Fresno State celebrates Hispanic heritage at ‘Bienvenida’

Fresno, Calif. (KFSN) — The sound of mariachi filled the air at Fresno State Wednesday during the campus’ annual Bienvenida, or welcome party.

Students enjoyed tacos, music and learned about the resources available on campus. The celebration is part of Hispanic Heritage Month festivities, but University President Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval says it’s meant to welcome all cultures.

Fresno State’s Hispanic population makes up more than 54% of the student body. As a proud Latino himself, Jiménez-Sandoval says he understands the significance of students seeing him at the helm of Fresno State

“That they see themselves in me and that I see myself in them as well,” he said.

Latina and Latino-based sororities shared about the sense of belonging their groups provide on campus.

“A group of girls that share that same culture and share that same value family values, it makes that family dynamic a lot stronger,” said Anahi Jaramillo from Gamma Alpha Omega.

The College Assistance Migrant Program offered resources to bridge the gap for first-generation students whose parents are migrant agriculture workers.

“Their parents immigrated from another country here and the only opportunity for employment here was Ag, or Ag labor,” said Ximena Hidalgo from College Assistance Migrant Program. “So they need that extra support that their parents can’t provide them.”

Chicano Alumni Club President Manuel Olguin is proud of the growth of Latino representation on campus since he graduated in the 70s.

“It’s changed so much with Latino faculty, different kinds of classes and of course, the number of students has increased,” he said.

The crowd cheered on students performing traditional Mexican dances. Even Victor E. got into the rhythm of the music.

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations continue at Fresno State. For more information, click here.

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