon the idea that we as Georgetown students are blessed with the opportunity to pursue a higher education and we are in the position to serve others with the talents and knowledge we have at our disposal.
Following Rosie’s speech was the introduction of the sponsors of the event. These included organizations such as Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA), Latin American Student Association, Ritmo y Sabor, Riqueza Dominicana, the Spanish and Portuguese Club, Ballet Folklórico Méxicano de Georgetown and Hilltop Tacos. The night capped off with stunning performances from Ritmo y Sabor and Ballet Folklórico.
Reflecting on the event, I asked the co-chairs what each of their messages to the attendees would be. “I just want to express my gratitude to all those that made the dinner possible and I am so glad that the Latino Welcome Dinner was able to provide a forum for our gente (people) to build a stronger sense of community and more importantly- unity,” said Lorena. Chantal commented, “Looking back on the Latino Welcome Dinner history at Georgetown, it was really necessary to capture the Latino community’s continuing growth and strength for its 11th annual celebration. I’m just honored to have been able to be a part of something so beautiful and to have had the opportunity to witness the coming together of students and faculty for such a momentous evening.”
Farah Abdallah, News Staff Writer
Phot Credit: Reggie Wiley