By Holly Desrosier
Craven Community College (Craven CC) celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting an International Festival on the New Bern and Havelock campuses.
These events allowed students to experience the importance of cultural diversity through Hispanic cultures, art, music and food. Students sampled authentic Hispanic food at both events, catered by Mucho Bueno Street Food & Tequila of Havelock, and enjoyed a performance of the Mexican folk song “Cielito Lindo” by Encore, the college’s singing ambassador group.
“At Craven CC, we have been celebrating International Fest annually for over 10 years,” said Dr. Shelly Hines, Craven CC Spanish instructor and Study Abroad advisor. “It is important to celebrate cultural diversity, especially in modern times, because we live in a global world. Cultural sensitivity, empathy and inclusiveness are crucial skills that students need to develop in order to succeed in today’s global workplace. We are all interconnected.”
The New Bern event displayed several booths full of information and treats spread out across the courtyard in front of the Student Center. The Colombia booth featured homemade arepas, Colombian soda and handmade bags, while the Peru booth had Peruvian purple corn drinks and snacks and the Puerto Rico booth showcased Puerto Rican artifacts and books. Other booths included Interfaith Refugee Ministry, FRC East’s Hispanic Action Engagement Team, Honduras, Guatemala and Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)/Mexico.
“It was incredible seeing the courtyard transformed for Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Emily Stewart, Craven CC campus life coordinator. “The excitement was contagious, from the students and community members that were hosting booths to the people enjoying the event. One student and her family got up at 4 a.m. to make the homemade arepas for people to sample. Participants genuinely enjoyed learning about different Hispanic cultures from their peers.”
The Havelock campus hosted many of the same booths across Veterans Memorial Park. They also featured the documentary “At a Stanger’s Table,” which follows the plights of several documented migrant farm workers in North Carolina.
“I hope that people left the event with an appreciation for how diverse our community is and how to celebrate both our similarities and differences,” said Stewart.
Craven CC’s Lifetime Learning Center also had a booth set up to highlight its International Film Series. Different international films are shown once a month in Orringer Auditorium on the New Bern campus and have two show times: a matinee at 2:30 p.m. and an evening screening at 7:30 p.m. All films are presented with original sound and language, featuring English subtitles. The public is welcome and admission is free. More information is available at www.cravencc.edu/LLC/international-films.
In addition, the college’s Study Abroad program had a booth with information on its upcoming trip to Spain, which will be from May 23 to June 1, 2020. All trips are open to students, faculty, staff and the community. Information sessions for this trip with be held Monday, Oct. 21 at 3 p.m. in the student lounge on the Havelock campus, and Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. in the Naumann Community Room of the Student Center on the New Bern campus. The public is welcome to attend.
This article was originally published in the New Bern Sun Journal on October 16, 2019.