Learning Folklorico with M.A.N.O.S.

During Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) week at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), the MAESTROs Project and Mexican American Nurtured Opportunity Services (M.A.N.O.S.) hosted a Folklorico Workshop. 

CSUMB held its first HSI week on campus 25 years ago and has kept up with honoring the event every year. CSUMB has been a Hispanic-Serving institution since 1998, meaning at least 25% of undergraduate students are Hispanic. Currently, 46% of the student body consists of full-time undergraduate students who identify as Latinx/Hispanic.

The week is meant to promote awareness of the important role HSIs play in improving access to education and advancing equity for traditionally underserved students.

Students who attended this event received a night filled with cultural history, appreciation and hands-on learning experiences about el baile de folklórico (the dance of folklore). Around 30 students attended the event and participated in the activities.

Folklorico, or folkloric dance, refers to traditional and culturally significant dance forms that are typically associated with specific regions, communities or ethnic groups. These dances often have deep historical and cultural roots and are used to express the customs, traditions and stories of a particular culture or community.

Mina Ramirez, from the M.A.N.O.S. organization, took the lead in guiding the students. She introduced them to fundamental dance steps and traditional folkloric routines, creating an environment that encouraged students to actively engage in cultural exploration and learning.

“What we are looking for,” guided Ramirez, “is the harmony on the stage – like the orquesta (orchestra)!”

Nearing the end of the event, M.A.N.O.S. introduced their own group of youth dancers to join in the festivities and perform alongside the students. 

HSI Week precedes Hispanic Heritage Month, so students can check MyRaft for information on more events celebrating Hispanic culture.

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