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Celebrating the mosaic of Hispanic heritage at Santa Fe

Bella Lansberg
Laura Berrocal Vergara pictured with the Panama flag.

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the diversity, achievement and strength of Hispanic cultures, and during this month, Edmond Santa Fe is celebrating all Hispanic students from different countries.  

Every country has different traditions, slang, food and people, but these students all share the same love for their country. 

“Mexico is a community where everybody cares for each other. People should give it a chance,” said Celeste Sanchez, a sophomore at Santa Fe.

Celeste Sanchez with a Mexican soccer jersey. (Bella Lansberg )

As second-generation Mexican, Sanchez’s mom and grandma moved to the United States from Chihuahua, while her dad moved from Guanajuato, Mexico. Sanchez’s family maintained their language and culture as a defining part of her life. Sanchez has been to Mexico an estimated 14 times since she was 5-years-old. More than anything else, Sanchez loves their food and community most. She loves food with nopal in it. Nopal is the Spanish name of Opuntia cacti. She also loves the dessert arroz con leche, which is rice pudding, sweetened with condensed milk and cinnamon on top.

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“Everybody is very open-minded,” Sanchez said. “If you go to a Mexican restaurant, they will greet you like you have been best friends for 25 years.”

Jeimy Chavez wearing Guatemala’s jersey. (Drew Lunsford)

Jeimy Yamilett Chávez, currently a Freshman, moved from Guatemala to America four years ago. She misses her family, the holidays and the food. Her favorite Guatemalan dish is el pipián, a sauce made with beef rib, meat, chicken, or pork. Like other Hispanic countries, Guatemala has different slang, Chavez’s favorite ones are “Patojo” or “Pantoja” girl or boy, and “De por chingar” which means “you are lying” Chávez said.

Laura Berrocal Vergara is currently a Sophomore at Santa Fe. Laura moved from Panama to America around 4 years ago. The carnavales, music and people are things that Vergara loves and misses most about her country. Carnavales, a crucial part of Panamanian culture, is a holiday with music, dance, colorful costumes, and a vibrant atmosphere

“My country is happy no matter what,” Vergara said.


Jose Avila wearing a Honduras shirt. (Drew Lunsford)

Jose Avila, currently a sophomore, moved from Honduras 10 years ago, specifically Santa Barbara. He misses his culture the most because it is “very different from America’s,” Avila said. He also misses the seaside. One of 18 departments in Honduras, Santa Barbara is surrounded by water and the Caribbean coast.

“The thing I like most about my country is the beach,” Avila said. “The beaches there are really nice.”

Damian Loaiza pictured with the Venezuelan flag. (Bella Lansberg )


Damian Loaiza, also currently a sophomore, moved from Venezuela to Oklahoma two years ago. Loaiza has lived in many countries but always has kept Venezuelan culture present in his daily life. His favorite Venezuelan dish is La Reina Pepiada, a type of arepa with chicken, cheese, avocado and a lot of sauce. La arepa is a corn pancake and it is a characteristic dish from Venezuela and Colombia.


Mariana Garcia wearing Colombia’s soccer jersey. (Drew Lunsford)

Mariana Garcia, currently a junior, moved 3 years ago from Pereira, Colombia. Her favorite Colombian dish is Perro caliente, a traditional hot dog commonly with melted cheese, potato sticks and a lot of different sauces on top. Garcia also loves Bandeja Paisa, a very famous Colombian dish with Colombian sausage, beef, rice, red beans, a fried pork rind called chicharrón, an arepa, a plantain, a slice of avocado and a fried egg.  


Ariadna Serrano showing Ecuadorian ring made by her mother. (Bella Lansberg )

Ariadna Serrano is a senior from Ecuador. She moved to America when she was eight years old and recently had the opportunity to revisit where she realized how much she missed home. She loves the food, the people and the natural environment. Ecuador is well known for its seafood. Her favorite dish is ceviche, which is shells, shrimp and a lot of lime.

“It is a lot easier to interact with new people, like even people that you see on the streets,” Serrano said. ”If they are a friend of a friend or like a complete stranger, you instantly feel welcomed around them.

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About the Contributors
Val Gomez
Val Gomez, Howler Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Valentina Gomez, and this is my sophomore year at Santa Fe. I grew up in Colombia and hope to get into NYU because I think the atmosphere in New York is similar to Colombia. Some other things about New York I enjoy are the sense of freedom, the bookstores and the fashion. I love to read romance books and watch Rom Coms with the company of a good cold matcha or coffee! 
Drew Lunsford
Drew Lunsford, Howler Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Drew Lunsford. I am a sophomore at Santa Fe and this is my first year on The Howler Staff. Though I love writing, in my free time I enjoy Competitive Dance, watching TV, and going on walks. I am excited about what this first year of the newspaper has to offer!

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