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Purple Media Network

Purple Media Network

NSU’s Spanish Club celebrates and creates community

Jayda Gee
(L-R) Laila Salas, Natalia Olvera, Donald Mckinnies and Chase Brazil meet to plan events for Spanish Club this semester.

Finding a place to celebrate culture and identity during your college years allows students to embrace their identities. The Northwestern State University of Louisiana Spanish Club aims to do just that.
Members of the club get students in touch with their culture or even learn more about Spanish heritage. It allows those that are interested to practice Spanish with others.

Donald Mckinnies, a senior majoring in electrical engineering technology, is the president of the Spanish club. For Mckinnies, Spanish club is a big part of his life being that he is half Spanish and Nicaraguan, he is very invested in getting in touch with his culture.
“Being in the Spanish club has allowed me to get in touch with my culture while also being able to connect with others on campus,” Mckinnies said.
He wants to focus on bringing people from all over the university into the club to learn Spanish from people who are able to share their knowledge of their culture. By doing this he has made it his mission to host as many events as they can to bring students together.
“We do not want people to be afraid to join the Spanish club just because they don’t know how to speak Spanish, we just want to help people to get in touch with the culture and learn with us,” Mckinnies said.
Loterìa (bingo) has been one of their most popular events that brought people together to bond and learn more about Spanish culture. Along with this they have even held a potluck where everyone was allowed to bring in a different Spanish dish for everyone to enjoy.
Laila Salas, a senior psychology major with a minor in Spanish, holds the position as the historian and the social media manager. She was introduced to the club when her friends told her to come check it out and join.
Although Salas was born in Louisiana, her family lives in Mexico and takes the advantage of being able to visit every summer. For her, the Spanish club has allowed her to stay in touch with her culture, even when being away from her family.

“Something that I miss about not being home is the authenticity, most places here don’t have the same taste, so I miss the authenticity of the food,” Salas said.
One of the events that was able to give her back that real taste is when they partnered with the Hispanic Student Journalist Association to sell Hispanic food and drinks.
“At that event they had horchata and it was so good and it brought me back to having authentic food,” Salas said.
But it’s not just about the food that helps with the authenticity, it’s the community that they most enjoy. Members valued their organization as it allows them to reconnect and meet people that have the same interest as them.
Natalia Olvera, the secretary of the Spanish club and senior education major, has found a great community within the club. Finding this club when she transferred from a community college gave her the welcoming community she was searching for.
“I come from a family where my dad is Mexican and my mom is Salvadorian so my heritage is a big part of my life, so I wanted to find a community that was able to let me get out and explore and it just feels like a big family,” Olvera said.
While the organization is doing great at bringing the people together it does not have all the resources that they wish they had.
“We do not have a ton of funding so we have to try to make the most of what we can when it comes to events. So having people join would allow us to fund more events,” Olvera said.

The club’s main goal this semester is to encourage more students to join the club no matter their race, gender or their knowledge of Hispanic history. They want to provide an open space for all NSU students to experience something new.

The club hosts meetings every other week on Mondays or Tuesdays, with a fee of $25 where all proceeds go towards the club for events and other items.

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About the Contributors
Kevin Thomas
Kevin Thomas, Current Sauce - Copy Editor
Kevin Thomas is a senior communication major. This is his third year on The Current Sauce staff and first and final semester working as Copy Editor. He hopes to continue his journey of writing as he hopes to fulfill his dreams of writing for magazines after graduation. He cannot wait for what this semester has in store and what’s next.
Jayda Gee
Jayda Gee, Current Sauce - Photo Editor
Jayda Gee is a sophomore majoring in biology. She spends her time on campus working in the recruiting office and volunteering off-campus at the Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery. Being a new photographer, she hopes to expand her skills and knowledge as well as shooting everything NSU.

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