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"La Latinada" provides Brandeis International Business School with a look at the rich culture of Latin America

May 4, 2011

Brandeis International Business School students, families and faculty gathered in the vibrantly decorated World Court on the last day of classes to celebrate Latin America. Colorful piñatas and sombreros brightened the space, while the sounds of Salsa music and laughter reverberated through the Lemberg Academic Center. The evening highlighted various aspects of Latin American culture including food, games and dance.  

To kick-off the event, Brandeis International Business School Dean Bruce Magid regaled the crowd with stories from his experience living in South America. He spoke both in English and Spanish, and expressed his affinity for Latin American culture and working overseas. "This is a celebration of the entire Latin culture. Its many varied traditions and languages provide a vibrancy and richness to the region," said Magid. 

After watching a video of Latin American images, students and faculty enjoyed playing "La Silla," a rousing version of musical chairs. Attendees also had a chance to sample traditional Latin cuisine from multiple regions, including faroja (rice and beans), enchiladas, and feijoadas (a traditional Portuguese stew). 

Though the event took place just one day before Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican celebration of freedom, the event's host, Jose Rodolfo Villamariona, explained that the event intended "to celebrate all of Latin American Culture, not just Mexico."

The evening culminated in a surprise visit from a professional salsa team who performed traditional dances followed by group instruction. Event organizer and Ecuador native Jaime Vergara '12 was extremely pleased with the celebration. He said: "We thought it would be great to have this showcase to give international students a little more understanding about our culture and where we come from."