Children learn about Latin culture at camp

By Dan Somenek/Staff Reporter

Children ages 3 to 13 made maracas, played Latin bingo and danced to the “Macarena” at a Latin American Student Organization event last Saturday morning in the Andrews Hall basement.

LASO planned the event, called “Ninos, Come On, Vamonos!”, to happen during National Hispanic Heritage Month, which this year runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
Karla Centeno, vice president of LASO, said the main goal is to enlighten young children with the Latin American culture.

“We hope that they’re able to experience it for themselves, learn some Spanish and overall have a good time,” she said.

Attendee Robert Dinkins said the children had the most fun and energy when the Macarena came on. Dinkins said his little cousin had fun dancing at the event.

“I remember doing the Macarena when I was little so it was good to see him get into it to,” Dinkins said.

Centeno said this is the first year LASO is sponsoring the event.

“We try to program at least two programs every year for Hispanic Heritage Month, and this one is one for the years,” Centeno said.

A total of 25 children registered for the camp.

LASO plans to continue this event and they hope to continue expanding children’s knowledge on the Latin culture.

“So far, I believe that the children have responded very well,” Centeno said. “Many of them were actually referred to the event by their Spanish teacher, so it shows that they already have the interest.”

This is not the only event LASO has put together for Hispanic Heritage Month.

“We also did a ‘Formation of Latin America’ Sept. 15, and it was a presentation of how the Latin American countries gained their independence, wars fought and key characters,” Centeno said. “In past years we’ve done other events like piñata making.”

Centeno said LASO has provided many activities over this month and hopes to improve and expand in the future years.

Dan Somenek can be reached at 581-7942 or ddsomenek@eiu.edu.

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