by Taylor Kilgore
The University of West Georgia’s annual Luso-Hispanic Day celebration gives students
and the community an opportunity to celebrate Hispanic life in Georgia and beyond.
This year’s celebration included a multitude of various speakers throughout the day
as well as films, presentations by Univision and many state officials in the Hispanic
community, panel discussions, and a UWG concert choir performance.
The Univision presenter, Mariela Romero, joined the American Spanish language television network in 2010 as the community empowerment director. During her presentation on Univision, Mariela explained how Univision has made an immense impact on the Hispanic community by bringing light to sensitive topics, such as depression and suicide. Through her television show “Conexion,” these topics have helped many in the community who did not know where to look for help. Univision is ranked number one in Hispanic television networks and number two in all television stations because of the work and variety of topics they provide.
One exciting session for student was the panel discussion on study abroad opportunities. The panel consisted of five speakers who have traveled to one, if not more, of the provided locations in a study abroad opportunity, including Costa Rica, Spain, and Chile. While taking classes, students are able to enjoy living with a family in the community. One of the students commented that this experience further helped her learn the common language of the community. Many of the panelists commented their favorite adventures occurred on the weekends, where the students are free to explore on their own.
“Students seemed to enjoy learning about the many ways in which their studies of Hispanic cultures and the Spanish language can both benefit them personally and professionally and can allow them to contribute to their communities in significant ways,” Said Dr. Julia Farmer, associate professor of Spanish. “The importance of cross-cultural understanding for students' personal growth and engagement as citizens was a theme that ran throughout the day.”