Skip to main content

Latinx Heritage Month: Q&A with Jazmin Hurtado Cortes ’23 and Maria Aguilar Alvarado ’24

by Marketing & Communications,

In recognition of Latinx Heritage Month, which runs Sept. 15-Oct. 15, Willamette University asked students about why the month is meaningful. 

Jazmin Hurtado Cortes ’23 and Maria I Aguilar Alvarado ’24, current co-presidents of Alianza, offered their thoughts. Alianza is a student organization that aims to promote Latinx culture as well as empower the Latinx community in an effort to succeed in higher education. 

Cortes is an economics major with a minor in English. Alvarado is a sociology major with minors in Politics, Policy, Law and Ethics and Spanish

Why is it important for the Willamette community and beyond to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?

Jazmin Cortes
Jazmin Hurtado Cortes ’23

Cortes (pronouns: she/her/ella): To nurture connections within ourselves, others, and our broader community. For many of us, celebrations are pathways to reconnect to our past and form new bridges for our cultures. Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is a form of acknowledging our experiences: the triumphs, challenges, and issues we still face today within our Hispanic community.  As our community grows, we need to keep creating diverse representations, so that our generations keep flourishing.  

Alvarado (pronouns: she/her/ella): Everything in the Hispanic and Latinx community is a celebration, which we love to invite everybody to. With celebrations come experiences and knowledge about the struggles and achievements our community faces. As this community forms a big part of Salem, it is beyond valuable to be able to empathize with those around us, allowing us to create bonds that last a lifetime.

Maria I Aguilar Alvarado
Maria I Aguilar Alvarado ’24

How is Alianza celebrating the month?

We have planned weekly Cafecito Chats at the Student Center for Equity and Empowerment from 6-7 p.m. We are intending to provide a safe and relaxed space to talk about anything and everything that comes from Hispanic and Latinx heritage, while providing cafecito (hot chocolate.) 

As we create a space to debrief and build community, we're ending the month with a "Baile Night" at Montag Den from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30. We organized the night to start with different types of dance lessons and end the night with an open DJ for a party vibe. For "Baile Night," everyone is welcome!

Willamette University

University Communications

Waller Hall, Fourth Floor
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.