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Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

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In with a Bang, out with a Bang: The Centro Cultural de César Chávez Celebrates its Tribute Month with lively events for all

PJ Royland, OMN Photographer
Students celebrate the ‘¡Dale, Dale, Dale!’ event for candy galore in the Centro Cultural César Chàvez Center on April 3.

A place of support and representation of diverse cultures, April marks the Centro Cultural de César Chávez’s Tribute Month, the month-long festivities dedicated to the founding the CCCC.

Each Tribute Month, the CCCC chooses a new theme to lead their celebration. This year’s theme is Bajo la Misma Luna, Under the Same Moon.  

With all the policies surrounding immigration and anti-immigrant sentiments, students wanted to focus on a theme of connectivity brought up in the movie “Bajo La Misma Luna”.

The movie tells the tale of Rosario, who leaves behind her son Carlitos with his grandmother, immigrating to the United States in hopes of finding a better life for her and her son.

Freddy León, the center director of the CCCC, explained that despite their separation, through phone calls, the mother reminds her son to look up at the stars and the moon. 

“She would say, ‘I’m looking at the same moon, that, ‘you’re with me’,” León said, describing the “Bajo La Misma Luna” movie 

This theme of connectivity and knowing that you are not alone despite, not just physical distance, but the distance of identity, is a pillar of the CCCC.

We all have stories and different paths, despite all being from the same continent, same country, same town, or even from the same street, we are all different León said.

Sometimes this can make us feel alone or isolated in our path.

However, despite all these different backgrounds and identities, “wherever you are in the world, if you look at the moon, we’re all connected by the same moon,” León said.

This theme was therefore chosen by OSU students to represent the theme of the CCCC’s Tribute Month. 

“My hope for this tribute month, but just in general, is for folks to come together to realize that there is a network here of support for them,” León said.

The CCCC stands as a place for all these different and diverse paths to connect, a sort of resting point to help recharge.

“This year I see a lot of freshmen that come here and cook their own food, and so that’s always kind of always cool to see,” said Jorge Barajas, student receptionist at the CCCC. 

Rooting back to the 1970s, the CCCC was created as a collaborative effort among OSU student activism within the Latinx student population, the Black Student Union population and the Native American student population. 

“There was an effort to establish a center collaboratively,” León said “Then throughout the time I mean folks have recognized the need for specific spaces for different populations so that’s how we branched out into our own center.” 

Throughout the years, the CCCC has grown into a pillar for the Latinx community at OSU, providing an atmosphere of support and help for all.

“As a person, it has made me realize that I do have a community here, it’s helped me grow more within my community, and being able to connect with more Hispanic and Latinx people around campus,” said Alexa Gomes Silva, a first-year Spanish and political science major at OSU. 

Managed by a welcoming staff, filled with colors, music, and candy and a range of rooms offering purposes like social events to private rooms people can nap in, the CCCC is often filled with vibrant and nice energy that helps make you feel at home.

“There’s a space where we can connect and be ourselves,” Barajas said. 

It can be comforting to know that there is a space where you feel represented culturally. It’s like a place to derive confidence in identity and self.

“We have a space dedicated for us,” Silva said. “It is our cultural center and multiple people are able to come, like anyone’s able to visit which I really like and I really enjoy. It’s kind of like OSU’s way of being able to say I see you and this is here for you if you ever need it.” 

Kicking off the celebration of the CCCC, not just in its journey of activism but also in the cultural bond and support, The CCCC hosted the Dale Dale Dale, a festive piñata party. 

Piñatas are often used for big celebrations and parties, such as birthdays, so it makes sense when celebrating the founding of the CCCC, that we would use piñatas, to celebrate its birth month.

In wanting to reach more diversity within the cultures represented in the Latinx community, the CCCC was focused on choosing something that would be celebratory in multiple cultures.

“We know that piñatas are also used and are part of other cultures, not just Mexico,” León said. “So we’ll I mean literally start with a bang.” 

In the true essence of celebration, the Dale Dale Dale event was a lively celebration that welcomed everyone to the start of the CCCC’s Tribute Month.

“Everyone was like around the piñata, everyone was cheering on, we’re all just having fun,” Silva said.

Now, as the month of April comes to a close, the CCCC throws its final celebration: a Tianguis, an open market, in the Student Experience Center plaza from 5-9 p.m. on April 26. 

“These types of things exist and have existed in pre-colonial times as a way for people to barter,” León said. “‘I’ll trade you my chickens for this’ or ‘I’ll give you this for that’ because these markets are ancestral.” 

Unlike other cultural groups that already have annual cultural events such as Hō’ike, or Pacifica Fest, this is the first year that the CCCC will hold its big closing event. 

Wanting to connect with more and larger communities, and in keeping with the theme that though we come from different places, we are still connected, the Tianguis aims to include a variety of Latinx cultures. With Salvadorian and Mexican food, baked goodies, Cuban pastries, and performances from a Cuban salsa group, León said.

“We’re trying to make it more representative of Latin America,” León said. “We’re diverse country-wise and culturally but also racially. I think it’s just a mix of a lot of people so we were obviously not gonna capture every community and every person but we’re trying our best to diversify the program.”

In addition to vendors, entertainment and treats, the CCCC will be handing out free food vouchers to the first 400 to 500 people to show up. 

And as a special treat, If you stay after you have the chance to win tickets to a music performance at the PRAx with live music from the Latinx band Las Cafeteras on April 28. 

With all the collaborations of cultures for the Tainguis, the marketplace shows diverse cultural backgrounds and festivities following the Tribute month’s theme of connectivity through our differences.

But it’s not the last moment of celebrating connection. As the CCCC closes its Tribute month, it continues to strive to provide a welcoming and supportive environment for everyone here at OSU.

No matter the place or story, as León said, “Our paths are all illuminated by the same light of the moon.” 

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