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Oct. 24, 2018 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Students and members of the campus community are invited to watch Disney’s “Coco” and celebrate Mexican and Hispanic traditions on Nov. 1 at Eastern Oregon University.
Diana Bautista, a junior studying business administration at EOU, is in her second term as president of Latino Impact, one of the student groups organizing the event.
“Growing up in a Mexican-American household, the celebration of both of my cultures that make me who I am was always important,” Bautista said. “I have learned that teaching and informing others about who we are and our roots is integral in continuing the growth of a diverse and inclusive society.”
She is also a Diversity Mentor for the Student Diversity and Inclusion Center and a member of the Student Council for Multicultural Affairs, which partnered with Latino Impact and the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion to host a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration on campus. The three-day Mexican holiday honors family and friends who have passed away and aids in their spiritual journey.
The holiday follows Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 and celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Hispanic Heritage Week was established in 1968, expanded to a full month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.
Student members of Latino Impact at the club’s 2018 Cinco de Mayo event.
“Hispanic Heritage Month is important to me because it highlights my culture, and the many individuals that have made an impact in the Hispanic community,” Bautista said. “By sharing their stories, young leaders are empowered to continue to step up and take on leadership positions.”
Starting at 4 p.m., community members can decorate a Day of the Dead altar at the Multicultural Center (Hoke Union Building, second floor), and leave notes dedicated to loved ones who have died. Participants will also decorate sugar skull cookies, a traditional element of the holiday. At 6 p.m., Disney’s “Coco” will begin in Lewis Auditorium (Zabel 101), and afterward Latino Impact will host a short presentation on the film’s insight into Mexican culture and the significance of the holiday.
“[Participating in] Hispanic Heritage Month means that students are not only able to immerse themselves in the cultures, but also embrace the diversity here at EOU,” Bautista said. “This is a great opportunity for students at EOU to learn and discuss the significance of COCO, along with gaining knowledge about the culture.”
All events are free and open to the public. Contact the Multicultural Center for additional information at 541-962-3741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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