The 2023 Latinx Culture Show showcased on Friday, April 14 and was hosted by Cielito Lindo, a campus organization whose focus is traditional and contemporary dances from Latin America and the Caribbean. Following last year’s “Festival de Luzes,” this year, the show shared a continued theme with the “Festival de Flores,” which included a whopping 19 different performances involving outside organizations and schools and, afterwards, a limited supply of food was provided for guests, performers and volunteers in this fascinating show.
Timotea Garcia-Mendez ’23, co-President of Cielito Lindo and committee chair, and Alejandra Rodriguez ’25, Closet Manager of Cielito Lindo and decoration/volunteer/publicity coordinator, explained the foresight and planning that went into an event of this capacity.
“We start meeting in the fall semester, just to get the ball rolling, and one of the things that we start with right away is the theme, because once we have the theme, then the rest can go ahead,” said Garcia-Mendez.
The planning committee overcame many obstacles in the preparation for this show. One such obstacle was coordinating the different schedules of all the members. However, it is clear that all committee members, volunteers and performers executed their best work, as the show came out as a striking success.
“Shayla [co-President of Cielito Lindo and committee coordinator] and I were the committee chairs, so you sort of oversee everything, but I think both of us ended up doing a lot of other committee work too. Shayla did a lot in working as Regional Coordinator, reaching out to guests so that we have representation for the regions in the show,” said Garcia-Mendez.
“Like Timotea said, I feel like a lot of people took on a lot of roles, but we’re very grateful for those who did show up and also those who were a part of the community.” said Rodriguez. “The volunteers, the performers, everyone made the show really good. And Mared [Advisor to Wellesley Latinx Students] too! She also helped very well, so that was very amazing.”
The “Latinx Culture Show” was highly praised for including numerous performances for different Latin American and Caribbean regions, a greater diversity of culture than the previous year. Many had looked forward to the performance by the Harvard Mariachi band, who returned this year and were a big hit in last year’s show. When asked about what they liked best or disliked about the show, Garcia-Mendez and Rodriguez had varying answers.
Although Garcia-Mendez was busy with logistics during the show, she reflected on hearing the audience’s reactions to the show. “Afterwards, I was seeing talk on Instagram, the school and other people sharing videos and saying how much they liked it and which performances they liked best. So, I think the best part for me was just knowing that people liked the show and that people had fun … and just the fact we had so much for each region for each section for the show, that was something that I was really proud of.”
“Luckily, I was able to watch the performance, and it was just an eerie feeling in a good way, because you know you’re sitting down, and you’re trying to see how everyone’s reacting to your show, and all hard work is being pulled off,” said Rodriguez. “No matter what region was represented, what dance or singer, or whether there was singing or speaking in our native tongues and expressing our culture, everyone in the audience was engaged!”
With the high turnout for the show this year, the Latinx Culture Show planning committee had to provide extra seating in Jewett Auditorium. Now, Cielito Lindo is discussing hosting next year’s show in Alumnae Auditorium. As a rising junior who plans to help next year’s event, Rodriguez discussed what she believes will be next for LCS.
“I’m really excited for next year! …In terms of bigger space, our main goal is Alumnae for next year. We really want to make sure that everyone’s comfortable … I think word of mouth is going to spread more because a lot [more] people are [going to be] able to [come and enjoy] the show. Fingers crossed!”
The “Latinx Culture Show” is an event that brings people together and helps the Wellesley community witness all the diverse cultures within Latin America and the Caribbean, whether they come from any of the regions represented or they came to enjoy a fantastic show. Garcia-Mendez and Rodriguez expressed their appreciation for everyone involved, as well as their volunteers and sponsors who helped support and finance the phenomenal show.