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SHEBOYGAN – A community-wide celebration of Hispanic culture this Saturday will be the first of its kind at Sheboygan South High.
Two students — junior Yesenia Vera and senior Josue Uribe — hatched the idea for the Fiesta Hispana and organized the whole event over the past four months.
“We realize that there’s a pretty big population of Hispanics and Latinos at South High, and we wanted to do something that would celebrate our culture,” Uribe said.
“Planning this event, we’ve just grown to love our culture even more,” he said. “The support from within our own community has been very strong, and people are excited.”
La Fiesta Hispana will be in the South High School commons from 4 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 15, the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month. The event will feature booths from Hispanic-owned businesses, with a variety of items and resources from traditional Mexican clothing to Spanish-speaking real-estate agents, as well as activities for kids, music and food trucks.
Everyone should come — not just Hispanic and Latino people, Vera and Uribe said.
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National Hispanic Heritage Month, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, spans the anniversaries of independence for several Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile, and celebrates the histories and cultures of Americans with heritage from Spanish-speaking countries.
While both students have always been connected with their Mexican culture and roots, they haven’t really celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month. The month will have a new significance for them going forward, Vera and Uribe said.
“It’s kind of amazing how our parents have been very supportive of this whole thing,” Vera said.
“Even just the support from our friends, they’re like, ‘Oh, this is such a good idea,’” she said.
“Someone said, ‘I’m so proud of you guys for doing this.’ I was like — that felt nice. … (Planning the event) has allowed us to really connect more with the community and just within our school.”
Vera and Uribe created a Hispanic Youth Student Organization at South High that they hope will continue the celebration as a new annual tradition.
“Next year, we’re going to have way more people helping. And funds,” Uribe said with a smile. This year, “our parents and (family friend) Karina Aguirre deserve a huge ‘thank you.'”
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Reach Maya Hilty at 920-400-7485 or MHilty@sheboygan.gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter at @maya_hilty.

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