Staff Writers: Emma Myers and Allison Hudgins

Presenters For “Celebrar Mi Bandera” photographed by Emma Myers

The University of Lynchburg’s Hispanic Student Society hosted Celebrar Mi Bandera, an event that celebrates Hispanic Culture from different parts of the world. 

Leila Sarmiento, President of HSS said, “This event is mainly to celebrate the flags of the Latin American countries and their independence. We try to do this event around September because most Latin American countries have their independence days during this time.

There were presentations of multiple Hispanic countries including Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and more. 

Sarmiento added, “I am so excited to see all of the cultures together. There are so many different cultural aspects when it comes to Latinos and Hispanics that come together on this special day to make everything happen!” 

Jonathan Suarez, sophomore, gave a presentation on Colombia. 

Suarez said, “I am very lucky to be able to present Colombia. My country is very beautiful and I believe that everyone should learn about it and visit if they have the chance to.”

He explains that there are three Colombian Soccer teams. Half of his family is Atletico Nacional fans and the other half of his family is Independiente Medellin fans. He said that “game days can get pretty crazy and awkward.”

Leila Sarmiento and Renée Sarmiento presented on Brazil. 

In their presentation, attendees learned several fun facts about the country: Brazil was led to independence on September 7, 1822 by a man named Pedro de Alcântara, also known as Dom Pedro I and currently has five world cups. 

Jackie Villanueva, graduate student, performed a traditional El Salvadoran dance using props, such as a basket of flowers. 

In a game led by Yazareth Sarmiento students learned that Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson were responsible for officially recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month. 

In addition to this students learned that California has the most Spanish speakers in all of the United States. 

Attending events like this one is important to Lynchburg students because they are able to learn about cultures outside of themselves. 

Mario Cordoba says, “I think it is important to stay open to new experiences in order to grow.  And always keeping in mind that each person and each culture is equally valuable, and learning about them and appreciating them will help us develop a great sense of empathy and respect.”

Alexandra Brewton went to the event and said, “I learned quite a bit from each culture and I like how they were deeper into the food as well as other types of traditions. Most of all it was definitely the physical demonstrations, I’m sure that took a lot of preparation and practice so it was greatly appreciated and very fun to experience. “ 

To find out more about the Hispanic Student Society, be sure to visit their instagram page.

Upcoming events hosted by HSS: 

-October 9: Dia De La Raza in Schewel 214 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

-October 16:Pan Con Cafe in Friendship Circle from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

-November 1: Dia De Los Muertos from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.. Location to be determined  

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