Las Mujeres means “women” in Spanish, but Las Mujeres isn’t a club dedicated only to being a Latina woman at Portland State, it’s also about sharing Latin culture with the broader community, while at the same time keeping the culture alive and well. Their current mission statement, which they change yearly in order to keep it progressive, reads, “Las Mujeres creates a positive space for empowerment and unity through education, service and celebration among Latino, Chicano, and Hispanics, as well as allies.”
The Vanguard had the opportunity to sit down with Lucero Cortez from Las Mujeres and chat about the student organization. Cortez has been working with the group for three years and considers her time there a joy and an honor.
In addition to being a community where everybody can share and enjoy Latin culture, Las Mujeres is also a pioneer in the Latin community at PSU. Some of the events which the group pioneered are Latin Night, the Latina Luncheon, and Latin@s Unidos Graduation.
Latin Night is billed as a celebration of Latin culture. Cortez explained Las Mujeres events will feature Latin foods, including Cuban and Puerto Rican dishes, as well as Latin dances and live music. This year Latin Night is 6-10 p.m., Feb. 3 in the Smith Ballroom.
Another event, Latina Luncheon, brings Latin community members to PSU to talk with students. For this event the group gets professionals and influential members of the community from a variety of disciplines and educational and professional backgrounds. Latin@s Unidos Graduation is a unique bilingual graduation ceremony going on its fourth year in a row.
The group also offers an assortment of fun and engaging workshops and outings throughout the year.
Cortez and Las Mujeres encourage anyone who is interested in being a part of the group to stop by on the 2nd floor of Smith Memorial Student Union, Room M102. Las Mujeres is open to anyone.