To continue celebrating Latin@ Heritage Month, students came out to J. Lee’s to customize their own piñatas on Thursday night.
The DIY craft night was put together by the Office of Equity and Diversity Programs and the Association of Latinos Moving Ahead (ALMA). ALMA has hosted many cultural craft nights, but this was their first time gathering to make piñatas.
“We’ve done a variety of events, but we really wanted to do something classic, where we all knew what it was so it’d be a fun and relaxing kind of thing,” ALMA’s President, Madeline Martinez, said.
Students did not have to follow complicated step-by-step instruction because the craft was simple and straightforward. Participants could create at their own pace while also trading creative ideas with their friends.
“There are many ways to make them, but we thought this way was the most accessible,” Martinez said.
Each student began with an inflated balloon. From there, students were supplied with an array of spray glue and strips of newspaper to adhere to the balloon in papier-mâché style. Once the sphere of newspaper was completely dry, students could tap into their creativity and begin decorating their piñata base. With so many colors of tissue paper, streamers and glitter to choose from, there was virtually no limit on creativity.
Students were also provided with scissors to add frills of texture and dimension to their piñatas. One piñata looked just like a pineapple with its radiant yellow and green color scheme along with its sharp edges. A few piñatas took the shape of pumpkins with rounded orange curves and a verdant green vine to hang the piñata with.
Freshman Nia Armour said the event “was very artistic and a great opportunity,” as she swung her “piñata-purse” over her shoulder.
Freshman Nicole Lopez said, “I wanted to try something new,” as she sprinkled glitter over her piñata. This craft night was a new experience for some and familiar for others. Rich in both history and familial tradition, piñatas are intrinsic to so many Latin cultures.“I like getting to do an activity where I feel connected to my roots,” Sophomore Patricio Mejia said.
While piñatas are culturally significant for some students, other students relished in the childhood nostalgia of them. “I haven’t done this kind of stuff since second grade,” freshman Kiara Espinal said. “It definitely brought back memories.”