Spanish culture and pride is on full display at Norwich University. With chalk in hand, students marked Hispanic Heritage Month by marking sidewalks on campus with flags, phrases, and other artwork that represent their traditions.
“We all come from different walks of life and I think its really important to celebrate that,” student Chase Panza said. “It’s something that makes us all unique.”
“It’s not very common for us to celebrate, especially at school in Vermont,” Tanya Garcia said. “We don’t see much of this.”
It’s no secret Vermont isn’t home to a large Hispanic population, which can be tough for some students. For Tanya Garcia, the visual display of culture makes her feel more comfortable at her home, away from home.
“I’m Mexican and I’m coming to this school far away from home. I feel like I don’t belong here, but then I see people from all over the place,” she said. “Seeing all the flags and colorful drawings makes me feel more cozy, homey here.”
It’s a big reason why Dr. Kaitlin Thomas has been doing this with students for 3 years now.
“To have a space where students can create something like this that is so bright and big and a very central point on our campus,” Dr. Thomas said. “It creates a lot of visibility.”
125 Norwich students identify as Hispanic or Latino.
“There’s a lot to be offered from Spanish speaking heritage and I hope in Vermont in years we’ll see, more of a resurgence of it,” Panza said.