For Marcos Enriquez, helping to plan NAU’s Celebración de la Raza, also known as Hispanic Heritage Month, was a way for him to feel at home on campus.
“When I first came to campus, it felt like I didn’t fit in because I was part of a minority population, but the more we celebrate diversity, the more I feel comfortable,” said Enriquez, a junior English major helping to coordinate the month’s events. “I am hoping our plans this year will help others feel welcome at NAU.”
Hispanic Heritage Month begins Sept.15, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico declared its independence on Sept. 16 and Chile on Sept.18.
The month’s activities include a performance by comedian Pablo Francisco, presentations by faculty and local historians, financial planning seminars, voter registration opportunities, art contests, numerous films and videos, and a Mexican Independence Day Fiesta this weekend in Flagstaff’s Sunnyside neighborhood. For a schedule of all events, click here.
“We are particularly excited about the Pablo Francisco performance on Oct. 4 and the elementary school art contest that will be on display in the University Union,” said Hilda Ladner, director for NAU’s Multicultural Center.
Ladner said students from different Chicano and Latino organizations on campus planned the events, “especially Kesia Ceniceros and Marcos Enriquez, both with Voces Unidas and the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute Collegiate Leadership Development Program.”
According to David Camacho, special assistant to NAU President John Haeger, “We are proud of our Latino students who have organized this program and by doing so are increasing diversity awareness on campus.”
In its May 8 edition, Hispanic Outlook magazine listed the top 100 colleges and universities that grant the largest number of degrees to Latino students, and NAU ranked 15th in the nation for graduating Latinos with master’s degrees and 68th for undergraduates.