SILVER CITY, NM – The Western New Mexico University signature cultural event, ¡Fiesta Latina!, returns to campus June 15-18.
At the center of the four-day festival is an artisan mercado that features the handmade work of highly skilled traditional artisans from across Mexico. Artisans will also be demonstrating their techniques at a dedicated tent where patrons can get hands-on experience with projects that vary from papermaking to a straw mosaic technique called popotillo.
The fiesta also includes music and dance by both traditional and contemporary performers. The opening night concert at Fountain Stage at Regents Square features Mariachi Estrella de Mexico. Additional musical and dance performances will continue Friday night and throughout the weekend and will include the Villalobos Brothers, Jerry Dean, LADAMA, El Javi, Gonzalo, Mariachi Plata de WNMU, the Paso del Norte Folklόrico Dancers, Baile Encanto, Danza Azteca Nacuatli and Yvonne Montoya's Stories from Home.
On Saturday, June 16, there will be a tequila tasting 4-6:30 p.m., with an opportunity to sample traditionally handcrafted tequilas from across Jalisco, Mexico. Tickets for this event are $45 for ten tastes and include a handcrafted copper tequilero. In addition, food vendors will be on campus throughout the festival.
The weekend will also include film screenings and discussion, including the independent film, Gods of Mexico. With visually stunning landscapes and immersive sound, Gods of Mexico is a poetic survey of the vast landscapes and rich diversity of rural Mexico. Other films will depict the creative process of artisans who are exhibiting their work at the fiesta. All the film screenings will take place in the Light Hall Theatre.
A dedicated children's tent will have activities for children, coordinated by the Silver City Museum on both Saturday and Sunday. The children's tent will feature an interactive, bilingual puppet show about the widely-known tale of La Llorona, along with an opportunity for children to make their own puppets.
Alexandra Tager, WNMU Director of Cultural Affairs and one of the coordinators of the festival, is excited to welcome artisans and other fiesta-goers back to campus. "As a designated Hispanic Serving Institution," said Tager, "WNMU is thrilled to present this dynamic, interactive festival which draws a diverse crowd from throughout the region and engages folks in genuine cross border conversation. The aim is to bring about greater mutual understanding of our shared history and present-day connections. "
A schedule of events, tickets, and additional information are available at www.fiestalatina.org.
Since 1893, Western New Mexico University has served the people in its region as a comprehensive, rural, public body. As a Hispanic-Serving Institution and the state's only public Applied Liberal Arts and Sciences university, WNMU is committed to developing cross-cultural opportunities that encourage people to explore new experiences. The WNMU student body represents every segment of southwest New Mexico's diverse population.