On Thursday June 8 in the Bellevue College cafeteria, El Centro Latino held an end-of-year event to celebrate Latino culture.
Admission was free and vouchers were available to purchase to participate in various activities. The celebration was also a fundraiser for the BC DREAMer Scholarship.
At the celebration, food from Maya’s Restaurant was served to all attendees. There was also a DJ playing music while students participated in musical chairs, a dance contest, photo booth and bought goods from the bake sale.
“El Centro Latino is a program where students of all backgrounds can join and learn about Latin culture, as well as being a safe place where Latin students can find support,” said El Centro Latino Coordinator Paty A. Manuel.
“We believe it’s important to celebrate Latin culture on campus because Latinos are no longer hidden faces,” said Manuel. “We are a culture that wants to be seen as heroes and leaders within our community. Learning about each other’s culture also helps us grow as people and learn about the different aspects of community around the world.”
“Learning about each others culture also helps us grow as people and learn about the different aspects of community around the world,” said Manuel. “We hope students experience unity in our event, we want everyone to feel apart of El Centro. We also want students to take with them the importance of showing solidarity with undocumented students.”
The BC DREAMer Scholarship is for undocumented BC students who might struggle with finances due to their non-citizenship. With little employment opportunities offered to them as well as being unable to qualify for federally-funded financial aid, these students often find it difficult to obtain an education. The BC DREAMer Scholarship helps students who are not US citizens, registered with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, or on a student visa.