Lancer Spotlight 2/17/22: Hispanic Heritage club brings representation to minority groups


Jayleen Santos, Kaelyn Diaz, Chloe Trevino, Sienna Montenegro, Julie Angulo, and Alexi Crosby.

by Kaelyn Diaz and Katherine Lopez

Did you know that in Spain on the last Wednesday of August, people from all over the world come together and throw tomatoes at each other? This is called La Tomatina, and you can learn more information like this in Hispanic Heritage Club. 

The Hispanic Heritage Club was created in 2021 by Leane Pupo and Senior Kaelyn Diaz. The club aims to teach students of all ethnicities and backgrounds about the cultures and traditions of each Spanish speaking country. 

“I think it is a wonderful way for students who are of Hispanic heritage to connect,but I also think it is a really good way to introduce other kids who are interested in learning about other cultures; it brings everybody together”

— Pupo

Pupo also said, “It brings unity that we all desperately need to make sure that everybody is valued, their diversity is valued, and they are included in the community. Being able to understand their differences and making connections and being able to relate to them, that is going to continue to foster that unity that we need and help take any stereotypes and prejudice away.”

The club is achieving these goals by participating in school events that can spread awareness but also connect students. The club’s latest event was at the Culture Fest on December 9, 2021. The Hispanic Heritage Club partnered with the National Spanish Honor Society to represent unity within the community. 

Hispanic Heritage Club and National Spanish Honor Society Booth at the Culture Fest.

Next year, the club will be run by current junior Emely Paredes as president, current sophomore Sienna Montenegro as vice president, and current junior Chloe Trevino as secretary. 

“I think this club is a positive addition to our school and community because there is not a lot of diversity and when you see a club like this you see a mixture of people even if they are not Hispanic, they want to get involved and you actually do get to see the diversity,” said Trevino. 

Montenegro said, “I agree, our school has improved in helping with diversity using culture clubs but everyone, not only minorities, want a place where they can go and learn more and be with people who are similar to them. This club is a good opportunity for that and can positively impact the community as well.”

Paredes is an example of what Montenegro spoke about. Growing up, she felt she was the only Hispanic student in all of her classes and joining the club made her feel as if she wasn’t anymore.

“I’ve always been one of the only Hispanics in my classes and even in my grade. I wanted to join this club because I wanted to be a part of something and surrounded by people who were just like me.”

Due to Covid restrictions within school buildings, the Hispanic Heritage Club has not had many opportunities to reach out and interact with the students and community. The Culture Fest was a small success, but the club members feel that they could accomplish much more. In the future, Montenegro, Trevino, and Paredes hope to be able to teach students how to cook traditional meals, national dances, and even have monthly pot luck meals. 

“In the future hopefully Covid will get better and we will be able to do more things including food and we could definitely do a pot luck where everyone brings a dish from their country or something like a movie night,” said Montenegro. “A movie night may be good or even some shows we watch, and we could do something to support the Hispanic community because I know there is a lot of stuff that goes on. We could find ways to support the Hispanic community like having English lessons or fundraisers to raise money or even just raise awareness about their issues,” said Trevino.

“Hopefully, next year we can plan a day where everyone can bring in a special dish or food from their country. I would also like to have a day where we get to learn, and look at the different styles of dance from each country. Another event I would like to plan is a Quinciñera. Quinces are the biggest events in the Hispanic community, and it would be very beneficial to share that with the club.” added Paredes. 

The Hispanic Heritage Club consists of 16 members currently but is hoping to add more members by next year. “I would recommend this club because it is a tight knit group and you get close with people and there are sensitive topics, but you can’t avoid them and it makes you understand the struggles and values of the culture and makes you feel closer with the other members,” Trevino said. 

“I absolutely believe that it is going to make a difference in their life and it is going to help their global view in general and they can make new friends, and make more connections. I also think that it can promote a lot of unity by promoting understanding and difference that exists when celebrating those differences, but also embracing the differences,” said Pupo. 

For those who are interested in joining, contact Mrs. Pupo about becoming a member of the Hispanic Heritage Club.