Mount Union Plans Hispanic Heritage Month Events

October 05, 2012

ALLIANCE, Ohio — The University of Mount Union will celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with a special song and dance performance at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 11 in Presser Recital Hall.

The song and dance event, which is open to the public, will feature performances by Maria and Jessica Guadalupe Avila. The performance is titled “Mexico: A Tour Through Its Culture, Music and Dance.”

A graduate of California State, Maria Guadalupe Avila was born in Tijuana, Mexico and began dancing Ballet Folklorico at the age of six. At age 16, she moved to Los Angeles and received the opportunity to study the arts. Maria is the co-founder and director of Ballet Folklorico “Raices,” performing at numerous civic events and Hispanic celebrations. In her spare time, she actively supports several social causes including the Scholarship Association for English as a Second Language and the City of Azusa’s Annual Mariachi Festival.

Her daughter, Jessica Guadalupe Avila’s love for singing began at the age of five. By the time she was 12, she was performing at middle school recitals and at 16, she performed at wedding ceremonies and receptions. Jessica is a senior at California Poly Pomona University and is a member of the Latino Pre-Med Student Association, Biological Honors Society and Zeta Tau Alpha.

Their performances will include dances from the regions of Veracruz and Jalisco and songs from Adele and Rocio Durcal/Juan Gabriel. In between performances, the audience can partake in pop trivia and learn a few traditional Hispanic dances.

A Hispanic Food Festival will also take place on Friday in commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Presser Hall is located in Cope Music Hall on the corner of Union Avenue and Simpson Street in Alliance.

According to, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expended in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan to cover a 30-day period.

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