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2020 Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Cultural Festival Events

Explore Mestizaje: syncretic processes reinventing Latin America

This presentation will discuss processes of mixed beliefs and practices that blended elements from native, colonial, and African traditions in Latin America. Participants will watch audio-visual clips about popular sacred and secular rituals that celebrate religious beliefs, music, dance, and folklore from colonization to present time.

At the end of the presentation, participants will…

  • Analyze the historical and social forces that led to the development of syncretic practices and celebrations in selected Latin American cultures
  • Evaluate cultural practices in terms of traditional culture and borrowed culture
  • Compare and contrast the development of mestisaje in representative world music-cultures

Latin America Musical Journey with Vento Sur

The music group Vento Sur presents on specific elements from Latin American music, such as musical instruments and genres, how the music functions in society and expresses culture, and the beliefs and history from which the rhythms and dances originated. Vento Sur, a CalArts School of Music all alumni quartet specializes in Latin American folk and popular music. The group has performed extensively in Southern California. Concerts presented include two editions of Journey through Latin America at the COC Performing Arts Center, several editions of the COC Modern Languages and Cultures Department - Music and Dance Festivals, Museum of Latin American Art – MOLAA, and “Public Officials’ Night” at CalArts. Link

At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to…

  • Explain the context of musical performances using musical and non-musical vocabulary
  • Examine the roles that selected genres of music from Latin America have played in the societies in which it occurs
  • Compare and contrast the historical development of selected genres of Latin American music in representative cultures

Vento Sur BioVento Sur Pictures

"Tales of Masked Men" and Conversation with director Carlos Ávila

“Tales of Masked Men” is the critically acclaimed, creative and  imaginative exploration of the colorful, fascinating, and mysterious world of lucha libre (Mexican wrestling) and the tradition of the masked wrestler. Written, Produced and Directed by Carlos Avila.  (English & Spanish with English Subtitles. 58 mins.) 


  • “...the most comprehensive glimpse thus far into the electrifying world of lucha libre...” - The Examiner                             
  • “I did not expect that 'Tales of Masked Men' would hook me from the very first scene... fascinating and illuminating... it is    a remarkable documentary.”  - Bob Etier, 


Documentary will be screened digitally during the session via Zoom. It is available in Amazon Prime Video.


The Columbian Exchange (El Intercambio colombino): 1492 – 2020

This presentation aims to explore the reasons and present consequences of the Columbian Exchange after the European arrival to the American continent in 1492, focusing on what it meant for the US, Spain, and other European and American nations.  

1492 changed the way we live, travel, and even eat in modern societies. The effects of a constant exchange of cultures, traditions, technological advances, and food have had a bigger impact on our lives that we might think.

At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to identify, compare an analyze the main historical components of the Columbian Exchange in the European and American continents, and the present consequences in our local traditions. Participants will be able to analyze the relationship between perspectives, practices and products of the Spanish-speaking cultures.




The Ritual of Mate & Cultural Practices

The presentation will focus on the cultural aspects of the “Yerba Mate” in the Plata Region (Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Paraguay). The Yerba Mate, also referred to as “el mate”, is the most exotic energy drink from South America and it is deeply rooted in the Gaucho’s culture.  “El mate” has a stimulating effect similar to that of the caffeine found in coffee of tea; and it has high nutritional value, as it contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  It is not only a tradition but, it is a ritual passed from generations to generations. More than a drink, it is a symbol of friendship and companionship.  

At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to have a deeper understanding of the traditions and culture of the South American countries such as “el mate” originated in the Gaucho’s region. They will learn about the extraordinary cultural value of friendship of “el mate” as well as the high nutritional value.  Participants will compare and contrast common cultural differences between Spanish- speaking countries and U.S. culture. 


Peru’s Vibrant Afro-Peruvian Culture & Identity

In this workshop, the presenters will share and discuss the African influence and value in the Peruvian culture through the analysis of products and practices and how Peruvian identity is shaped based on the multicultural influences.  Come and learn about the fascinating afro Peruvian culture and its identity through the richness of the music, dance, gastronomy, and social presence in the Peruvian society. Enjoy this cultural journey!

At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to identify cultural products and practices of have a better understanding of Peru’s cultural identity and multicultural influences.



¡Salud! El Mojito, a cocktail rooted in history

An analysis of some of the important products, (sugar and rum) that have shaped the Americas, through the recreation of the iconic Cuban cocktail ‘El Mojito’. A brief look at the social and cultural effects that these products have had on the American continent then and now.

At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to explain how sugar and rum became the economic and cultural catalyst to the transatlantic slave trade. Identify the historical ties that bind Latino America and Cuba to its cultural roots. Finally, attendees will be able to identify the historical events that shaped the Mojito to its current popularity.



Latin Flavors: Cooking with the chefs at ICUE

Chef Daniel Otto and Cindy Schwanke will prepare an excellent dish using flavors from Latin America.

At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to recognize spices, herbs and ingredients from Latin America, along with a recipe to prepare a dish from a region in Latin America.






Survival Spanish

Grew up in SoCal but never learned Spanish? Whether you are brand new to the language or just want a refresher, join us as we have some fun with basic expressions that will help you survive almost any conversation, en español.

At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to identify themselves and others, express greetings and goodbyes, and use basic expressions of courtesy in the Spanish language within a cultural context.



Celebrating my Hispanic Heritage!  Spanish conversation with Heritage Learners students!

Join heritage language students as they talk about their family, traditions, language and celebrations. Presenters will share their experiences, achievements, struggles and hopes in a changing society and who inspires them these days. Enjoy a lively and candid conversation learning how Hispanic students celebrate their heritage. This workshop will be delivered in English and Spanish, you are welcome to practice your Spanish skills.

At the end of the session, participants will identify perspectives, practices and products of the Hispanic culture.



Spanish Conversations: Español and Culture

Spanish tertulia. Practice Spanish conversation and culture (novice level)! Led by Gabriela Linares.

At the end of the session, participants will be able to introduce themselves, greet others, and provide basic information in Spanish. 



Day of the Dead: A Portrait of Mexican Heritage and Family Values through "Coco"

Discussion of perspectives and practices of the Mexican culture the film "Coco". Panel led by Israel Avila, ASG President.

At the end of the session, participants will examine the relationship of perspectives and practices of Mexican culture through the film "Coco".




Literary Readings in Spanish

Participants may read or simply enjoy listening to literary readings and thoughts from readers. 

At the end of the session, participants will be able to identify major international poets Gain appreciation of the Spanish language.


Cinnamon, Rainforest and Sister City in the Amazon

Discover the allure & culture of Latin America! Learn of opportunities to experience and explore other cultures, with possibilities to make a difference through the Santa Clarita Sister Cities. 

At the end of the session, participants will identify the main cultural aspects of the city of Tena, Ecuador and opportunities available through the Sister Cities to make a difference. 

My life as a Bilingual/Bicultural Student Leader

Join leaders from the Associated Student Government (ASG) and the Spanish Honor Society, Sigma Delta Mu share their insights and personal stories as bilingual/bicultural student leaders in the community college campus. Latinx & Hispanic Heritage Cultural Festival hosted by ASG, SDM and the Department of Modern Languages & Culture

At the end of the session, participants will gain insights into the perspectives of students who are bilingual effecting leadership in the college campus.