In 1835, Geronimo Urmeneta became the first Latin American graduate of Brown, seven decades after the University’s founding. Years later, while serving as Chile’s secretary of finance, Urmeneta would attribute his progressive political ethos to his time in Providence. And at College Hill, the University would go on to credit Urmeneta for being a key player in its own development as a global institution.
Now, nearly two centuries after Urmeneta walked through the Van Wickle Gates, Hispanic and Latine identifying students make up over 10% of the University’s undergraduate student body and have forged flourishing communities on campus.
This year, Hispanic Heritage Month has come alive on campus with cultures across the diaspora. From the Central American United Students Association’s heritage celebration to the Mariachi de Brown and Jazz Jams Spanish Jam Night, these traditions have found a place at College Hill.
Among the greater Providence community, Progreso Latino's 46th Anniversary Gala, the University of Rhode Island Guitar Festival and arts and craft events at local libraries are just some of the events that have been held this month in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
With this Hispanic Heritage Month 2023 Special Issue, The Herald aims to celebrate and uplift Hispanic voices both on and off campus as part of our continued effort to honor these experiences both this month and year round.
This editors’ note was written in collaboration with The Herald’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee: Julia Vaz ’25, Meilyn Farina ’26, Neil Mehta ’25, Aniyah Nelson ’25, Kaiolena Tacazon ’26, Rya Vallabhaneni ’25 and Ryan Doherty ’26.
Editors’ notes are written by The Herald’s 133rd Editorial Board: Will Kubzansky ’24, Katy Pickens ’24, Alex Nadirashvili ’24, Augustus Bayard ’24, Caleb Lazar ’24, Peter Swope ’24 and Kaitlyn Torres ’24.