ARIEL Celebrates Diversity With Annual Fiesta Del Barrio

By Chloe Gocher | Staff Writer, Copy Editor and Webmaster

4 mins read
three women sitting on benches
Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

ARIEL, Drew’s Latinx cultural society, hosted their annual Fiesta Del Barrio event in collaboration with Drew African Student Association, South Asian Student Association, Black Student Union and the BIPOC mentoring center this Wednesday, April 12 in the Tolley-Brown circle. “Fiesta del barrio” translates to “block party” in English, and this multicultural celebration was full of all the vibrant music and food that you would expect from this sort of party.

After swiping in, students were able to grab a wide variety of cultural food and treats, including samosas, empanadas, rice and beans and more. Afterwards, students congregated with friends on lawn chairs, tables and picnic blankets spread out across the Tolley-Brown circle. Students were enjoying fantastic food from around the world with small giveaway gifts (such as stickers) and beautiful weather.

“The importance of Fiesta Del Barrio is to embrace the people of our ‘block,’” explained ARIEL Treasurer Vicky Fuentes (‘25). “Every cultural club has a special traditional event. Black Student Union has their masquerade ball, Drew African Student Association has their fashion show and so much more! It means a lot for ARIEL to be able to host an event that everyone can be a part of.”

Students enjoy food and community. Image courtesy of Chloe Gocher.

When asked about the organization of the event, ARIEL Vice President Maria Vazquez-Maldonado (‘23) responded, “It involved meetings with [Diversity Equity and Inclusion] director Monica, and Club Life coordinator Terrance, to see how they could best assist our club so that the event is successful and communication with other cultural club leaders to determine in what capacity they would be able to participate, either by advertising, providing food, games, giveaways, and/or providing man-power to set-up/clean up.”

A key aspect of this event is embracing and celebrating the great cultural diversity of the Drew community.

“‘Barrio’ in English means neighborhood, which is why we ask other cultural clubs for collaboration,” said Fuentes. “They exist in the same university as ARIEL with similar mission statements: to increase and celebrate diversity/culture. As most of our board is Latinx, we acknowledge that Latinos come from all different backgrounds, shapes and sizes. For a community that is so diverse, it means so much to be able to host a space that celebrates the diversity that exists in this university.”

“The core of what Fiesta Del Barrio has now come to be is built on celebrating cultural community,” said Vazquez-Maldonado. “To be able to work with all these different clubs was absolutely vital in delivering this message. It is not enough for the Drew community members to be represented through only the establishment of their respective cultural clubs, but also for the Drew community to not only show-up but also show-out and embrace all of our cultural differences, and celebrate each person’s unique identity. Which they did!”

Drew’s incredibly diverse community is certainly something worth celebrating, and ARIEL’s fun, laid-back Fiesta Del Barrio was a great way to remind us all of the key community aspect of celebrating culture and diversity.For more information on upcoming ARIEL events, follow them on Instagram @drewsariel.

Chloe is a sophomore majoring in English with an emphasis in creative writing and minoring in Spanish.

Leave a Reply

Previous Story

Drew Community Questions Safety Protocols After Shelter-In-Place

Next Story

Drew Announces New Environmental Justice Minor

Latest from Blog

%d bloggers like this: