Elon University students who identify as Hispanic/Latinx recited poetry, sang and performed comedy during Voces Latinas, a Hispanic Heritage Month Open Mic Night, at Oak House on Oct. 8th. The event was hosted by El Centro of Espanol and the Latinx-Hispanic Union.
Voces Latinas was an event for Latinx/Hispanic identifying students to express themselves and their cultures.
Sophomore Bella Martinez said she felt she was able to express herself and have her voice be heard.
“I feel like I am being heard, I feel like people are taking my words seriously because there are people here who can relate to my identity,” Martinez said. “It is difficult to relate to everyone since in most of my classes I am the only Hispanic person. So it is hard to find those places and share and feel that you belong.”
Each performance of the night was judged by a panel of Elon faculty and staff members. This group also selected the winners.
Senior Megan Hernandez-Greene chose to recite “El Palo” an Afro-Dominican Latina poem by Yazmerlin Rodriguez from The Bronx, New York because she felt it represented her heritage. She acknowledges the importance of the poem on her personal identity.
“Our narrative is somewhat taken away from us but in a way, I thought this poem was reclaiming that narrative,'' Hernandez said.
Sophomore Paloma Dettloff sang “La Paloma” because she said it represented her Mexican roots.
“Many people tonight came to talk about their experience and what it is like. We were put aside for so long and this is a place where we can all find each other and find our people”, Dettloff said. “I feel these kinds of events inspire people of what others have been through and make others understand reality. One of the lyrics of the song that I played said 'don’t let it fly away' I think that applies to us. I think it is important for us to have the right to express our voice.”
Voces Latinas is one of the many events El Centro de Espanol has hosted throughout Hispanic Heritage Month.
Hispanic Heritage Month at Elon runs from Sept. 15 through Oct.15. The next events are the Food For Thought on Oct. 14 and the Hispanic Tailgate Nov. 2.