WLU celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month with several on-campus events

Dr. Felipe Rojas places a poster in the Elbin Library hallway proclaiming Sept. 15 – Oct. 15 Hispanic Heritage Month on the Hilltop.

Hispanic Heritage Month started on Sept. 15 and will continue through Oct. 15. This historical month is celebrated year-round between nations and honors Hispanic and Latinx culture. West Liberty University will be taking part in this celebration throughout the month.

This year, there will be a display case in the basement of the Elbin Library that will be showing different Hispanic figures from different countries, each day. Each display will have information about what the person of interest did, and why it was so important. The posters in the display will also contain helpful Spanish terms to guide viewers through the information.

West Liberty University’s Associate Professor of Spanish and Co-Chair of the Campus and Community Diversity Committee, Dr. Felipe E. Rojas, thinks “[the display case is] a great opportunity to highlight influences of Hispanic, Latino, and Latinx people in American and World culture.” He feels that we often forget the advancement and contributions that Latin Americans have brought to our society and wanted to remind us this month.

During Hispanic Heritage Month, the library will also be highlighting Hispanic literature and culture in a book display. The library will also be hosting West Liberty Elementary school students on Sept. 21 and Oct. 2 to hear Hispanic short stories read by Rojas. The children will have an opportunity to color a flag and match the flag to the appropriate Spanish-speaking country as well. Rojas hopes the students “will receive a nice takeaway memory from this event.”

Rojas grew up in Chile and says he is a proud Chilean man. He explained how he got his cueca, which is a traditional dressing in Chile. He describes the outfit by comparing it to a cowboy, but more Chilean inspired. Rojas says he will be making appearances in his traditional dancing outfit around campus, and in the library during the Elementary school visit. He hopes this unique attire will inspire those who see him to look into his culture.

Rojas encourages those who want to learn more about Hispanic and Latinx culture to take Spanish classes and Latin American culture classes, as well as read books and watch films that show the culture. He also suggests talking to professors and students that know about Hispanic culture. He also reminds us to look outside of Hispanic and Latin American cultures to view the full spectrum of this culture in other countries beyond the United States.

Rojas gives special thanks to Library Coordinator, Stacie Groch, for helping him establish these events that take place during Hispanic Heritage Month. Rojas hopes to see this event-filled month “grow more and more in the upcoming years.”

For more information regarding celebrations on campus for Hispanic Heritage Month, please email Rojas at [email protected].