Monday marked the beginning of La Raza Cultural Days,a weeklong series of events that celebrate the traditions of Chicano and Latino culture while educating the UC Davis community about social and political issues facing Chicanos and Latinos today.
“It is very important for the Chicano and Latino student population to come together,” said La Raza coordinator Gretel Quintero,ajuniorsociology and Spanish major. “We can’t forget our culture.“
The weeklong series kicked off in the main Quad with live music and activities fair at noon and an art exhibit featuring work from Magdalena Mora,a Chicana and labor union activist during the late1970s in the Memorial Union MU II room.
Today will feature a presentationcalled “Healthy Eating“ by a chef in the Silo from4to6p.m.,in which three dishes representing Mexican,Brazilianand Salvadorian cooking will be created.Theeventwill also feature a presentation on food substitutions.
“This event is meant to promote healthy eating,because obesity is such a big deal inAmerica,especially among Latinos,” said campus andMUintern Cecilia Mendoza-Torres,aseniorSpanish andeducationdouble major.
Currently,coordinators are trying to get a hold of a nutritionist to accompany the presentation,Torres said.However,in the event that one is unable to attend the activity,Torres said she would present the nutritional information herself.
Festivities continue on Wednesday,featuringthree events.This includes aNoche de Estrellas student talent show in FreebornHallfrom7to10p.m.
Thursday’s activities include a range of activities,including a March for Peace,Justice and Equality fromnoonto1p.m.The march will begin with a series of speeches in which various organizations will discuss issues that they believe the community should be aware of before marching from the Memorial Union to Mrak Hall,according to Quintero.
Groups that will be speaking include Middle East/South Asian Studies (MESA) and La Familia,which supports the queer community.Thursday will also feature a class,Latin Dance101:A Night inCubafrom6to8p.m.Both events will be held in MU II,located on the second floor of the Memorial Union.
An Educational Outreach Youth Conference will be held in the MU II,which aims to foster interest in higher education among students of diverse backgrounds.
“For us it is very important to increase the number of Chicano and Latino students in the educational system,” said Quintero.
The event will take place on Friday from9a.m.to4p.m.,and is expected to have over400students from all overCalifornia in attendance.
The finale of La Raza Cultural Days will be heldSaturday on the main Quad.Activities will include aCuauhtémocRun for Unity from8to9:30a.m.,which is open to all students.There will also beLa Gran Tradeada from11a.m.to6p.m.,a festival that will feature an immigration clinic,health fair,entertainment,arts and crafts,various vendors,a raffle and a children’s fair.
La Raza Cultural Days is a programbythe UC Davis Student Programs andActivitiesCenter,which is funded byASUCD.It is cosponsored by groups such as the Hispanic Staff Association,Yik‘al Kuyum,Cross-Cultural Center,Student Assistants to the Chancellor,the Chicana/o Studies Program and the Chicano/Latino Alumni Chapter-CAAA.
RITA SIMERLY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.XXX