New Conant club, Latinos Unidos, organizes first ever Latin Night

Devanshi Thakkar | Conant Crier

Juniors Julie Salgado, Dennisse Dorado, and Andrea Ocampo (from left to right)

On Saturday, Feb. 10, the CHS cafeteria was booming with the sounds of Latin music and feet on the floor as Conant Latinos Unidos organized its first ever “Latin Night.”

Latinos Unidos is a cultural club that recognizes and promotes the awareness of Latino culture and traditions at Conant.

Although cultural groups such as Cultural Awareness and South Asian Students of America (SASA) exist at Conant, Latin students didn’t have a specific club to celebrate their diverse cultures up until this year.

Psychology teacher and Latinos Unidos advisor Jennifer Stearns received requests from two of her Latin American students — Aline Cisneros, ‘18, and Lizbeth Guzman, ‘18 — to diversify the Latin American community’s options at Conant by sponsoring a fun, after-school meet-up where students could hang out, eat, and enjoy music together.

This fun, after-school gathering developed into the club Latinos Unidos.

Stearns said, “[The club] has given Latino students at Conant a voice that they’ve been wanting for a while. It’s great, because if even you’re not Latino, you can still join the club to learn about Latino culture, eat Latino food, and/or enjoy Latino music.”

Latinos Unidos has organized multiple events so far this year, such as selling conchas, a Mexican pastry, in the cafeteria; hosting a movie night, where food was served and an array of Hispanic movies were played; and heading to the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.

Before “Latin Night,” Stearns said, “The food and music will hopefully be incentives for people to go and gauge their interest in Latino pride and culture. We’ve been planning this for a few months now and are very excited to see how it goes!”

The day after the event, Stearns said, “With over 70 people buying tickets, the dance was a huge success.”

Stearns added that the most important thing “is for students to realize that the dance [was] an event to celebrate Latino customs and was something that hopefully allow[ed] the CHS Latino student body to feel represented.”

Most students who attended enjoyed the dance.

Andrea Ocampo, ‘19, said, “Overall it was a really fun experience. I really liked the idea of the dance because everyone was welcomed, and it was perfect opportunity for others to see and experience a different culture.”

Aaliyah Bauer, ‘19, said, “I would definitely do this [Latin Night] again. I think it was a great experience, and I got to spend a night with friends who share the same cultural interests I do.”

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