"Growing up, I would enter my home and hear salsa music already playing. I’d smell asado grilling, I’d smell arepas, which I make all the time for my friends and family. It was kind of an expectation that at school and outside, I was supposed to be white, but when I came inside my house, then it was ok to be Hispanic, and I didn’t like that.
"Baylor kind of opened the door for me to say, 'No, I can do both.' I can be proud of who I am and bring in other people to celebrate that while enjoying other cultures around me. At Baylor, I feel like I can be myself.
"I saw [Baylor's Hispanic Students Association] as an opportunity to bring everyone together, which is when I started to get more involved. We rebranded "Fiesta," which is a name I thought predominately has the Mexican culture in it, to "Parranda," which means like a large party. ... I wanted to expose everyone to vocabulary they didn’t hear a lot about. Parranda is popular in Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina. It’s a word that incorporates more countries than just Central America.
"Students there were saying ‘I saw Brazil.’ They said they felt separated from the Hispanic community because technically they’re Latino, not Hispanic. They were like, 'Thank you, thank you for that.' We had dancers come, they tour, they had just come from Colombia. You saw people that were black, people that were white, people that were Asian, that were Hispanic, up there dancing with them. That’s what made it worth it."
-- Sophomore political science and environmental studies major
-- Houston, TX
-- One of thousands of #BaylorLights