Entra A La Plaza festival will bring people together for dancing and food Friday night for part of Hispanos Unidos’ 25th anniversary celebration.
Entra A La Plaza is an annual Hispanos Unidos event, where students and the Abilene community can be entertained by Folklorico dances, mariachi music and hispanic foods from across the South American region. The event is scheduled for Friday night at the Hunter Welcome Center and will begin at 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $5 at the door.
Renique Rodriguez, a junior vocational missions major from Georgetown, said the club began planning the event since the end of the last school year in preparation for the amount of people expected to attend and the club’s anniversary.
“We started planning at the end of last year because it’s right at the beginning of the school year,” said Rodriguez, president of Hispanos Unidos. “When we all got back to good ole ACU, we collaborated on what needed to be done. It’s been a lot of running around at the beginning of the year, but I’m so excited to see it put into play.”
Because it’s the 25th anniversary of Hipanos Unidos, Rodriguez said this year’s event is especially important for the club.
“The 25th is special, and this calls for something special,” said Rodriguez. “We want to make this whole year for HU special, but we really also want to keep the tradition of Entra A La Plaza. As a club, we want our members to know the history, and for the new freshman we want them to experience true Hispanic culture that is in our student body. Most people don’t realize that Hispanics are the biggest minority group on campus, and we would like for them to connect with HU as a place to call home, and for those who are not Hispanic to be able to take part in Hispanic culture.”
In planning Entra A La Plaza, students involved had to find professional Folklorico dancers, a major cultural aspect and focal point HU tried to incorporate. Ballet Folkorico is a traditional Spanish dance that emphasize several similar qualities to ballet in where pointed toes, large turns and male partners play a key role, especially when being performed live.
Erika Puebla, HU’s event coordinator, said dancing was big factor the officer team wanted the audience to experience.
“One thing for sure that we can expect for this year is that Entra A La Plaza will be dancing,” said Puebla, a senior nursing major from Guanajuato, MX. “We want people to experience a culture that might be different to students and dancing is a huge influencer in Hispanic music and culture.”
Students who attend the festival can expect plenty of authentic foods and beverages, including Aguas Frescas, palletas, enchiladas and other Spanish favorites.
Mariana Cedillo, historian for HU, said Hispanics are a big umbrella and people usually assume Hispanic means Mexican and combine the two.
“Hispanic heritage months is not until September 15, so we’re a bit early, that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate diversity,” said Cedillo, a multimedia major from McAllen. “Hispanics or Latinos is a big umbrella for all the different cultures found in Mexico, Central and South America. We all come from different backgrounds and grew up with different traditions. Entra A La Plaza is something we do to showcase that.”
Puebla said the future of HU seems to be going in the right direction.
“As cheesy as it may sound, the future for HU is very bright,” said Puebla. “What I mean by that is that the club is growing in numbers. We want people to understand what HU means, and stands for. We want to make people feel welcomed even if they are not Hispanic. People are sometimes afraid to come to our small group chapel or events, because they feel they have to be Hispanic to attend when they do not have to be. We want HU to be a place that everyone can attend and be part of.”