UGA Hispanic Student Association hosts 31st Noche Latina | Arts & Culture
The University of Georgia’s Hispanic Student Association held its annual Noche Latina event on Saturday night at the Tate Center Grand Hall. This year’s event, titled “A Través De Nuestros Ojos,” which means “through our eyes” in Spanish, centered on the experiences of Latino students at UGA.
“The meaning of the theme is the experiences of Latino students at a predominantly white institution,” said Elisa Fontanillas, a junior advertising major who is the co-president of HSA.
“Not all experiences of Latino students are the same, but a lot of them have very overarching themes that fall on the same lines, so that was something that we wanted to highlight with this year’s Noche Latina,” Fontanillas said.
The event featured catering from Agua Linda Mexican Restaurant as well as photo booths and props for the attendees. Ray Moncayo, a junior social studies education major and HSA’s public relations chair, pitched in with serving food to guests and spoke about celebrating Latino culture by volunteering at Noche Latina.
“[I like] being able to celebrate our culture and being able to get together and do something where it has to do with the promotion of Latinos at such a big school like UGA, a PWI. It’s just nice to be a part of something this big,” Moncayo said.
Among its performances, Noche Latina featured monologues from three different students — Elián Fabbrini, Joselin Ortuño and Josh Duarte — who each shared their individual journeys through education as Hispanic students at UGA.
The event also featured a bilingual poetry reading, as well as various songs and dance from different student performers and dance troupes.
Student Alan Ramírez sang “Pienso en Ti” by Chayanne and “Como No Quererte” by Ulices Chaidez, accompanied by his acoustic guitar. Visiting dance troupe Aklla Sumaq danced to traditional Peruvian folk music, followed by a student group performing a dance medley to an upbeat Spanish pop and merengue mix.
The event wasn’t complete without inviting the audience in on the fun, as students stepped off the stage and onto the main floor as Bad Bunny’s “Después de la Playa” broke out through the speakers.
Jacki Lira, a junior advertising major and decor committee head for the event, believes that the hard work and collaboration between HSA members makes Noche Latina a sweet occasion for everyone at UGA.
“It’s honestly really great being able to meet so many new people and just connect with old friends as well and work on an event that we’re all passionate about,” Lira said.
“And being able to see everyone the day of [Noche Latina] take their photos and be with their families and show them what we’ve worked on this entire time and we’ve worked late hours trying to get everything together,” Lira said. “I think everyone just gets really proud of seeing their work get done and it being appreciated by the community.”