SOL, sun in Spanish, stands for “Society of Latinos.” The purpose of SOL is to celebrate and teach the Middlesex community about Hispanic culture. We meet a few times a month to eat food, listen to music, share stories, speak Spanish, but also to have serious and interesting discussions on what it means to be Latino, stereotypes and the growing influence Latinos have in the US. SOL is open to any one, not just Latinos: most of our members are actually not Latinos, but like to learn and celebrate the culture.
Last year SOL decided to branch out and host the first Hispanic Heritage celebration open to high school students from different independent schools, our “big project of the year.” SOL members work hard to research and display different aspects of Hispanic culture. The goal of the celebration is to learn and celebrate the diversity with-in the Latino/Hispanic community and to create a network of Latino/Hispanic organizations at different schools. Our first convention was a success and we encouraged students from different schools to start their own Latino/ Hispanic organizations. This year we hosted our second annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration here on our own campus. It was a day full of great music, smiles, dancing and eating yummy food. We had Middlesex students and faculty along with students from Concord Academy, Tabor, Brooks, Milton and Esperanza charter school in Lawrence. SOL members presented their cultural exhibits of cultural festivals, events and pieces from Hispanic culture. We then broke off into groups and got to know each other better with an exercise sharing our own stories in the green room. Following this activity, we enjoyed a wonderful and lively performance by Jose Obando, who is the lead consultant and historian for salsa at the Metropolitan Museum of art in NYC. Through his performances he taught us about the history and birth of Latin music. He even got everyone on their feet to dance.
By the end everyone was very comfortable with each other, having discussed and danced together. We were all ready to eat and enjoyed a delicious Dominican meal fallowed by dancing. Once again, this year the Hispanic Heritage Celebration was a success!