The Creighton University Latino Student Association organized an event titled “Nuestra Voz Our Experiences” on Oct. 13 to showcase student speeches concerning the Latin-American experience.
Students gathered around the fountain in front of St. John’s Church to listen to the speeches given by several Latino students.
From stories that dealt with finding one’s identity to rehearsals of poems and songs, CULSA’s speakers shared their experiences through a plethora of mediums.
College of Arts and Sciences senior Efren Garcia shared his personal revelation while he was on a service trip.
“Through my service trip, I saw my people in orange jumpsuits in shackles in immigration court,” Garcia said. “Innocent people that put everything on the line to achieve an American dream for their families. This stabbed my heart when I knew that could’ve been me, my mom or my dad.”
Speaker Andres Fernandez Alvarez, a Heider College of Business junior, told the story of how his mother escaped Venezuela and was able to make a life for herself and her kids in America.
“This is the same woman with two boys that moved to a foreign country with a foreign language and a foreign culture,” Alvarez said. “The feelings of anxiety, desperation and fear were very prevalent, but with perseverance, a strong and focused work ethic, and a love and life of learning, my mother and I became citizens in 2015 of this great land of opportunity.”
However, unlike Alvarez and his mother, Alvarez’s brother was not able to achieve citizenship status.
“He is here under DACA,” Alvarez said. “To this day, my brother has to pay 500 dollars every five months to grant him protection from being deported. This is not legal status, it simply allows him to be in the country, and under the current system, there is no process to change that.”
Nikka Kahalekulu-Nakama, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, attended the event and said she was inspired by the poems and stories.
“Learning about how Alvarez’s mother and how so many other families were able to overcome all the challenges presented, such as systemic racism and prejudice, was really inspiring,” Kahalekulu-Nakama said. “I think hearing these stories from students here really brings these issues to light.”