Numerous WMU events slated for Hispanic Heritage Month

Contact: Jeanne Baron
Photo of Miguel (Mike) Ramírez, host of WMUK's Alma Latina.

Miguel "Mike" Ramírez, host of WMUK's "Alma Latina" (Photo courtesy of WMUK)

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A series of public events will be taking place at Western Michigan University this fall in observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, including a 40th anniversary reception for "Alma Latina," a popular show on 102.1 WMUK-FM, WMU's public radio station.

The Division of Multicultural Affairs is sponsoring the events, all of which are free and most of which are being held on the WMU campus.

Kicking off the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration will be a free musical program from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, on campus in the Bernhard Center on the Bronco Mall's Center Stage. This musical extravaganza is open to the public and being co-sponsored by WMU's Dominican Student Organization.

The event will feature musical performances by Gabriel Estrada III, a Mariachi singer who will present songs from Mexico, and Grupo Evolución, a duo from Holland, Michigan, that will present traditional Tex-Mex music. Also performing will be Dominicano Ensemble, a three-person group of WMU music students featuring Daniela Franchesca Peña Cabreja, who will be singing songs from throughout Latin America and Spain.

The reception in honor of "Alma Latina's" 40th anniversary is planned for 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, on Sprau Tower's 10th floor. The program first aired on WMUK in 1977 and plays music from every corner of Latin America. Scores of WMU student volunteers have helped keep the program going over the decades. Now, the program is the longest-running Spanish-language radio show in the Kalamazoo area.

Other scheduled events

  • Saturday, Sept. 16—Kalamazoo Hispanic Fiesta, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Kalamazoo's Bronson Park. Despierta Kalamazoo and the Division of Multicultural Affairs have teamed up to co-sponsor this second annual event, which will include a variety of musical acts, food and games. Admission to the event is free, and food will be available for purchase.
  • Thursday, Sept. 28—Educational presentation by Jonathan D. Santeliz from the Hispanic Association for Colleges and Universities, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 204 Bernhard Center. Santeliz, national executive director for HACU's National Internship Program, will discuss the program's 2018 offerings.
  • Saturday, Oct. 14—Hispanic Heritage Month alumni gathering, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. (before WMU's homecoming football game), tailgate tent next to the Health and Human Services Building. Alumni will gather to reconnect and enjoy food and reminiscing.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 1, through Wednesday, Nov. 8—Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead altar, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., second floor of Waldo Library. Día de los Muertos is a festive holiday during which relatives who have passed away are honored. It is marked by setting up an altar. The Department of Spanish and Division of Multicultural Affairs will have an altar on display in the library.
  • Thursday, Nov. 16—"The Discovery of Puerto Rico in 1493" historical talk by Dr. Ángel Gullón-Rivera, WMU professor of family and consumer sciences, 6:30 to 7 p.m., 1750 Sangren Hall. There will be a question-and-answer session following the presentation.

For more information or the Division of Multicultural Affairs' complete fall calendar of events, visit Direct questions to Mike Ramírez at or (269) 387-4420.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit