A Spanish Fiesta

The fair at the USF College of Education celebrating Spanish culture attracted students, faculty and community leaders.



Lydia Guzmán of Infomás TV, talked about the rise of Spanish speaking television stations in recent years. Photo: Brandi Hollis | USF News


By Brandi Hollis

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (March 20, 2013) – The beat of conga drums mixed with the sounds of an electric guitar rolled out of the TECO room in the College of Education Tuesday as the Hispanic/Latino Section of the Department of World Languages hosted its sixth annual Spanish Fair.


Guests were greeted with an “ihola!” and the rhythm of Latin music as students, faculty, and leaders in the Spanish-speaking community came together at the University of South Florida to discuss the importance of Spanish language and culture in America.


Presentations included Lydia Guzmán of Infomás TV, who talked about the rise of Spanish speaking television stations in recent years such as Mundo Fox and ESPN Desportes to serve the Hispanic and Latin communities in the U.S.


Many students who attended the presentation are currently enrolled in Spanish language classes. Guzmán told the group: “You are learning Spanish or making your Spanish better and that will open doors for you.”


Jessica Richardson, a senior in bio-medical sciences who is taking Spanish II so she can travel to Central and South America, agreed with Guzmán that knowing more than one language would be helpful.


“A person should speak two at minimum really, with the business we do,” said Richardson. “Knowing Spanish or Chinese, it could never hurt you.”


Other presentations included the Mexican Consulate in Orlando and Frankie Soriano, the executive director of Unidos Now.  USF professors gave presentations on the Spanish programs offered at USF and talked about study abroad opportunities through USF World. Students were encouraged to immerse themselves in both language and culture by studying Spanish abroad in Costa Rica, Spain, or Argentina.


Reina Borjas, a graduate student in Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies, studied abroad in Costa Rica as an undergrad and enjoyed the experience immensely.  Borjas said, “Now I teach Spanish II and I recommend to my students to study abroad if they’re really interested in learning the language.”


Guests at the fair enjoyed playing games like Jeopardy (in Spanish and about Spanish culture) throughout the day and were treated to authentic Latin food, including Cuban sandwiches and guava pastries. Booths were set up around the event to provide students with information on Spanish clubs and societies, as well as graduate programs in Spanish language at USF.