'Carnaval' an exciting show of Latino cultures around the world

On Saturday, April 19, the Latino Student Association hosted dinner and a show celebrating Latino culture with a theme of different carnavals, or cultural celebrations.

The show, entitled "Sabor Latino 2008: Carnaval Sabroso," centered around a boy who was adopted by a family that wanted to teach him morals about his Latino background by showing him carnavals in different countries such as Puerto Rico, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico and Colombia.

LSA's mission is to help develop an appreciation and understanding of Latino culture.

"We wanted to show a lot of different Latino cultures," said junior Vanessa Estrada, president of LSA. "We can usually only represent a few countries, but with the carnaval theme we were able to represent more. This gave us a chance to show different countries, music, dance and traditions."

Many people came to the dinner and show, which took place in the Union Ballroom.

"I went to Mexico two summers ago and their culture was really interesting," said junior Seth Palmer. "After that experience, I wanted to learn more about the Latino culture."

Planning this event took a lot of work, Estrada said.

"It was a real learning experience for all of us," she said. "Many of us had not been to carnavals in these countries so we had to do a lot of research and ask family members about them. We have had a lot of support though and it has been a great experience."

The event had many different foods such as Mexican sweet chips, empanadas, pollo guisado and mango ice cream.

"The food here's really exciting," said sophomore Michael Hosking during the event. "I'm also very proud of my Latino culture and am here to show my support. Additionally, I'm in Shakti and I like to support other cultural groups."

Not everyone who performed was in LSA; many non-members were used as extras.

"I was asked to be in part of the crowd for one of the carnavals," said junior Daniel DeHollander. "They wanted it to look like a street show, so I got to dance during that."

"I came here to support my roommate," said sophomore Clarissa Carmona. "She's going to be president of LSA and she's performing this year."

Judging from the positive reactions of the audience, the show was a great success and everyone seemed to enjoy it.