While running the anchor leg toward the finish of the academic year can be a little stressful, The College of Idaho’s Association of Latino Americano Students invites the campus community to take a break from studying and enjoy some Cinco de Mayo fun!
From 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, in front of McCain, students will be able to eat free tacos, win prizes, and compete in competitions such as riding the mechanical bull, a jalapeño eating contest, and a piñata breaking contest.
“We want everybody to have a good time, have fun, but also to learn about our culture,” said Dulce Sanchez, ALAS president.
“At the very least, we want students to know Cinco de Mayo is not our independence day,” said Arnold Hernandez, director of multicultural affairs.
In addition to offering fun events and the chance to learn about Latino culture, ALAS helps C of I Latino students feel a part of the YoteFam from the time they set foot on campus.
“Finding a group like this helps you relax and feel part of a family, part of a group,” said junior Ivan Esparza. “It helps you integrate into college life a little bit faster.”
Current senior Pedro Arredondo can relate. He came to the C of I from a small high school and as a first-generation college student. None of his high school friends came to the College, and unlike most C of I students, Arredondo lived off campus.
“The first people who really introduced themselves to me and took me in were members of ALAS—all of whom I’m still close friends with,” he said. “ALAS helps you find your place on campus, especially if you’re a commuter student.”
For freshman Jose Cardova, ALAS provides a peaceful area on campus.
“Being a commuter student, it can be tough trying to adapt to the college life,” Cardova said. “When you want to take a nap, you don’t have anywhere to go. That is why we have the couches [in the multicultural center].”
The organization also provides a family to lean on for academic help. Sanchez, who is majoring in political economy, said she is the only Latina in her classes. In the beginning of her academic career, she would think about dropping classes because she felt lonely. But today, she serves as a mentor to other Latino students taking POE classes.
“I’m currently a POE minor and Dulce has been a great resource for me,” Esparza said. “If I have any questions, she is there for me and it’s great to have that support. It makes a huge difference when you have someone to study with.”
And that sense of family and community is something ALAS hopes to share with the campus community with a little bit of Cinco de Mayo fun!
Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. The C of I has a legacy of academic excellence, a winning athletics tradition and a history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. For more information, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.