Gibbons and the Latino Experience


A photo from the Multicultural Fair.

Sophia Hernandez, En Español Editor, Assistant Editor A + C Visual Art

Drawing upon my own experiences, while wonderful, being Latino can be a tricky aspect of life to navigate sometimes. These struggles can also be amplified by your environment, in this case, school. However, Gibbons not only provides a welcoming environment with multiple opportunities to express your culture but has also been making strides to incorporate non-English speaking families. 

In recent years, Gibbons has been strongly promoting their affinity groups, such as ASU, BSU, and HOLA. These spaces have created a fun environment for students to enjoy activities related to their heritage with an enthusiastic community. One popular event this year was the Multicultural Fair, which involved students and parents representing their countries with food, art, and music. 

I am so proud to be a moderator of this club because I know that these kids are making a difference in the Gibbons community and are making space for incoming students to feel welcomed as well.” Ms. Domingos, a moderator of the HOLA club, said. “It was not long ago that I was in a Catholic high school myself, and I did not have a community like HOLA to celebrate my culture and heritage. Having a group like HOLA would have been so incredibly beneficial in helping me find my voice and would have provided space for me to see the beauty and joy in my culture.”

Outside of student experiences, Gibbons has also improved their inclusion of Spanish-speaking families in events. Staff and faculty that speak Spanish have been volunteering to help at admissions events like Back to School Night and Open House. This year, students from the HOLA club hosted a mass in Spanish which families could attend and participate in. Before Easter, the Spiritual Life Center partnered with the Language Department to host a prayer of the Rosary in Spanish, French, and Latin.

The increase in offering events like these demonstrate the importance of celebrating our community’s diverse languages and paves the way for more events, in languages aside from Spanish, in the future.

However, even with such a welcoming community, some struggles go beyond a lack of cultural recognition. One struggle I face is having to act as a middleman for my parents with school-related topics, whether that be homework help or arranging and attending to certain things, oftentimes leaving me to manage it all. In asking about this circumstance, I found that some students share similar feelings.

“Sometimes when I go ask my parents for help, they don’t necessarily know what exactly I’m asking, or don’t know how to explain it the way it is in class because they weren’t raised knowing English and weren’t taught in the US,” said sophomore Angel Rodriguez Ventura.

Of course this won’t apply to everyone, but for those who share a similar sentiment, it can be difficult to admit the struggle because of its specificity. Even if not this exact dilemma, whatever issues might arise are sometimes hard for others to understand or relate to because of their own point of view.

Despite the struggle, being Latino is a beautiful thing. Gibbons truly exemplifies what it means to have a supportive and embracive community, which I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of. As time goes on, look out for more culture-celebrating events as they hopefully continue to expand and improve our diverse outlook.