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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

SOL to host Latin American Festival

For those looking to escape the encroaching Iowa winter, the annual Latin American Festival will be this Friday from 6 p.m. to midnight at Harris. There will be food from La Cabaña served at around 7 p.m., followed by student performances and a dance party, starting at 10, with Spanish music including bachata, merengue, punta, reggaeton and Salsa. As in years past, the festival is being organized by the Student Organization of Latinos/Latinas (SOL).

“We do not want it to die off.” said Brendy Peralta ’12, an organizer of the event.

Most of the event’s funding comes from SGA All-Campus Events, and the Spanish department is also sponsoring this event. This festival is open to everyone, including Grinnell community members, and SOL hopes to attract people from across campus, and perhaps even gain some new members for the group itself.

“The organization itself,” Peralta said, “is not only for Spanish majors or people who know how to speak Spanish; it is for anyone who is interested in learning about the culture and the community.”

There will be different students groups performing—one is going to be dancing Bachata, and another group will do folklorico and merengue, and there will even be a belly dancer, while other students will recite poetry and sing. Besides these performances, SOL is also bringing a professional dance group to campus for the festival.

“We are having a variety of performances, including professional Aztec dancers, who are coming from Minnesota. They performed two years ago and they were really good. A lot of people enjoyed them, so we are bringing them back this year.” said Debbie Cifuentes Ramirez ’13, another organizer
SOL hopes to have a good turnout for this event. SOL’s mission is about informing people about the different cultures in Latin America and the Latin American Festival is intended to share this diversity.

“Our goal is to get more students to be aware of our organization and our culture, things that make us distinct. We are not going to cover all aspects of Latin American culture in the event, but we do want to get students interested in them, watch their friends perform, be amazed, and have a good time,” Peralta said.

SOL planned this event far in advance and has put a lot of work into advertising for it. While many Grinnellians may be busy on a Friday night, they encourage people to even just stop by for a short while to check it out.

“We’ve tried really hard advertising it—we [contacted] the Spanish department, we announce it in our classes,” Cifuentes Ramirez said.

This Latin American Festival will be the last big event for SOL this semester, although they will also be helping with the Thanksgiving dinner held at Spanish House, also funded by SGA. Next semester, SOL is going to organize the Quinceañera, another tradition of theirs.

The Latin American Festival will take place this Friday, November 18, from 6 p.m. to midnight in the Harris Center.

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