Latinx Cultural Week (February 28 - March 5)


When thinking of LCN’s theme this year, we had to take into account not only our culture, but our space in a place where our culture is underrepresented. It may feel frustrating or strange to tie culture to politics, but when people are marginalized, identity is politicized. Our team was careful with our wording. We wanted to make a strong statement without the connotation that we are “re-emerging,” because our people were never gone. We have been here, are here, and will continue to be here with our music, fashion, colors, food and stories. We chose Resilience- Resiliencia de la Gente, to highlight the resilience in our lineage. Through our sets of different Latinx cultures we want to portray not just strength but liveliness; because resilience is more than endurance. 





Exec Team:

(top rop, L-R): Melissa Banuelos, Andrea Diaz-Garcia

(middle row, L-R): Dani Herrera, Cesar Ramos (advisor)

(bottom row) Maya Diaz-Villalta







Sunday, February 28th


Monday, March 1st


Tuesday, March 2nd

Wednesday, March 3rd

Thursday, March 4th

Friday, March 5th



  • Dani Herrera is an MFA student. She is a fiction writer, aiming to make a platform to raise minority voices in fiction. This is her first year at St. Mary’s and her first time participating in LCN.

  • Lenin Arroliga Kortum O’Mahony (‘24, Instagram: @lenin.316)  I was adopted when I was 6 years old to a wonderful family, but before that I spent most of my time in and out of foster homes, my biological mother was unable to raise or care for me and my siblings due to her drug addictions. This poem reflects on my pain dealing with the struggles of being without a mother for so long, and that it never truly feels the same knowing that relationship was lost. 

  • Miranda García (‘24, Political science, minor in Ethnic Studies)  Hi! I’m Miranda García and I’m so happy to be part of the SMC community. I’m Mexican-American from Jalisco, Mexico. One day I want to be an immigration lawyer to help la raza

  • Thais Macias ('24, Ethnic Studies major) Hi my name is Thais Macias.  I just love cooking and baking. Being able to bake conchas was truly a blessing. It made me feel closer to my Mexican heritage because growing up my abuelita would always take me to the Mexican store and we would buy a bunch of pan. Then we would go back home and eat conchas con leche and watch novelas together :) comida es amor, tiene el poder de conectar gente.

  • Maya Chicueyi Ocelotl Diaz-Villalta. I am a junior double majoring in Anthropology: Archeology and Dance: Choreography & Design. I am Mexican and Salvadoran of the peoples Purepecha, Xinca, and Pipil. I am a first generation American and have grown up in Danza Azteca and Native American culture which has shaped who I am today. I personally do not identify with the word Latin@/x/e because my heritage comes from people whose language does not originate from Latin. However, I am from Latin America and I chose to support LCN this year because I want to highlight the diversity and beauty that exists in Latin America. 

  • Paloma Garcia ('24) I’m currently a first-year majoring in psychology here at St. Mary’s. As a first generation Latina woman, I’m proud to attend a college where we celebrate the Latinx traditions I grew up with such as singing/dancing to mariachi music or preparing delicious meals. 

  • Alexis Ortiz ('24) I'm a first year biology major. I have pictures of a group from my high school that participated in a multicultural assembly where we represented the Latino group at school. The club was called Latinos Reaching Goals and outside of the dancing, the main goal of the club was to help the Latinos of the school get to college.

  • Alexandra Cardona (Instagram: Hola, I am Alexandra Cardona, a third year at Saint Mary’s College. I am majoring in Justice Community, and Leadership with a concentration in Multiple Subject Teaching Education and I am also minoring in Ethnic Studies. Born and raised within a Chicanx and Mexican immigrant family, I have incorporated a lot of cross-cultural inspiration into my art. Being bicultural has defined my work; especially when grappling with being from “ni de aqui, ni de alla.”  My art revolves around my Chicana identity, immigration, heartbreak, resiliency, and beauty.

  • Leonardo Ruiz-Garcia ('24 - Instagram: @el_mariachi5 / Anthropology: Archaeology Major and Spanish Minor). My set with my friends Diego Peña and Brianna Gonzalez is a music video of Triste Navidad by Rigo Tovar. We decided to do it because I like the song, it’s a good song, and we simply felt that we could do this and so we did. I identify as Latino.

  • Diego Peña (‘22 - Anthropology Major and Music Minor). I’m Mexican (Jalisco) Peruvian (Piura). I’m sharing a music video with Triste Navidad by Rigo Tovar.

  • Brianna Gonzalez (‘23 - Sociology and Spanish major) Mexican from Chihuahua and Zacatecas.

  • Karina Cabrera (‘21 - Communication with a Minor in Music) YouTube pre-recorded video of the song "Amor Eterno" Rocio Durcal version in honor of my grandpa who passed 2 years ago.  Music can be used to help heal from pain or mourn a loved one. When we reach low points in our life but manage to pick ourselves up and continue living, we become more resilient and strong in the process.

  • Gianna D'Arrigo (‘22 - Major: Politics, Minor: Vocal Music). I'll sing three songs: "Change is Gonna Come," "Horizon," & "Show Me."

