New Mexico State University is known for being a designated Hispanic-serving institution and recognizes the importance of celebrating Hispanic Heritage month by educating and bringing awareness to those values representing the university’s diversity.
Chicano Programs will host the Latinx Heritage Month series with a list of virtual and in-person events the NMSU community can attend during the month of September and October.
- “Even the Women are Leaving” book talk by Dr. Larisa Veloz: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19 at Domenici room 109
- Righting Our Relationship with the Land: 4:00 – 5:20 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25 (To register: bit.ly/3EiMx)
- LACumbias Day: Cumbia, dancing, snacks and community: 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26 at Garcia Center grassy area
- "Chavela” a play by Teatro Quetzal (in Spanish): 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Sept. 28 at Corbett Auditorium
- Latinx Heritage Month NMSU community panel: 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3 (Zoom: bit.ly/45C5iqO)
- Precarious Protections: Unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in the United States by Dr. Chiara Galli: 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4 (Zoom: bit.ly/30zr7Ai)
- Chicanx Programs Rec Day: Rock climbing and fun activities: 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5 at NMSU Activity Center
“All of the events respond to what students stated they wanted to see, interact with and learn, and all of our events are open to all Aggies,” said Río López, director of Chicano Programs. “The NMSU Latinx Community panel is one that I would encourage campus partners to join, as it will be an opportunity to hear directly from students, staff, faculty, and community members' experiences and the work ahead of us.”
López explained the use of the term “Latinx” brings more inclusivity and implemented the term during Latinx Heritage Month at NMSU in 2022.
“Spanish language is very binary, and we want to recognize that nonbinary people exist, and a way to recognize us is to do so through language,” they said. “The word Hispanic has deep roots in coloniality, it is part of the work at Chicano Programs to establish programming and work that moves away from Colonialist practices that enforce problematic, bigoted, and exclusionary messages. It is an ongoing conversation that has for sure informed the events that we host and the discussions that we have with student leaders at Latin American Council, formerly known as Hispanic Council.”
During the series of events, López added it’s critical to observe Latinx Heritage Month beyond food-fun-fiesta approaches to educate our community in what Latindad means.
"There is a vast diversity in culture, traditions, histories, and values,” they said. “Engaging with scholarly work, community building and cultural events that are reflective of Latinx cultures in complex ways are an effective step. We are a Hispanic/Minority Serving Institution, and as such, we need to do a better job understanding the meaning of servingness, and put the students' experiences, voices, and needs at the center of our programming.” This year, there’s an increased partnership and collaboration across NMSU units and with the community. “I am very happy with the partnerships we have created at NMSU, DACC and beyond (Las Colonias Development, NM Cafe, the NM Dream Team, the New America School, Las Cruces Catholic Charities and their support for students from diverse immigration backgrounds to name a few),” López shared. “I really hope that faculty, staff and administrators share our events widely with students and attend the events in the series and that ALL students enjoy the events, learn from them, and get involved in the student organization and activities we have for them year-round.
López said the series of events were able to happen with the support and input from multiple co-sponsors including: NMSU Residence Hall Association, Recreation, LGBT+ Programs, Black Programs, Border Rights Collective student group, Latin American Student Council, McNair Scholars Program (honors college), College of Arts and Sciences, NMSU American Southwest Theater Company, Department of Criminal Justice, Department of Government, The Borderlands and Ethnic Studies, The College of Health Education and Social Transformation, the Center for Latin American and Border Studies, and Alma’s Kitchen.