APSU’s Hispanic Heritage Month began with a performance from Ballet Folkloric Sol de Mexico on Sept. 18.

The Hispanic Cultural Center hosted the Ballet Folkloric Sol de Mexico live dance from 4 to 5:30 P.M. in the MUC Plaza.

Food and refreshments were offered to the audience throughout the event. The HCC coordinator, Louise F. Mitchell, organized the event.

“I learned about Ballet Folklorico Sol de Mexico through one of my colleagues Yamil Conga,” Mitchell said.

“Last semester, I was in search of dance groups that could come to campus and perform for APSU students. Ballet Folklorico Sol de Mexico was one of the groups that Yamil recommended.”

Sol de Mexico is a professional Mexican Folkloric dance company from Nashville. It was founded in 2014 and consists of around 8-10 women and three men.

The company is led by lead dancers Jose Luis Escoto, Grecia Rodriguez and Lety Sanchez.

“[Jose and I] have been dancing for ten years together,” Rodriguez said.

Sol de Mexico has performed in festivals throughout Tennessee, and this was their first performance at APSU.

“I think that we want to be the example for other community groups to follow suit,” Rodriguez said. “Hopefully, it will impact the school and other areas in Nashville.”

Sol de Mexico’s mission is to “spread their Mexican culture and its vibrant dances, inspire youth to get involved, and show non-latinos what Mexico has to offer.”

“One of our goals is to just share the culture and give a positive image to the Hispanic community,” Escoto said. “So that we can decriminalize and un-demonize the idea that Hispanics are a very bad minority that is coming to this country to do bad things. On the contrary, we are contributing and also sharing our cultural heritage with everyone else.”

Hispanic Heritage Month continues from now to Oct. 15.

Future events include a live salsa band performance on Oct. 4 from 6:30-9 p.m. at Einstein’s, and an Aztec dance event on Thursday Oct. 11 from 4-5:30 p.m. in the MUC Plaza.

“I have the privilege of coordinating cultural events that honor Hispanics and Latinos in the United States and their contributions to our community during this month,” Mitchell said.

HCC hosts events centered around the culture of Latin American countries.

“It is a special time where the Hispanic Cultural Center can share with everyone the richness of this beautiful culture that encompasses so many Latin American countries.” Mitchell said.

For more information on upcoming events, contact the Hispanic Cultural Center at hcc@apsu.edu, or contact Louise F. Mitchell at mitchelll@apsu.edu.