At the middle school festival, students sampled Hispanic street food: empanadas, tostones, elotes, choripan, paletas and even pinchos de pollo, which were served by Head of the Middle School Eric Boberg. They made paper flowers for their hair, collaborated on an art mural inspired by Mexican artist Diego Rivera, and played dominoes and perused books by Latin American authors in the library.
They also gathered to enjoy a flamenco performance and Latin American music played by the middle school vocal ensemble, strings ensemble and band. Students and faculty also tested their dance skills with salsa lessons from faculty member J.P. Arrastia. The event was organized by faculty members Vanessa Lopez and Karina Buhler.
Hispanic Heritage Month at the upper school culminated in an assembly at Lewis Family Auditorium. LASA President Barbie Hyland '23 led off the Oct. 11 event, whose goal was to shine a light on Latin American art and some of its most accomplished practitioners in fields including architecture, literature, filmmaking, painting, dancing and sculpting. "The best thing about this month," she said, "is it celebrates all Hispanic countries together."
The guitarist Gallardo spoke briefly to the students before performing for them. RE's vocal ensemble under the direction of Laura Montes performed "A La Nanita Nana" and "Catalina La O." The Rock 4 Relief band played "A Dios Le Pido" by Juanes; the student service group is directed by president Max Bast '23, vice president Santi Sauceda '24, secretary Trent Mopsick '23 and treasurer Erika Siblesz '23.
Tati Botero '23, the granddaughter of legendary Colombian painter Fernando Botero, shared reflections on her grandfather's life and legacy as an artist. She described her grandfather's rise from poverty in his hometown of Medellín, Colombia, to becoming an innovative, renowned – and controversial – artist known for his voluminous style of portraying people, and politically charged paintings and sculptures. She explained that her grandfather considered his works a "declaration of my principles."
"My grandfather's work is not only a celebration of Latin American art and history," she said, "but also a reflection of the very principles that have led to the success of his career and the admiration so many have – including myself – for his art and the person that he is."