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Holyoke High North Campus Holds Annual Latino Heritage Assembly

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On Thursday, November 1, 2018 students and staff from Holyoke High School’s North campus gathered together to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month at the annual Latino Heritage Assembly. With a large percentage of Holyoke High school students being of Latino descent, the school felt that it was important to incorporate an event to celebrate all the Latinos in our school and honor their culture and heritage. Hispanic heritage was honored in many ways including: poem recitations, dancing, singing, speaking about traditional customs, and acting.

The assembly started off with the HHS band playing the traditional song: Oye Como Va by Tito Puente, as students entered the gym and settled into place. Throughout the assembly, there were additional musical performances, with the Madrigal Choir performing a beautiful piece, titled, Estos Los Digos by Kinley Lange and multiple musical performances by the cast of In the Heights.

Following this,  sophomore, Devin Luciano, recited a traditional poem from the early 1950s, titled, Pequena America, translating to “Little America” written by Pablo Neruda. This poem highlighted the beauty of Hispanic heritage and Latin America by comparing America’s beauty to that of a woman. There were two additional poem recitations during the assembly, with Hennessy Colon reading Madre America by Charito Freira Rondon and HHS science teacher Zaida Cruz reciting an original poem about Hispanic and American heritage, written by HHS Spanish teacher, Mr. Colon.

In addition to poems, dancing was also performed by students of the Star Dancer’s Unity Company to celebrate Latino heritage. These dancers put together and performed a unique performance, which highlighted many different types of Spanish dances including: salsa, merengue, and bachata.

Then, a few Holyoke High students spoke about the old Mexican tradition of Dia de Los Muertos, which occurs every year on November 2, also known as the “Day of the Dead.” They informed students about their heritage and the tradition of putting together “ofrendas” (altars), which serve as memorials for their deceased loved ones. An “ofrenda” was put together, decorated, and displayed for students to take a look at after the event.

Lastly, there were short performances by actors and actresses involved in the upcoming play at Holyoke Community College: In The Heights. Holyoke High students: Melina Garcia ’20, Michael Luciano ’20, and Adrielle Berrios ’21 are involved in this production and performed short musical numbers from the play with their cast mates. This production is taking place November 8, 9, 15, 16, and 17 at 7 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on November 10 at the Leslie Phillips Theater at Holyoke Community College. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Overall, many people felt that this event was a success, including Johanibel Solivan ’21 who reflected that she thought this event was “a very well done celebration where we all felt like family.” Despite her belief that there could have been a bit more respect from some students, Madrigal choir and In the Heights cast member, Melina Garcia ’20, agreed with Solivan, remarking that she believed “the event was a success and it seemed like many of the students enjoyed it.”

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Holyoke High North Campus Holds Annual Latino Heritage Assembly