All About HLA

Hiathan Nguyen

This week I talked to Cesar CB. ’22, co-leader of the Hispanic Latino Affinity Group, about why YOU should consider joining HLA. 

The Hispanic Latino Affinity Group, or HLA for short, meets during lunch in the language wing. Their meetings serve as a space for anyone who identifies as Hispanic or Latino to come and eat, talk, bond, and learn. Cesar and Alex C. ’22, the other co-leader, have been members of HLA since their sophomore years. The group actually used to be called the Latinx Affinity Group (a name that may sound more familiar to you all), but when Cesar and Alex took the reins from last year’s leaders, they decided to rebrand. “Some people didn’t know what Latinx meant, and some members disagreed with the name because the x isn’t grammatically correct in Spanish,” said Cesar. “HLA is more straightforward and inclusive.”

COVID previously made affinity group meetings tough to organize, so this year is really a fresh start for HLA. “We have a couple of members, but we’d love more,” said Cesar. “Anyone is welcome to join even as an allied member. You don’t have to come every day, and if you’re unsure feel free to stop by and check out what we do—we’ve got amazing dulce de leche (caramel) and cookies.” 

You may have already seen the alter pictured above at the front entrance to the Upper School. It was set up by HLA for the Day of the Dead and is there to celebrate the spirits of those who have passed away in our community. “Death may cause grieving, but the Day of the Dead is celebrated because we believe as long as you keep deceased loved ones in your memory, their spirits will live on. If they are comfortable, anyone is welcome to place pictures of friends and family that have passed away on the alter.” Looking towards the future, Cesar and Alex have some really interesting plans for integrating HLA into the OES community. “We’re working to find a Hispanic artist who will work with our members to create some kind of art for the school. Ideally, they would teach us the technique and give inspiration while we did the creating—a Hispanic-themed mural created by HLA members would be amazing.” HLA is also planning a pinata day (date TBD) to attract more members and bring the school together even more.

If any of this information interested you, stop by the language wing on Tuesday or Thursday for an HLA meeting. Also, don’t hesitate to email Cesar or Alex with any questions regarding HLA meeting times, dates, or activities!