Mexican folk dancers in long, flowy skirts in bright colors moved to the beat of the music, the colors of their skirts blurred during Thursday’s Afro-Latino festival at Iowa Central Community College.
The dancers were part of a Des Moines troupe called Nuestra Danza Sin Fronteras – a name that means âOur Dance Without Borders. “
The second annual Iowa Central Afro-Latino Festival was created by Spanish ICCC instructor Andrea Estling.
Students from Estling’s different Spanish classes presented their research projects on Latin American countries and prominent Latinos throughout history who have been emblazoned on the national currency.
Freshman Taylor Smith researched and created a poster about Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a Mexican writer, philosopher, composer, poet, and nun of the mid-1600s. De la Cruz was on the 200 note. pesos and the 1,000 peso coin issued by Mexico between 1988 and 1992.
“The reason she became a nun was because she was a woman and wanted to study, which was not a thing at the time” Smith said .. “So a lot of people call her ‘The First Feminist’.”
As a poet, de la Cruz wrote a poem entitled “You foolish men”, she added.
Smith said she loved learning how much de la Cruz didn’t really care what other people thought of her and that she just wanted to learn.
Kamrin Steveson, a freshman from Grinnell, presented a poster featuring Jose Gabriel Tupac Amaru, also known as Tupac Amaru II, an indigenous leader of a large Andean uprising against the Spaniards in Peru in the years 1780.
“He was known to have led one of the greatest revolutions in Latin American history”, Steveson said ..
The festival also offered an array of entertainment for the guests.
The morning opened with Peruvian pan flutes Chucho Madero.
Matthew Marrowquin, a student at the University of Buena Vista, recited beat poetry about his Latin American growth experiences in America. Iowa Central sophomore Alfonso Jalvan played guitar between the artists.
Mexican folk dancers wowed the crowd with their colorful skirts. Guests also heard Son Peruchos, a musical group from Des Moines that perform a fusion of Andean and South American folk music.
Guests enjoyed Cuban sandwiches and cinnamon sugar churros during the festival.
The festival was made possible through the sponsorship of the Ann Smeltzer Charitable Trust and the Catherine Vincent Deardorf Charitable Foundation.