The music of the Latin heart


The heart is the lifeblood of the body, and Friday night at the “Fiesta 2012: Corazón Latino,” performers and audience members demonstrated that the Latin heart is filled with passion, spontaneity and love.

The Wilkinson Student Center ballroom transformed into an international stage as performed lively numbers from countries all over the world, including Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Paraguay, Mexico and even Africa.
Students perform a special number from the Dominican Republic

Sam Pereira, a member of Living Legends and a BYU senior from Houston, Texas, majoring in family studies, participated in several numbers throughout the evening. Pereira dances with many groups on campus and appreciates the opportunity to interact with so many of BYU’s Latin students and the values they share.

“We’re a small enough group that we see each other a lot,” Pereira said. “We carry a lot of the same traditions we did back home. The way we live and what we cherish we did not abandon, we still keep it as part of our lives.”

Numbers throughout the evening were colorful and cultural, a true expression of the Latin heart. Performers themselves came from all over the world and in many ways represented the diversity in BYU’s international student body.

This year also marked the first appearance of the Black Student Union at the event.

Yetta Jones, a sophomore from Lehi, studying sociology, participated in the Black Student Union number, a dance which celebrated the African culture and traditions felt throughout Latin America.

“The idea of having our number came mainly because of the influences Africa really has in Latin America,” Jones said. “The multi-cultural coordinator decided that influence was important and significant enough that they should have a part in the show that represented that aspect of Latin culture.”

BYU is a unique campus in its appreciation for Latin America. The audience was filled with many Latinos, as well as students who served missions in Spanish speaking countries.

Dennis Webb, a sophomore from Danville, Ind., served in Peru and also has a Hispanic mother. He previously attended college at Indiana University and noted a significant difference in the celebration of Latin culture at BYU.

“I don’t know if we even had events like this out there,” Webb said. “Here so many people speak Spanish, or have had important and life-changing experiences on their missions with Spanish speakers that they just love it. It’s just cool to see. I want to get more involved with the activities and groups they have.”

BYU may have a largely Caucasian student body, but that doesn’t stop anyone from having a Latin heart. A Latin heart is filled with tradition, family and love, and anyone can be a part of that.

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