Celebrating Latino Culture and Raising Awareness

The Spanish Club held and organized Boricua Night to raise awareness and get donations for the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.  Boricua is a slang word meaning “Puerto Rican.”

Everyone who attended the event had a chance to win candy by playing Latino trivia. Information about Hurricane Maria was available at the event and members of the club accepted donations for victims in Puerto Rico.

Emily Weber-Brokke, freshman physical sciences major, joined Spanish Club for events like Boricua Night.

“It’s a great way to raise money and awareness along with having fun. I love that I get to be a part of something that’s used for good,” Brokke said.

Boricua Night has a very personal meaning to Spanish Club president, Alexia Dukes. Dukes is Puerto Rican herself and has a lot of family still living in Puerto Rico.

“I remember sitting in my living room with my parents when news of the hurricane first broke. At first, we didn’t think too much of it because there hadn’t been a hurricane that bad there since the 1920s, so we didn’t know how to react,” Dukes said. “However, the next day is when I realized just how bad it was. My family had no power, food or gasoline. All their basic needs were gone. It was very emotional for me.”

Dukes knew she had to do something and went to the Spanish Club for help.

“At our next meeting, I was very emotional and crying when I asked for ideas about what we can do to help,” Dukes said. After that meeting, Boricua Night was created.

Events like Boricua Night are why the Spanish Club exists.

“Our goal is to be loud and raise awareness about Latino culture and what’s going on in the world,” Dukes said. “When people hear the term Latino they assume just Mexican, but there’s so many other people who are Latino that aren’t Mexican.”

The Spanish Club’s goal is to educate people and help people come together and celebrate different cultures without necessarily being part of that certain culture.

Dukes said kindness was another theme for the event.

“Puerto Rican people are also American citizens, so it is our duty to help and show kindness to our fellow Americans during a hard time,” Dukes said.