Latinx Fiesta displays pride in identity



Attendees of the Latinx Fiesta on Thursday, Nov. 10 cheer on competitors in the limbo competition. The event was organized by the Latinx and Allies club and began at 6 p.m.

Over one hundred people danced, ate and enjoyed live performances in the STEM wing during the Latinx Fiesta on Thursday, Nov. 10. The event was organized by the Latinx and Allies Club and began at 6 p.m, lasting several hours.

The club successfully spread the word in advance of the event: a wide variety of students, parents and teachers came to support and celebrate the Latinx community.

Dance group Cantico danced to four songs, each by a Latinx or Hispanic artist. School Within a School band “4th Floor Gents” also performed live while attendees ate dinner.

The Latinx and Allies Club charged a $5 entry fee with all funds going to aid Venezuelan immigrants. The club is open to suggestions for where specifically to direct the money.

Anna’s Taqueria and Sol Azteca donated food for the event. Several families brought dishes representative of their cultures. Senior, club member and Cantico dancer Alana Lorenz Gerena made coquito, a beverage home to her native Puerto Rico. Lorenz Gerena said this event is a way for the Latinx community to share their culture with the rest of the school.

“It’s good to not always focus on all the stereotypes and microaggressions and all those things that we face. It’s good to have a celebration that brings the community together rather than talking about all of the challenges that we face,” Lorenz Gerena said.

Junior and club member Pablo Meyers said he loved seeing various families from different Latinx or Hispanic backgrounds come together.

“I know my mom has met a lot of other Colombian moms that are kind of in the same boat and feel like they have been a little isolated in their culture and now, they get a chance to connect through their kids,” Meyers said.

Dance group Cantico performed to four songs, each choreographed specifically for the event. (CONTRIBUTED BY CECE WAGER)

After paying $5 at the entrance, attendees of the Latinx Fiesta had unlimited access to food from both caterers and families. (CONTRIBUTED BY CECE WAGER )

The Latinx and Allies Club started planning the event in September during Hispanic Heritage Month. Due to complex logistics and numerous moving pieces, they weren’t able to schedule it until November. Club adviser and Spanish teacher Marta Fuertes said every member of the club took on different responsibilities to make the party possible.

“We want to continue this energy throughout the year and do more events and gatherings. I think it’s important that we reconnect after two years in isolation or semi-isolation,” Fuertes said during a speech at the event.

The Latinx Fiesta had been held in previous years but was discontinued during the pandemic. Club president and senior Alex Levy led the effort to bring it back last year. Before the pandemic, it was her sister, Dani Levy, who was in charge of the club. The Levys’ mother, Gaby Alcala, said she is excited that both of her daughters honor their identity at school.

“It makes me feel super proud. I love that [Alex] has embraced her culture and that she wants others to embrace their culture and also help people who need more support, who were less lucky than we were when we came to this country,” Alcala said. “Alex took over and she put a lot of effort into it to recover the essence of it. And I have to say that this year, it looks twice as good as last year. It’s incredible. Doing this really energizes her.”

During her speech at the event, Levy thanked everyone for showing up to be a part of the celebration.

“It’s so beautiful to see everyone here who I share a part of my identity with,” Levy said in her speech. “It is so honorable to be Latino, and I am so happy to be able to call myself Latina.”