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Photo gallery Connection, reflection and celebration mark this year’s Latinx Heritage Month

October 17, 2023

From food, to music, to fashion Latinx culture runs deep. Over the past month, the Latinx Heritage Month Planning Committee and other Latinx students, staff and organizations shared their heritage with campus. Through this year’s Latinx Heritage Month theme, “Transplanting Traditions,” all were invited to learn about and reflect on the connected yet distinct Latinx customs and traditions that have been transplanted across many generations and multiple spaces, finding their way to the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Latinx Heritage Month is recognized each year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. The LHMPC, together with the Latinx Cultural Center, lead the events for the month in partnership with Latinx student groups and Chican@ & Latin@ Studies. 

A group of students dance and walk up Bascom Hill carrying flags from Latin American countries.

Latinx Heritage Month kicked off on Sept. 15, 2023, with the annual March Up Bascom event. Members of the UW–Madison Latinx community, which included students and staff, gathered at the bottom of the hill before marching up to Bascom Hall while playing music and carrying flags from Latin American and Caribbean countries. Photo by: Bryce Richter

A man plays games with others.

At the top of the hill, they enjoyed conversation, games and paletas, creamy frozen treats made from fresh fruit. The event was planned by the Chican@ & Latin@ Studies department and ChiLaCSA — the student government of CLS — with the help of the Latinx Heritage Month Planning Committee. Here, student Mark Dorado Zapata (center) was the overall winner of an all-encompassing game of Rock Paper Scissors. Photo by: Bryce Richter

A woman stands in front of an art gallery looking at the art collection hanging on the wall.

On Sept. 25, Spreading Our Wings showcased the work of Latinx artists in a combined gallery night and celebration of the new CLS major. The evening showcased a range of Latinx-identifying artists who work with a variety of media. Here, an attendee takes in the artwork on display. The event included a gallery talk by CLS Director Rubén Medina, as well as information on the new major. Photo by: UW–Madison Student Affairs

Two people stand at a table and write messages on paper butterflies.

The event also included a pop-up activity called "A Monarch’s Journey." Attendees were invited to reflect on the theme “Transplanting Traditions” by decorating a butterfly. Each butterfly will be part of a collaborative piece of art that represents the journey of Latinx students at UW–Madison. Here, Latina community artist Jessica Gutiérrez, whose work was featured in the show, and Carlos Perez each decorate a butterfly. According to the Latinx Cultural Center, the butterfly is a symbolic creature across many Latinx cultures. References to butterflies can be found in art dating back to ancient Mesoamerica and indigenous Guatemalan textile designs. In recent years, the butterfly has become a symbol of political and social movements in countries like Puerto Rico and the United States. Photo by: UW–Madison Student Affairs

A woman wearing an apron talks to students about masa, a four or corn dough.

Masa, a dough made of corn or flour, plays a significant role in Latinx cuisine. On Oct. 2, an event called "Mastering Masa: A Taste of Tradition" offered hands-on experience cooking with the traditional food staple. Photo by: UW–Madison Student Affairs

A woman stands at a cutting board chopping an onion while two friends watch from behind.

In partnership with WUD Cuisine, participants gathered at the Babcock Hall Food Lab to make picaditas, a corn or flour cake topped with various savory toppings, while learning about Latinx cooking traditions. Photo by: UW–Madison Student Affairs

A speaker stands at a podium with images of butterflies appearing on the screen in the background.

This year’s Latinx Heritage Month keynote came from Isaias Hernandez, a climate educator, researcher and activist. Through their platform, Queer Brown Vegan, Hernandez educates people on the intersectional nature of the climate crisis. The event took place on Oct. 5 at the Play Circle Theater in the Memorial Union Photo by: Althea Dotzour

Two people sit in chairs on a stage engaging in a conversation.

Hernandez engaged in a conversation with undergraduate student and LHMPC Chair Kelly Carranza (left) following a presentation focusing on race, climate and the environment. Photo by: Althea Dotzour

A presenter stands in front of a group of student after a keynote presentation.

Members of the Latinx Heritage Month planning committee had an opportunity to speak with Hernandez after their keynote event. Photo by: Althea Dotzour

A student in a floral dress twirls with another student on the dance floor.

The Latine Ball on Oct. 14 marked the end of Latinx Heritage Month. Students enjoyed music, dancing, a photo booth and refreshments at the Alumni Lounge in the Pyle Center. The event also included an award ceremony to recognize students, staff and campus organizations who helped plan this year's Latinx Heritage Month events. Photo By: Robert San Juan

Two students grab each other's hands on the dance floor.

Student Jaime Alvarez joins friends on the dance floor. Photo By: Robert San Juan

A woman holding red folders talks into a microphone.

Natalia Badillo, Latine Student Union Vice President and connecting committee Latine Student Union representative, announces the winners of the Latine Ball Awards. Photo By: Robert San Juan

A woman poses in front of a leaf-printed backdrop while two friends take a photo.

Ball attendees take a break from dancing to capture memories in the photo booth. Photo By: Robert San Juan

A large group of people dance on the dance floor.

A group of students enjoy the music at the Latine Ball. Photo By: Robert San Juan

Students pose for a group photograph.

The Latinx Heritage Month Committee gather for a photograph during the Latine Ball to celebrate a successful month of events. Photo By: Robert San Juan

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