CSUSB celebrates Cinco de Mayo in style

By Desirae Contreras |Staff Writer|

CSUSB organizations on campus came together for Cinco De Mayo in celebrate the “The Battle of Puebla.”

The Latino Business Student Association (LBSA), Foreign Language Advising and Guidance for Students department (FLAGS), Latino Cultural Clubs and the Santos Manuel Student Union (SMSU) Cross Cultural Center collaborated for the Cinco de Mayo event that took place on May 3 in the lower commons patio.

“The event promotes the history of Cinco de Mayo as a culture, specifically for Mexico in the Battle of Puebla, it also represents diversity within our school, and pride for what we have accomplished. It is an event for the entire community and school to participate in,” said Karina Reynoso, LBSA vice president of administration.

This is the third annual Cinco de Mayo event in partnership with the SMSU Cross Cultural Center, LBSA and FLAGS, all in favor of celebrating the victory of Cinco de Mayo in a fun and festive way.

“We have teamed up with the Cross Cultural Center and the FLAGS departments for several years and within the last two years we have had ‘Nueva Descendencia’  from the Coachella Valley that is pretty popular conjunto band, which plays various styles of regional Mexican music. It is now known to be one of the biggest events we have here on campus that has been by students on campus and the organization,” said Reynoso.

The event consists of piñatas, live conjunto, baile Folklorico, singers, food, face painting, a disk jockey spinning the best of Latin music and five tables set up representing the different regions of Mexico and their cultures.

Live performances were held by CSUSB’s very own Folklorico team “Grupo de FLAGS de CSUSB,” and the Riverside, Calif. folklorico team “Grupo Illusion.” As well as vocal performances by students Itzel Viramontes and Ernesto Saucedo and former FLAGS member Maribel Rodriguez were also enjoyed.

“It’s barely the beginning of the event and I’m so excited, I love all the food they have, it is really good and everyone is so nice and learning about the cultures makes me want to learn Spanish,” said international student, Natsumi Sakurada. “This event really helped me learn more about a different culture other than my own and it’s so fun I really like the music.”

The head of the FLAGS department, professor Rafael Correa has helped assist the event and provide knowledge with his FLAGS members. They bring the true essence of Latino culture to the school and festive college life for everyone to enjoy.

“This is a commuting school and just like Dr. Correa has said, we don’t really have much of an opportunity to interact with each other and even if the opportunity does arrive we sometimes miss out. We[FLAGS] really believes if we interact with each other more, we can definitely make our college life more fun and exciting for others, which is why events like this make us very passionate,” said FLAGS president, Margarita Vigil.

According to Vigil, Dr. Whittaker, a retired Spanish professor, was one of the main catalysts who initiated the idea to promote a festive Mexican American celebration.

Since then the event has continued to attract many community families, Latino organizations and CSUSB students. With over 200 supportive attendees that came out, the Hispanic community takes pride and joy when celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

“It amazes me to see how many people who have come out to support the event and of different ethnicities  really humbles me and I feel great to know that they’re coming  together to make this event a great one,” said president of LBSA, Julio Ortega Lopez. “The fact that we can celebrate in the U.S. and being Mexican and a part of that culture, this is one of the biggest events we can celebrate here on campus. We take pride and joy in this event.”

The FLAGS department and LBSA collaborated with the SMSU Cross Cultural Center in celebrating one of the reasons to be  proud of the Hispanic community  and this resulted in a great turn out.

“Make sure to come around every year, it’s a big hit for the community, families and students,” said Reynoso. “It’s amazing, really fun. We constantly hear good feedback about the event so hopefully it continues to get bigger and bigger every year.”


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