Hispanic Heritage Month started back in September and throughout the month people around the United States observed it by celebrating their culture with others and learning more about their culture’s history. As Hispanic heritage comes to a close very soon, many Masuk student volunteers, staff, and others held an eventful and exciting Latin Night in the Masuk cafeteria.
Many students at Masuk were anticipating this exciting event. “I’m excited about Latin night because it’s a celebration of Hispanic culture and I can’t wait to have so much fun,” sophomore Natalia Di Scala stated.
The night started with a delicious dinner. The Masuk cafeteria was well-decorated, resembling a restaurant. Tables were decorated with a vibrant red tablecloth, small candles, and plenty of menus displaying the tasty-sounding meal. Alongside the decorated cafeteria, catchy and popular Hispanic music like reggaeton and bachata played.
As the dinner started, the cafeteria was filled with the pleasing smell of the delicious foods they were serving. This included Hispanic foods like empanadas de pollo (chicken empanadas), empanadas de pizza (pizza empanadas), arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), and pernil (roasted pork). The night also included dessert which featured a delicious tres leches cake that made many go for seconds.
Masuk sophomores, Isabella Laraia and Alexis Read were among the people who enjoyed the amazing meal. Laraia states, “The food and dessert were made really well, you could tell the chefs put a lot of effort into their meals and preparations,” She added, “As someone who is accustomed to a certain amount of Spanish food I can say the meal was very enjoyable,.” Read had an equally amazing experience,commenting, “Food was extremely exquisite. Especially the pork. Highly recommend going next year,”
There was also a wide variety of refreshments including drinks such as Diet Coke, Coke, Pineapple Fanta, and Sprite. There were many Masuk students helping with delivering people’s meals and many waiters. Senior Nick Sing, a helper during the night, stated, “It took a while of preparation to get people like the hostesses, the waiters, and everyone helping out,”
After everyone had their filling meal, the band, “Orquesta Afinke”, who had also appeared at last year’s Latin Night, showcased an outstanding performance of classic salsa and merengue music. The catchy tunes made many people get on their feet and happily dance along to the music regardless of dance background. Sophomore Samantha Davoren had a few comments to say about the music, “I really liked the music here and the live band’s music was really enjoyable to dance to,” After the live music ended DJ “Billy da Kid” put on some captivating well-known reggaeton music which made most people dance even more and it created amazing hype energy on the dance floor.
To make this entire night possible it took some hard work from people. Joel Castillo, one of the main coordinators of this night stated, “We have been planning this since August. It’s the constant planning, reaching out to the band, and DJ, and making sure the caterers are available,” Castillo and his entire team worked really hard to make sure everyone had an amazing night.
Castillo, who has been doing Latin Night ever since he worked in Bridgeport, noted that the reason why they do this is to embrace diversity. He states, “It gives the opportunity for Masuk students that come from a Hispanic background to celebrate their own identity and culture,” adding, “but it also allows students that are not Hispanic to acknowledge and celebrate along with us, and learn to embrace diversity,”
Latin Night displayed the diversity of the Masuk community. There were not only the Hispanic students there to celebrate but also other people from different cultures coming together to celebrate Hispanic culture as Castillo said. This night offered the opportunity for everyone from different cultures, ages, and backgrounds to unite and have a wonderful time dancing, eating food, or catching up with friends.