HSU Honors Students, Language, and Latinx Community


Strengthening the links between the local Latinx community and Latinx students at Humboldt State, the University is celebrating Latinx Heritage Month through October 15. An institution serving Hispanics since 2013, HSU is also proud to host three bilingual publications as part of the University’s overall effort to raise diverse and powerful voices.

Toyon, HSU’s multilingual literature and art journal, celebrated its history and diversity earlier this year.

Led by El Centro Académico Cultural, several Latinx Heritage Month events in October will provide opportunities for awareness and empowerment within the Latinx community. Located on the HSU campus, El Centro works with all students in navigating success that honors and respects their cultural and historical trajectory.

“Latinx Heritage Month is important because it recognizes the contributions and influence of Latinxes to the history, culture and achievements of the United States,” said Fernando Paz, coordinator of El Centro.

HSU was a Hispanic institutions since 2013; the University has qualified each year since by consistently serving a student body that is at least 25% Hispanic. The designation demonstrates HSUThe commitment to focus on student success for all students, including Latinx, first generation and low income students. In September, HSI The week was observed by 569 colleges and universities across the country in conjunction with Latinx Heritage Month. Currently, 32% of HSUThe student body identifies itself as Hispanic.

HSI‘s play a vital role in the education and empowerment of young Latinx, ”says Paz.

El Leñador received honors as the Society of Professional Journalists’ Best Multipurpose Student Journal in April.

An essential platform for Latinx voices to HSU are the three bilingual publications of the University: the Toyon Literary Magazine, published in English and Spanish; El Leñador, a bilingual monthly newspaper launched in 2013; and CouRageouS Cuentos, a student journal published by the Department of Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies.

Toyon’s last tome was published under the theme “De Dos Lados”, which means double-sided in Spanish. A statement on Toyon’s website reads: “Everyone is complex and multifaceted. Some people are forced to find a balance between and within several spaces in order to survive. Our theme refers to these experiences and the resilience and beauty that can come with them.

El Leñador is the only bilingual newspaper in Humboldt County. The student-run journal recently won several awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.
“Spanish speakers in Humboldt County don’t have a lot of sources to turn to for news and information, so we are trying to close that gap, especially during the pandemic,” said Nancy Garcia, one of the three. student editors of El Leñador. -chief last spring.

Courageous Cuentos focuses on posting creative writing submissions by students enrolled in Ethnic Studies, “Chican @ / Latin @ Lives” and “Growing up Chicana / Latino” courses. In addition, students from Fortuna High School worked with students from HSU‘s Promotorx Transformative Educator Program to also submit their writings to the journal.

CouRaGeouS Cuentos, a publication of the Department of Critical Studies of Race, Gender, and Sexuality, features creative writings by ethnic studies students 107: Chican @ / Latin @ Lives and Ethnic Studies 480: Growing Up Chicana / Latino classes .

And in a special celebration of HSUThe Latinx community of, Toyon has partnered with the music department to host Sana, Sana, a community poetry competition. Sana Sana is a short rhyme commonly used in most Spanish-speaking parts of the world as a “cure” for wounds, often shared from mother to child. Calling for hope and healing for the Latinx community, Sana Sana asked participants to submit a poem in Spanish or English this fall. The winning poem, announced on December 30, will be set to music by special guest composer Carlos Cordero (The Happy Choir) and performed by HSU‘s University Singers next spring.

About El Centro Académico Cultural
Founded in the summer of 2015, El Centro is committed to student success with a responsive approach, which includes the development of academic, intellectual, personal and professional growth. El Centro is one of five cultural centers of academic excellence in HSU, which include the Indian Tribal and Educational Staff Program (ITEPP), the Center for Social Justice, Equity and Inclusion and the Umoja Center for Pan-African Student Excellence.

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