Recently, a bit of Latin American culture came to Point Loma in an event late one Wednesday night. This event was given the rather innocuous title of “Cafe Latino” and was hosted by the Spanish department here on campus in a way of “advertising” what some Spanish majors and minors were able to do with what they had learned.
The event was also a small cultural experience as well, as there was Latin American coffee and desserts to compliment the name of the event. Sophomore engineering major Alex Koch thought, “it really showcased the family of Spanish majors here at Point Loma and was a great advertisement for [the Spanish Department].” As with most events on campus, the atmosphere at Cafe Latino was an energetic and welcoming one. The event even had a large amount of variety in its acts, making it an engaging outing as well.
Cafe Latino followed a certain rhythm as the night progressed. It would start with someone coming up and play music for the audience. All the music played was in Spanish and had great variety. The song range included Spanish translations of popular songs in the U.S. to being original compositions by the musicians themselves. This allowed for a vast range of instruments as well, creating a unique sound. There were even times when a conventional instrument like a guitar would be played in such a unique way that it created an entirely new sound.
It wasn’t all just music at Cafe Latino, though, as a few people who were part of the Spanish department came up onto the stage to share stories of their trips abroad to Spanish-speaking nations all around the world. It was fascinating how varied these stories were. Some of the students presenting went on the equivalent of missions trips while others immersed themselves in the culture of a country that was foreign to them. Attendees such as freshman writing major Lex Szoke said, “[I] liked the new look at culture through the eyes of students and the kind of raw insight that they gave both through music and through their personal experiences about Latino culture.” In all, the stories served as a fascinating break to the already great music.
The final major aspect to Cafe Latino was an auction. Every so often, a few items would be presented in between music and stories. The prizes ranged from small things, like water bottles, to the grand prize, which was a Patagonia backpack. This also served well to keep the night interesting and varied.
Cafe Latino wrapped up with a final song, which encouraged audience participation. People in the audience sang the chorus in Spanish while others helped the band up on the stage with various percussion instruments. Paula Cronovich, one of the organizers of the event and Spanish Professor here at Point Loma, thought that “the fact that we had Point Loma students sharing their own experience with studying abroad or why they wanted to learn Spanish hopefully spoke to the students [who] didn’t have a career plan yet.” Cafe Latino was a very entertaining evening, aiming to provide students with personal accounts from study abroad trips through music. Look for future events that not only benefit the Spanish department but others as well.