Campus News

UGA community observes Hispanic Heritage Month

This year's Hispanic Heritage Month observance is the first at UGA since the regents approved a new undergraduate major in Latin and Caribbean Studies. Among the university's first declared LACS students are

The university’s Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute is sponsoring several events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15.

Academic, cultural and social events will take place both on campus and in the greater Athens community and are open to the public.

“Most Americans know so little about our neighbors to the South,” said Paul Duncan, assistant director of LACSI. “The phenomenal diversity of Hispanic Heritage Month activities being carried out at UGA and in the community all help people to see just how richly diverse the region is.”

The impact of those of Hispanic ancestry in this country has been profound, according to Duncan.

“There are 42 million Hispanics in the USA and well over 600,000 of them live right here in Georgia,” he said. “Those here contribute enormously to the growth and prosperity of the state, and internationally, Latin America is one of Georgia’s most important trading areas.”

UGA’s activities began with an open house on Sept. 15, co-­sponsored by LACSI and the Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education.

Steve Kowalewski, UGA ­anthropology professor, will lecture about-and bring samples of-Mole, the famous chocolate sauce of Mexican cuisine, in “Mega-Marcha y Mole,” on Sept. 27 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at LACSI.

Keynote speakers for the rest of the celebration include Frank Ros, director of corporate Latin affairs for the Coca-Cola Company, who will speak Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. in room 348 of the Student Learning Center.

Pedro Portes, recently named to The Goizueta Foundation Distinguished Chair of Latino Teacher Education at UGA also will give a lecture.

His speech, “The Latinos are Coming! How Closing the Achievement Gap is Linked to National Survival and Excellence in Education,” on Oct. 10 at noon in Room 138 of the Tate Student Center.

The entire community is ­invited to attend the Latino Health Fair 2006/Feria de Salud Latina 2006 on Sept. 30 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., sponsored by Catholic Charities and the American Cancer Society and featuring live music.

Children can enjoy Spanish story time at the Athens-Clarke County Library on Oct. 4 from 5-5:30 p.m., when storyteller Maria Duarte will share Guatemalan and Mayan stories.

The Georgia Museum of Art at UGA will offer several activities. The exhibition Gráfica Mexicana, a suite of 10 lithographs taken from the Mexican Art: A Portfolio of Mexican People and Places collection that depict the everyday lives of mid-c­entury Mexican farmers, tradesmen and laborers, will be on display until Oct. 29. In conjunction with the exhibition, Family Day: Viva Mexico! will be held Sept. 30 from 10 a.m.-noon. Families will make piñatas, learn about Mexican history and listen to traditional Mexican music. Children’s programs featuring Mexico also will be shown in the museum’s M. Smith Griffith Auditorium.

Television, music, literature and food also will be explored. Taken from the Peabody Awards collection, both the made-for-TV movie The Maldonado Miracle and episodes of “The Garcia Brothers” will be on view on Oct. 5 and 10, respectively, both at 7 p.m. in room 171 of the Student Learning Center.

Alejandro Ruiz and Richard Scofano, both of whom work with the Subsecretary of Culture, Chaco state, Argentina, will lecture on Argentine ethno-musicology and folklore, as well as demonstrate the tango, on Oct. 11, 12:30-1:30 p.m. at LACSI. Tangos will again be spotlighted in the 2nd Thursday Scholarship Series: “An Evening of Tangos,” held Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. in Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 ($7 for students with a valid ID).

Discussion of the book Paradise in Ashes: A Guatemalan Journey of Courage will take place Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. in the small conference room of the ACC Library.

Grupo Pastoral Maya, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Mayan culture, will present a Marimba musical group from Huehuetenango, Guatemala for two shows: one on Oct. 22 at 3 p.m. at the ACC Library, and one on Oct. 23 at noon at LACSI. There also will be social opportunities for both alumni and current students. The Alumni Association will offer a fiesta for alumni on Sept. 26, 6-8 p.m., at Loca Luna at 836 Juniper St. in Atlanta. The month draws to a close with the Hispanic Student Association’s very popular Noche Latina on Oct. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in Georgia Hall at the Tate Student Center. It will feature Latin food, music, dancing and dramatic performances and is free for HSA members, $12 for others or $10 for students with a valid ID.

Hispanic Heritage Month is nationally recognized Sept. 15-Oct. 15, encompassing the anniversaries of independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile.