Connecting to Its Roots and Giving Back

Connecting to Its Roots and Giving Back

The Mt. SAC Spanish club isn’t the typical campus club. They don’t just reconnect with their Latin roots and put on events. Its members are like family. They come together and comfort each other in times of need.

Current President of the Spanish Club Clintor Pineda, 19, communications major, said his experience in the club expanded his understanding of and reverence for his culture.

“Being with the members of the club on a tour to Placita Olvera is where it finally hit me,” Pineda said. “Seeing the folklorico dancers performing, the music playing, and what really was eye opening was seeing the baseball uniforms of Latino players from back then and seeing what my Latino community is really about.”

Pineda took over the president position of the Spanish Club after the past president transferred to a university. Pineda saw this as not just a challenge, but also an opportunity, one that he is glad he took on. He said that being a Spanish-speaker in the club has really helped him connect with his roots.

The Spanish Club puts on numerous campus events as well as promotes events happening in the community. The club recently put on a “Dia De Los Muertos” event Monday, Nov. 14, celebrating “Day of the Dead,” a Spanish holiday where loved ones that have died are remembered. The event featured performances from baile folklorico to Aztec dancing.

“I can’t tell you of an exact favorite moment because every moment and the things we do in this club is amazing,” Pineda said.

The club also strives to give back to their local communities through fundraising events. On Nov. 17, they held Dance for Cure, selling tickets for $5 each and donating all proceeds from the event to St Jude Children’s Hospital. The members also help out one another in times of need. For example, they promote fundraisers for a member who has had a death in their family and try to raise money.

Club member Crystal Recio, 20, liberal studies, found out about the club at a recent club fair on campus and enjoys being part of it. Like Pinedo, she said the club feels familial.

“Their booth really called my attention because of how friendly everyone seemed to be there,” Recio said. “I have only started with this club and I love it. They are welcoming and it’s like a family.”

Recio also said that she hopes to gain lifelong friendships from the club and to also make connections that will help her in the future. She added that their commitment to their community is important to her.

The club is open to anyone interested in joining and does not focus on any specific Latin heritage, but accepts all Latin cultures. Pineda said that his goal as president of the club is to promote cultural diversity of Spanish-speaking countries and not just cultures like Mexico and El Salvador, but to all Latin American countries. Most importantly, he wants to have fun while doing so, whether it is from his weekly meetings with his fellow officers or to the events he puts on with his club members.

“Even our weekly officers meetings are fun,” Pineda said. “They feel more like hang outs.”

The club has open meetings every other Wednesday in building 66, Room 109 from 1:00 p.m. -2:30 p.m. for anyone who wants to attend. For more information on the club, they can be reached via email at [email protected].