Cultural event celebrates Hispanic dance, music, food
Published: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 23:09
With the smell of fajitas in the air and Hispanic music in the background, the night was one that Tadeo Huerta, the president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, said was perfect.
ALPFA, an association for Hispanic business students, hosted on Wednesday the seventh annual “Caliente,” a celebratory event for Hispanic
The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Mexican Student Association served as co-hosts for the event and provided support to ALPFA.
Huerta, senior mechanical engineering major, said Caliente is important because it is the largest and most visible event the society helps host.
The event celebrated Hispanic heritage and culture at Rudder Fountain with cultural reenactments, displays, dance performances, music and food. Local restaurants sponsored and donated food for the event. There was also a jalapeño eating contest, which featured volunteers from all of the organizations.
Alex Almendarez, senior accounting major and president of ALPFA, said the Hispanic organizations have grown tremendously since he first joined his freshman year.
“When I joined ALPFA as a freshman there were about 20 people in it,” Almendarez said. “Now I am a senior and we have about 80-plus members. This year, we are looking to grow even more.”
Erica Race, vice president of ALPFA, said the organizations are always trying to improve Caliente and draw more students to the event.
“We’re always looking to make it bigger and better,” she said. “I was in charge of it last year so this year I already knew what I was doing and I wanted to take it to the next level.”
Race said she serves as a middleman for joint events with other Hispanic organizations, but her motivation to work reaches beyond her job description.
“Some of my duties are social awareness activities and community service,” Race said. “I also have a passion for my heritage and I want to spread it.”
Huerta said members of these organizations look forward to Caliente and Hispanics all over the community await the event the entire year.
“This event is a way to shine for at least one evening, show off what the Hispanic culture has to offer, show off the great things we have to offer here at Texas A&M,” Huerta said. “We want to make our presence known and continue to move on in the future with a very positive view on our culture.”