The Latinos for Christ club hosted a fiesta for Our Lady of Guadalupe at 7:30 p.m. in the Atrium of the J.C. Williams Center on Sunday, Nov. 11.
The celebration began with a brief talk by Brother Ruben Velez, MIC, on the importance of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Latino culture.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the divine patroness of Mexico and the Americas, who appeared to St. Juan Diego in December of 1531 just outside of present-day Mexico City.
“It’s a really big celebration in the Mexican culture,” said club member Emma Gomez, junior education major.
Both undergraduate and graduate students attended the dance party that featured Latino decorations, music and food.
Vibrant streamers, “papel picado” (perforated paper), banners and a piñata enlivened the room with color, along with multicolored lights and an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, as depicted on the tilma of Saint Juan Diego.
Chicken taquitos, crisp-fried meat and tortilla rolls; queso, a warm and spicy cheese dip; and Mexican rice were spread across a lively yellow, orange, blue, green and red tablecloth.
Latinos for Christ club seeks to provide community for the Latino population on campus with parties, rosaries recited in Spanish and more.
Events “bring a little piece of home” for Latino students to Franciscan University of Steubenville, said Gomez, as well as expose other students to traditional Latino culture.
The Latino community at Franciscan University, said Gomez, is small but growing. Students in attendance have roots in countries such as Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba and Peru.
Large fiestas are common in Latino communities. Typical parties are full of music and homemade dishes to celebrate family, friends and heritage.
“Everyone was welcoming and joyful while sharing a small piece of rich Latino culture,” said Sarah Lawlor, junior theology major. “It was a beautiful way to have fellowship and fun (for) the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.”