September 17, 2009

Student Center hosts Latino Heritage events

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- In celebration of Latino Heritage Month, the Student Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is hosting a trio of events that will bring the tastes and crafts of our neighbors to the south to Southern Illinois.

Tamale Fest comes to Old Main Restaurant from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22. Watch the preparation of authentic Latin American fare including handmade tamales wrapped in cornhusks, and then enjoy the feast.

The all-you-can-eat buffet is $7.29. If planning to attend, you’re encouraged to make reservations by calling 618/453-5277. The restaurant is on the second floor of the Student Center and it accepts credit cards, meal cards and Debit Dog as well as cash. Alumni Association members get a 10 percent discount.

You can learn to make your very own tamales too at the Student Center Craft Shop’s Tamale Class set for 5-7 p.m. on Oct. 13. Class participants will get to make a variety of tamales native to areas throughout Latin America and then sample their culinary efforts. The cost is $12 for the workshop, which is open to ages 12 and older. The class size is a minimum of six and maximum of 15 people. For details, call 618/453-3636.

Enjoy a favorite Latino activity as well by making a colorful prize-filled piñata. The Piñata Workshop is Sept. 28 at the Craft Shop in the lower level of the Student Center. Participants will get to design and handcraft piñatas, from conception to building and decorating, even inserting prizes of your choosing inside. Working alone or in groups or families, you can make as many piñatas as you like.

The cost is $15 per piñata for materials and instruction. The workshop is from 6 to 8 p.m. in addition to follow-up finishing time. A minimum of five participants is required for the class. For more information, contact the Craft Shop at 618/453-3636.

Latino Heritage Month is an initiative from the University’s Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services. Throughout the month you can enjoy dancing, guest speakers, films, crafts, taste treats and much more. Activities wrap up with an Oct. 24 Unity Dinner.

For more information about Latino Heritage Month call Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services at 618/453-5714 or check their Web site at You can also find out more online at