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A celebration of Hispanic culture

Daniel Bedoya bursts with pride as he speaks of his parents, who emigrated from Colombia to Rhode Island, and his being the first in his family to attend college. Now, he’s a fourth-year student and president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, a student organization dedicated to helping Latinos obtain and develop their professional careers.

This year SHPE is co-sponsoring Hispanic Heritage Month, which began on Sept. 15 and runs through Oct. 15, with the Latino/a Student Cultural Center, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity and the Latin American Student Organization.

“The Hispanic culture is a very proud culture. We’re very proud of where we come from,” Bedoya said. “So it’s really important to show Hispanic students, whether they are new or returning this fall, a second home here on campus.”

Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, students will be treated to a range of events, including guest speakers, art exhibits, movie screenings and Spanish conversations. The celebrations kicked off last week when the Latino/a Student Cultural Center hosted an open house showcasing the many resources its offers students. The center’s services include mentoring, tutoring, leadership training and Spanish conversational workshops, as well as a space to relax and converse with fellow students, said LSCC assistant director Rebecca Elizabeth Veira.

Following the open house, a reception highlighted the current Gallery 360 exhibit titled “Alive, the Legacy.” The exhibit, which runs through Oct. 18, includes pieces from the New England Gallery of Latin American Art in East Boston that portray the artists’ connection with their ancestral past.

On Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. (rain or shine), students will honor their heritage with a Parade of Flags beginning on 104 Forsyth St. On Thursday at 6 p.m., the LSCC will host a photography exhibition of Colombian culture titled “Colerico y Sanguineo.”

Tracey Britton, diversity coordinator in the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, called Hispanic Heritage Month a great way to help foster a sense of community on campus.

“We work frequently with the cultural centers on campus around events that celebrate and bring greater visibility to all cultures represented at Northeastern,” Britton explained.

On Tuesday evening, the Latin American Student Organization and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers held a kick-off meeting in which they welcomed students back to campus and energized them for this fall’s slate of activities.

“We’re dedicated to the advancement of Latino culture here at Northeastern and we incorporate that culture into our events, social gatherings or meetings,” said Gabriel Colon-Sciabarrasi, LASO president and a fourth-year business major. “But our events aren’t just for Latinos. All students are welcome.”

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