Some see Friday nights as a time to hang out with friends, catch up on homework and maybe binge-watch some Netflix. Others venture down to Afuego Fridays to dance and celebrate the rich culture of Latin America.
Afuego Fridays is a weekly dance held at the Enigma Event Center in Provo that features Latin and hip-hop music.
While many night clubs have the inclination to be wild and chaotic, Afuego Fridays owner and DJ Luis Castro said he has adapted the club to fit community values.
“There is no smoking or drinking allowed,” Castro said. “We want to make sure that guests have a good, clean, fun time.“
Castro started the weekly event six years ago wanting to create an event that would unite people of all backgrounds.
“We have people from all walks of life to come and celebrate with us, not just Latinos,” Castro said.
Manager Stacy Moctezuma has dictated rules at the dance to prevent the festivities from getting chaotic.
“Our policies coincide a lot with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the BYU Honor Code,” Moctezuma said. “We don’t allow drinking or smoking, we have a dress policy and we have security guards going around the party to make sure that no one, especially women, is being bothered,” Moctezuma said.
Co-Manager Nicolas Garcia said the dance is catered to the Provo community.
“Our vision is to deliver the public what they want,” Garcia said. He added that Afuego Fridays offers two different dance floors, Latin and American, to meet this need.
“By knowing the cultural diversity that we have in Utah and the desire to please our clients, we deliver these two options,” Garcia said.
Many in the Provo Hispanic community are grateful for Afuego Fridays because it keeps them close to their heritage.
“It brings happiness,” Maria Lopez said with a smile on her face. “Latin people love music and dancing, and it’s nice to know that we can come here every Friday to chill.”
Lopez said she especially loves dancing with her fiance Eduardo Sanchez. The two grew up together as childhood friends in El Salvador and will be married in late December.
“We love the fact that we can stay close to our culture’s music while enjoying others’ music as well. We can’t wait to bring other friends and future family here,” Lopez said.