Mariachi music was playing loudly at the Red Raider Plaza as students lined up for free tacos and agua frescas at the Mercadito event. Mercadito, which translates to “small market”, was an event hosted by the Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) at Texas Tech.

Jade Sylvia-Tobar, senior director of the Texas Tech Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion said, “The goal today was to focus on the Hispanic and Latina student organizations as well as departments and units where you could explore Latinx/Hispanic cultures such as study abroad and the Thomas J. Institute for Hispanic Communication, as well as the Mexican-American Latino Studies group we have here at Tech”.

Each organization had their own booth, with different activities available.

One of the major highlights was the inclusion of food as a way to share Hispanic/Latinx culture with Texas Tech students. The Hispanic Student Society made aguas frescas and fresas con crema to share their culture with Tech students.

Alesí Hernandez, HSS President, senior, Odessa TX, said “We are trying to get other students to embrace our culture by showing them the different food we have as well as the different traditions”.

In addition to the agua frescas and fresas con crema, there was also a taco truck. Students that attended the event received a yellow wristband that gave them free tacos.

Along with the draw of free food, Tech students also attended to learn more about the clubs and organizations and what they had to offer.

Jennifer Rolcaba, sophomore from Houston, TX, said “I’m part of the Hispanic community myself, and I came to support HSS” adding “I’m excited for the whole week, I’m excited to see what’s planned”.

Today was day one out of a weeklong event hosted by HSI as part of Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month. This week, Tech will offer different activities each day that showcase the Hispanic/Latinx community and traditions.

Sylvia-Tobar adds, “It is important for Texas Tech, with its Hispanic/Latinx students making up 27% of our student population, to not only represent but also share our culture with others”.

The current schedule for this week is listed as follows:

Tuesday, Sep 14- Virtual event “What does servingness mean in Hispanic Serving Institution” from 4:00-5:30 PM

Wednesday, Sep 15- El Grito Celebration at Urbanovsky Park from 7:00-9:30 PM

Friday, Sept 17- Screening of “In the Heights” at 7:00 PM at Cinemark Movies 16

Hernandez adds that “This has been a month in the making and hopefully a lot of people come by, but overall I am very optimistic and excited for this week”.

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