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- by  By Devon Geary
Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month is always a celebration at New College of Florida, filled with fun events organized by students, faculty and staff. I spoke with second-year student Gaby Batista to learn more about the celebration and the Latinx Club as a whole.

Batista and third-year student Liam Carillo are the co-presidents of the Latinx Club, and they are involved in the event planning for both school-wide and Club-focused events. The Club has grown to about 40 members since it was founded in 2015, and its goals are to support members and provide the opportunity for students to learn about different cultures.

“Latinx heritage means a lot of things to me, namely how I can honor my ancestors and my family that has worked so hard to provide the opportunities I have now in America,” Batista said. “It’s a time for not only Latinx people, but for everyone to appreciate Latinx heritage and culture and how that impacts our wider society.”

There are several events being planned for this month and throughout the year. Nationally, Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month takes place between September 15 and October 15. It was made official in 1989 to commemorate the independence days of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

This year, the Latinx Club and the office of Student Activities and Campus Engagement (SAuCE) are partnering up to host the Latinx Heritage Cultural Cooking Class. Due to the hurricane, the event is now taking place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wed. Oct. 26 in X Kitchen. Make sure to attend to learn how to make empanadas with Instructor of Spanish Language and Literature Mariam Manzur-Leiva, Ph.D. If you want specific music played at the event or have a recipe to share, this event comes with a Spotify playlist and a community cookbook.

Latinx Club is also partnering with the Diversity Committee to plan this year’s Cultural Picnic on October 1, and two walls (on-campus parties) are expected to be hosted by the co-presidents of the Latinx Club. If the Latinx Wall and/or Bad Bunny Wall are voted on by the students, the events will take place at the end of Latinx Heritage Month. The Club itself will be hosting movie/show screenings and discussions about Latinx identities.

Sonia Labrador-Rodriguez, Ph.D. (associate professor of Spanish language and literature) and Hugo Viera-Vargas, Ph.D. (assistant professor of Caribbean/Latin American studies and music) are to thank for providing the bridge between the Club members and the faculty for event planning.

Faculty sponsorship is vital to the events the Club hosts, including last year’s event on the bayfront (with performances from several Latinx musicians). The Club is planning a similar bayfront event this year (coordinated by Latinx Club members, sponsors and other campus clubs) for Día de los Muertos, to show how different cultures honor their deceased loved ones.

For more information on upcoming events, visit

Note: Some events mentioned in this article were rescheduled due to Hurricane Ian.