PUEBLO — Tuesday kicked off Hispanic Serving Institutions week and Hispanic Heritage Month begins Wednesday. A local college is now celebrating the culture and the community.
CSU Pueblo is celebrating all week and all month long, with fun activities and events for students and members of the community.
On Tuesday, there was an anti-racist workshop. Wednesday, there will be a chili ristra making demonstration. On Thursday, the school will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Chicano studies with a celebration at 6 p.m. On Friday, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Ballet Folklorico will be performing at 5:30.
Dr. Derek Lopez is the executive director of Hispanic serving institution initiatives and he also oversees cultural programming on campus. He said they wanted to bring Hispanic culture and festivities to the campus because nearly 35% of the college's students have a Hispanic background.
"It's important that we show our students and our community that we are proud of who we are in Pueblo and the community that we serve and the cultures that we represent," said Dr. Lopez. "We're honoring our past and where we are in the present and we're hoping to look toward to the future that is marked by equity and equality for all."
For others, these festivities also ensure the Hispanic community is represented equally on campus.
"I love to participate in Hispanic heritage month," said Victoria Ruiz, who used to be a student at the campus and is now a programming assistant for the international programs and inclusiveness excellence on campus. "There are other students participating in these events and in this culture that look like you, that have families like you, that experience similar things as you. It was really important to me as a student because you want to feel like you're not invisible and that your culture is actually being absorbed into the community on campus," said Ruiz.
The Ballet Folklorico performance begin at 5:30 at the Occhiato Student Center ballroom on Friday. Members of the community are welcome to attend.