The University of Houston-Victoria is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with free public events that include an outdoor festival featuring different dance styles and an art collage showcase.

The first event is a showcase of the art collage project titled “Juntos En La Vida” on Oct. 5, and the second event on Oct. 14 will be Fiesta Latino. The events will be hosted by the university’s student-run Multicultural Advisory Council. Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

“We are excited to be hosting more events for our students and the community,” said Freddie Cantu, UHV assistant director of diversity and inclusion. “The UHV Multicultural Advisory Council is about being inclusive and teaching about different identities and cultures in a fun and educational way. Hispanic Heritage Month is not just about the Mexican culture but different Latino cultures, and we try to highlight as many as we can.”

So far, the university has hosted a few Hispanic Heritage Month events for students, including a door art decorating event, a Mexican Independence Day celebration and a Lotería game night, said Jaira Jenkins, president of MAC. At the beginning of the month, students were invited to create door wreaths in preparation for Hispanic Heritage Month, and on Sept. 16, the council had a table in University Commons Lobby and gave out Mexican candy for Mexican Independence Day.

“I believe it is so important to host these events because there are so many cultures in America, and we want to bring respect and awareness to as many cultures as possible,” Jenkins said. “UHV is so diverse, and we want all to feel welcome here.”

The “Juntos En La Vida” art project will include art submission pieces of what Hispanic heritage means to UHV faculty, staff and students. The project will include paintings, drawings, photos and poems. The finished art piece will be created by Josh Vega, a local artist who founded Free Art Victoria and will be showcased at a live event from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 5 in the University Commons Multi-Purpose Room, 3006 N. Ben Wilson St. Attendees will be able to view the art and meet the artist, and refreshments will be provided while supplies last.

Fiesta Latino will be from 7 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 14 on Pyramid Row, located behind University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. There will be music and live performances by a ballet folklorico group and a mariachi band. Local dance instructors also will perform different types of Latin dance styles, and there will be a local food truck on site as well.

Both events are free and open to the public. Masks and social distancing are encouraged at both events. For more information about Hispanic Heritage Month events at UHV, contact Freddie Cantu at cantufe@uhv.edu or 361-485-4474.

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