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The Greyhound

Latin Fest 2016

Miniature flags representing Hispanic nations line the stage during the 2012 Hispanic Heritage Month celebration on Oct. 11, on Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas. The celebration aims to acknowledge the contributions and achievements of Hispanic Americans in the Texas Military Forces and in the nation.

On Friday, Oct. 7, the Association of Latin American & Spanish students (ALAS,) hosted their annual Latin Fest.

“Latin Fest is a place to come together to celebrate the cultures of Latin America, through different dances and performances,” ALAS President Paula Matsunaga said.

Latin Fest, like many other African, Latino, Asian and Native American (ALANA) Services events, uses entertainment to inform people about different cultures. Latin Fest, there were many different activities such as dancing, taking pictures in the photo booth, coloring pictures, and play “Lotería.”

Lotería is a game similar to bingo, but a deck of cards is used instead of numbers on ping pong balls.  The deck is composed of a set of 54 cards with a name and an assigned number. In order to win, a player with four chips in a horizontal, vertical, diagonal row, squared pattern, or fills the lotería board must shout “¡Lotería!” or “¡Buenas!”

Latin Fest offered great performances from different groups like Samba NYC, Towson’s Pasión Dance Team, and Kasandra Cultural Center. It even had performances from Loyola’s very own a cappella groups, the Chimes and the Belles. Each group presented different dances and songs that were invigorating and energizing enough that it made you want to dance in your seat.

In addition to the dancing and singing, the food was another great part of Latin Fest. Attendees had the choice of picking from several different entrees from different cultures. Even though the lines were long, the food was worth the wait.

While Latin Fest was fun, it was also informative. Every table had a different flag with facts about the country on the backside. A slide show with different facts about every country of Latin America was also presented.
“This year, Latin Fest was the biggest we ever had, [the] first time we had it for free, and I thought it went really well,” Matsunaga said, “[we] had a lot of people there, and [they all had] a lot of fun. [I anticipate] next year [to be] bigger and better.”

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Latin Fest 2016