Although Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) week has come to an end, Associated Students (AS) is still celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. On Wednesday, Sept. 20, many students gathered in front of the Otter Student Union (OSU) to learn more about Holistic Health and Wellness as it pertains to Latin/Hispanic culture.
“I know that we have HSI week every school year, and I wanted to honor [HSI week] my way. I wanted to showcase how [AS] could make other students feel seen and heard,” said Angel Ray, a third-year student and AS senator for diversity and inclusion.
She mentioned, “During summer I got more into holistic wellness; I’ve been drinking tea and looking at other things besides Western medicine that I wanted to [use] to nourish my body and fuel it better.”
The first 120 guests at this event received goody bags filled with ingredients for wellness; these ingredients included prickly pear cactus tea, wormwood tea, cumin & lemon tea and a beeswax honey lip balm.
“I saw that they had little bags so I thought it would be cool to see what it was. I grabbed a bag and it had a bunch of tea in there that my parents would have given me, coming from a Hispanic household,” said first-year Angel Garcia.
This was not the only way that Garcia celebrated HSI week, “[My friend and I] played Lotería at the farmers market, and then the event where they were handing out tamales and stuff (La Entrada), also the grand opening of [El Centro].”
With the many crowds who attended (at least 200 to 300 students who participated or passed by), the goody bags began to dwindle. As attendees returned to their dwellings, they could begin their journey into holistic health and well-being.
“What should be highlighted is that there are different avenues of being in a wellness setting. There’s other avenues to medication, natural and organic ways, that I think should be emphasized. [Holistic wellness] is a different perspective,” said Carl Vizcarra, a fourth-year student who serves as the Basic Needs senator.
As Hispanic Heritage Month continues, students can keep an eye out for more events that celebrate Hispanic culture.