The Latin American Student Organization (LASO) will be hosting several events this month in celebration of Latinx Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15 and honors the achievements and culture of Latinx Americans. LASO’s programs for the month and those throughout the year aim to increase the visibility of Latinx students on campus and promote intersectional stories within the Latinx community.
Last Saturday, LASO hosted its kickoff event for Heritage Month and the academic year, featuring traditional foods from different Latinx communities, a DJ, a piñata and other activities like musical chairs. LASO member Alexandra Camargo ’25 believes that the event, held in the center of campus on the steps of the Bowdoin Museum of Art (BCMA), was a great display of Latinx visibility on campus.
“I’m a very emotional person, so when I saw all the POC [people of color] and the Latino people there enjoying [themselves] and just being visible on campus, it was just such a cool feeling,” Camargo said. “Hearing your music being played on campus and seeing flags—someone brought a huge flag that was taller than they are … seeing everyone in the cultural [regalia] was just super nice.”
Jose Mota ’23, LASO’s programming chair, spoke to the event’s fun atmosphere and the diverse turnout.
“We cracked down a piñata … just classic staples of what can transpire in a Latinx community, and overall we were so happy [about] the turnout. We saw … lots of allies who came with their friends,” Mota said.
Mota emphasized that LASO’s events are not just for those who identify as Latinx.
“If you don’t identify as Latinx, but you want to come, we encourage it. We like that support; it shows us that you want to experience what [our community] offer[s],” Mota said.
Saturday was just the beginning of a large series of events that the club is hosting this month. On Wednesday, the organization hosted a “Latinx Identity Panel” in the Moulton Union Main Lounge, which highlighted the perspectives of Latinx-identifying members of the Bowdoin community. On Thursday, Dash Harris, a Latinx and black-identifying influencer, visited the College to speak about the often forgotten stories of the Afro-Latinidad community.
Mota said that events like Wednesday’s panel and Harris’ visit seek to highlight the numerous intersectionalities of identities within the Latinx community.
“We want to cover the many intersecting identities that don’t get the spotlight necessarily within Latinx communities,” Mota said. “We’re trying to [encourage discussion about] indigeneity, queerness, gender, citizenship and disability.”
Other upcoming events will aim to promote Latinx visibility on campus by showcasing Latinidad culture. On Saturday, October 1, LASO will host a “Latin Dance Night” at Quinby House, with lessons on genres of traditional Latin dance. Additionally, on October 6, LASO will premier a ‘Latinidad Photograph Showcase’ in Copeland House.
“LASO is going to be doing a [photo]shoot of all the Latinos on campus [to increase] Latino visibility at Bowdoin; they’re going to be showcased at [Copeland House], so I’m really excited to attend that and be a part of that,” Camargo said.
Latinx Heritage Month will conclude on October 15, but LASO’s work around campus will continue throughout the year. Beyond the organization’s fun and informative programming, its weekly meetings are from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 30 College Street and are open to all students, regardless of heritage.