‘My Heritage Defines and Guides Me:’ Students Discuss Importance of Celebrating Latine Heritage Month

What does it mean to be a descendant of Latine, Latinx, Latino, Latina and Hispanic heritage and trace your cultural roots to a Spanish-speaking community in Latin America, Central America, South America or the Caribbean?

It’s nearly impossible to come up with a singular defining trait, characteristic or value that represents the Latine culture, but beginning on Friday, the University community will come together to celebrate Latine Heritage Month (LHM) and learn more about the rich cultural history of the Latine community.

Three current students—Evelina Torres ’25, German Nolivos ’26 and Janeice Lopez G’25—share what their cultural heritage means to them, how they’ve discovered a cultural home on campus and why they wanted to get involved in planning LHM celebrations.

The monthlong celebration begins Friday night with an opening ceremony, an information fair and the “Futurismo Latino” exhibition opening event in the Schine Student Center atrium.

One of the most anticipated programs, the Fiesta Latina, occurs on Oct. 6 and features Latine cuisine and live entertainment from Trio Los Claveles, Raices Dance Troupe and the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations. LHM festivities conclude with the fifth annual LGBTQ+ History Month Potash Collaborative Keynote on Oct. 19.

Learn the stories of how these three students celebrate their cultures, then check out the complete schedule of Latine Heritage Month events and programs.

German Nolivos ’26

When Nolivos was 12 years old, his family left Caracas, Venezuela, and relocated to Miami, Florida. He remains connected to his Latin culture, preferring to speak in Spanish, listen to Latin music and cook dishes from his native Venezuela.

German Nolivos

Nolivos is a Possee Leadership Scholar and first-generation college student studying both political science in the Maxwell School and public relations in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. When he graduates, Nolivos plans to establish a public relations firm.

Nolivos serves as the vice president of community and government affairs in Student Association—the student governing and advocacy body at Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry—and is also a student senator in University Senate and president of Las Naranjas Spanish Club.

What role does your cultural heritage play in your life? “My heritage is a defining aspect of who I am—it’s ingrained in me. My first language is Spanish. I think, react initially and communicate with my closest friends and family in Spanish. Being in a place like Miami, where Latin culture and heritage are prevalent, has certainly been a significant factor. However, in Syracuse I’ve learned how to build a sense of community, finding people who understand my heritage, who make me happy and help me feel at home.”