SAN MARCOS — When the bell rang for lunch on Monday at San Marcos High School, hundreds of students flooded the quad to find games, a piñata, flower making and ballet folklórico set up by various student clubs.
Student-run Hispanic clubs, including the Hispanic Student Union and Ballet Folklórico, organized the lunchtime event in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
While the threat of rain canceled the event on Oct. 14 — it would not have been safe for student dancers to be out on the wet concrete — it was full steam ahead the following Monday as the sun shone down on the quad.
Knights senior and Hispanic Student Union president Jackie Olguin said the school’s Hispanic Heritage Month is a tradition on their campus and something she and her fellow students were eager to organize for their peers.
“Everybody was very cooperative, and we were all just excited to get something in the works,” Olguin said. “This is definitely something we do annually, and I’m hoping it will continue throughout the years.”
Students could be seen gathering around to learn how to make paper flowers out of colorful tissue paper and pipe cleaners, as well as playing lotería, Jenga and a balloon-popping game.
The real excitement began when members of the Ballet Folklórico club started their performance, dancing in vibrant ranchero-style dresses with large, swirling skirts. Folklórico features traditional dances and costumes representative of the various states of Mexico.
“It’s important because of the culture and representing the different states of Mexico and the different kinds of music. It’s very fun to show that in the way we were all just dancing,” said freshman Bianca Isham.
Following their performance, dozens of students joined in to dance together.
The event finished with the piñata, which withstood only a few attacks by determined students before crashing to the ground to the sound of victorious cheers.
Bonnie Bagheri, Associated Student Body Director at San Marcos High, said the school has a very active student body who come up with creative ideas for activities to share with their peers. In the past, the school’s seven or eight different Hispanic student clubs have also hosted celebrations of Día de los Muertos and Día de los Niños.
“For me, it’s about empowering them [students] to share culture, or it could be something they’re passionate about,” Bagheri said. “It’s a chance for them to come out and feel really safe and know we’re gonna support them.”