Elon University’s Hispanic and Latinx community gathered Sept.15 in front of Lakeside patio to celebrate the Independence Day for Mexico and five Central American countries — Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

With cultural food and joyous music, El Centro held this event — "Fiesta de Independencia" — not only to promote diversity, but as an opportunity for Latinx students to feel abundantly patriotic. Students ate Hispanic foods such as pupusas and baleadas, and engaged in other activities like zumba, where they played cultural music while dancing.

Even students who aren’t Hispanic joined people from other countries while learning about the culture of Central America. Sophomore Katherine Weston, from Concord, New Hampshire, is currently preparing to study abroad in Guatemala. She said events like this are vital to express Elon’s commitment to inclusion.

“It’s important to celebrate people from these countries at Elon University and the diversity that we promote and bring here,” she said.

Faculty members participated in this celebration, too. Kirstie Doehler, associate professor of Statistics, attended Hispanic Independence Day event for the first time to experience something new.

“It’s a way to spread diversity among the campus and become more involved with El Centro,” she said.