  • Cecilia Estrada (‘22 - Business admin with concentration in Digital media) I'm sharing a stand up comedy criticising how Mexicans aren't in many big book series/movies (like Willy Wonka, horror films, MCU, and other feature films/cartoons/media), however then realizing that we aren't in such films because we would end up beating the film before it even gets to the 5 minute mark. (What parent would let their kid steal from a chocolate factory?)

  • Lizette Navarro ('24 - English major) My name is Lizette Navarro. I am a first-year majoring in English. I was born and raised in Oakland, California in a home with three other siblings, my two grandparents, and single mother. Last year I published my first book called, This Love is Purple, which discusses the struggles of my family’s journey from Zacatecas, Mexico to Oakland, California. All of my inspiration comes from my family and I dream to not only become a better writer, but also a powerful advocate for equal opportunities and rights for all.  The first piece is the opening to my book that discusses life in the outskirts of Zacatecas) (The second piece was one of my first poems ever performed so it is dear to me, it highlights how far I have come not only with my writing but in my overall life

  • Andrea Diaz-Garcia (‘22 - Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing and Minor in Music) Hello my name is Andrea and I am a junior at Saint Mary’s. My parents are from Guadalajara Jalisco and I was born here in the United States. My set is the very first music video I created with the skills I learned from my Janterm class “Art in the Music Video.” It is the song “Mexico en la Piel” by Luis Miguel. This video is meant to bring the warm feeling, wonder, and awe of being a child dreaming of a land where you have never been before. Even though you have never been, you still feel a connection and longing to that area. I have never been to Mexico but maybe one day in the future. 

  • Drew Melendez - I am a current freshman who is majoring in Politics and minoring in Sociology! Over the last year I’ve been working on a musical project called Astral Affair, a bedroom pop/latin inspired idea that has kept me busy since the beginning of the quarantine in early 2020. Almost all of my songs incorporate dreamy synths and chorus guitars that are inspired by another Latinx artist, Cuco, who has been making music in a similar style for much longer than I have. With Astral Affair, I use my music to express the deep feelings and emotions of my life through fictional storytelling and lyricism that connect together in a really impactful way. I use the otherworldly sounds of my music to create dynamic and distant stories of societal struggles and personal anguish along with innocent themes of love and peace to create mysterious but grounded stories that I really take pride in. Some of my songs also incorporate a mix of Spanish and English verses, which is very much inspired by other Latinx dream pop artists that I’ve been listening to for years. I hope that anybody who listens to my music spreads the word about Astral Affair. I’m hoping to create more music in 2021 and hopefully be able to perform live as well in the near future! Thank you very much! (You can listen to Astral Affair on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, or any other streaming services) :)

  • Sofia Guardado - I'm a junior here at Saint Mary's majoring in Communication and minoring in Spanish and Women and Gender Studies. In my essay, I discuss the intersectionality of feminism with texts from Virgina Woolf and Gloria Anzaldua. Anzaldua writes from the perspective of being Latina and she articulates so well the struggles, frustrations, and joys of our identity. I have always been proud of being half Mexican and half Salvadorian, but it's hard to be vocal and representative when in predominantly white spaces. It is so important to engage in conversations of social change and to reflect on privileges in our own life. 

  • Inez Ramirez - I am a first-year Theology/Religious studies major with a minor in Communications. Some little things about me, is that I am a recently discovered Native American belonging to the Yaqui tribe and also a proud Mexican American. I love all things Disney and spending time with my family when I am back home in San Jose, California. Overall, I am very open to learning new things about my culture, and ready to share my experiences with the SMC community and larger outside community.

  • Jessica “Jess” Ortiz Pedraza - Hi there! My name is Jessica Ortiz Pedraza but I also go by Jess :) I am a first year first-generation student studying Psychology and French Studies. I am from Michoacan, Mexico and love everything about my culture (you can easily catch me listening to Mexican music every day). My favorite hobbies include working out, drawing, reading, and writing, and I also enjoy laughing until my tummy hurts. These pieces were inspired by my creativity as well as lived experiences. The piece from Kiamar is from a novel I am currently working on that follows a female criminal mastermind on her new pressing journey after being discovered by 17-year-old Enri. All of my writing comes from my heart and soul. Enjoy!

  • Annaliese Martinez (21’ - English & Ethnic Studies) - Lowrider culture has been a form of expression and resilience within Latinx and African American communities throughout California and the American Southwest since around the mid-20th century. In face of discrimination, youth would express their cultural pride through cars with detailed paint jobs, name plates of different car clubs, hydraulic suspension, and other custom body work. Whereas members of these communities often face pressure to assimilate into dominant American culture, lowrider culture is a way of standing out and being seen rather than blending in. In our capitalist society, cars are often built with speed and efficiency in mind to get you wherever you need to go, but Lowrider cars and cruising resist this by being built to ride low and slow, and take up space. As a Mexican-American who self identifies as Chicana, I grew up going to local car shows and cruises in my hometown of Stockton and seeing streets lined with customized classic cars bouncing to the sound of oldies bumping from their stereos, and people building community. This set of film photos was taken at a cruise night in South Stockton this past year, and is a way for me to highlight the beauty of Lowrider culture, and acknowledge the resilience of my community.