Cinco de Mayo evokes culture


By Rebekah Frank, Staff Wrtier

On May 7 EWU students, faculty and community members gathered around the campus mall dancing, singing and enjoying the celebration of Cinco de Mayo as they shared snow cones and listened to the live Mariachi band.

Eastern students, visiting high school students and community members were enjoying the festivities and educational booths set up, such as the study abroad booth.

“We wanted to expose visiting high school students as well as the campus community to Mexican culture, games and treats,” said EWU counselor for the Chicano education program Jennifer Núñez.

EWU senior Kendra Ansotigue, who is an intern with the office of global initiatives, was manning the study abroad booth. Ansotigue said there are three different ways students can study abroad.

The first is through direct enrollment which is applying directly to a university in another country. The second is through a third party, where the third party will set up housing, food, classes and other needs for the student. The last one is faculty led in the summer and one in the winter.

Ansotigue said that through the faculty-led option a student can go to Spain, France, Cuba or India. However, the other programs allow students to go other places around the world.

“We pretty much go anywhere,” said Ansotigue.

Another booth had a “Take A Chance Make A Change” Wall set up and manned by some members of the Greek community. EWU graduate student and member of the Delta Sigma Theta Julie Pearson said there were three other sororities and fraternities involved.

The booth had envelopes taped to the wall, and as students came up they could pay $1-$5 donations and choose an envelope on the wall. Students could win prizes like certificates, free haircuts, inspirational quotes and free pizza.

EWU junior and member of the Alpha Pi Sigma Olivia Ybarra-Arizmendi said, “Sometimes the envelopes don’t have anything, but that is the point about taking a chance to make a change.”

“Any opportunity for educating everybody on culture is a good thing,” Pearson said.

EWU freshman Maria Gutierrez manned a booth where students could get their pictures taken with cutouts of the Mexican lottery game, “Lotería.” The game is like bingo, but instead of using numbers it use pictures. Some of the pictures where photo props and students could pretend they were the characters in the game.

“There was a dual purpose of the resource fair. One, was to showcase the variety of clubs and organizations that the majority of our Chicano students get involved within our campus. Two, to showcase Eastern’s support services and academic departments,” said Núñez.

Many students enjoyed their time at the fair and all the opportunities. Some booths were making snow cones and giving them away.

“Overall we want students to have a fun time together enjoying the music, dance, games and treats. We want them to first hand experience our familia concept that is unique on our campus,” said Núñez.

EWU junior Marline Ortega said, “I really enjoyed the music and also seeing so many Hispanics gathering together to celebrate and show pride in our culture. As well as showing other students and staff members from different cultures what our Hispanic culture is about and demonstrate [to] others that when we have the opportunity to things like this resource fair that we are not afraid of sharing our culture with others. It’s very important to not forget where we come from and show pride and respect in our culture.”