¡Fiesta Latina!

Grows in Silver City


The Western New Mexico University signature cultural event, ¡Fiesta Latina!, returns to the Silver City campus June 6-9. Through ¡Fiesta Latina!, WNMU says it seeks to recognize, celebrate and assist in the preservation of New Mexico’s connection with its Mexican heritage, customs and traditions.

At the center of the four-day festival is a juried artisan mercado that features the handmade work of approximately 50 highly skilled traditional artisans from across Mexico. These folk artists will be on-hand to educate fiesta-goers about their processes and to answer questions about their artistic traditions. In addition to traditional art such as metal working, ceramics and textiles, the mercado this year will feature new artists working in media that have not before been part of WNMU ¡Fiesta Latina!, including masks, embellished shoes, leather and wooden utensils.

Artisans will be demonstrating their techniques at a dedicated tent where patrons can get hands-on experience with projects that vary from papermaking to alebrije, brightly painted wooden sculptures of animals and mythical creatures. A children’s tent will have activities for children, coordinated by the Silver City Museum.

The fiesta includes music and dance by traditional and contemporary performers. The opening night concert at the Fountain Stage at Regents Square starts with a showcase of mariachi music performed by students attending the university’s mariachi conference, El Son de la Gila. The winner of Thursday’s mariachi showcase will be the opening act for Friday evening’s concert, which features Mariachi Plata de WNMU and Mariachi Estrella de México.  

On Saturday, there will be a tequila tasting 4-6:30 p.m., with an opportunity to sample traditionally handcrafted tequilas from across Jalisco, Mexico. Tickets for this event are $45 for 10 tastings and $10 for a handcrafted Fiesta Latina 2024 tequilero. In addition, food vendors will be on campus throughout the festival. 

“The people living in the border regions and beyond continue to be influenced by these roots not only in art, food, and music but in the language and customs as well,” Alexandra Tager, WNMU Director of Cultural Affairs, which produces the event, said. “As an Hispanic serving institution, WNMU and Fiesta Latina aim to highlight those connections by creating fun, engaging, educational experiences for folks living in or visiting the borderlands to enjoy.”

 A schedule of activities, tickets, and additional information are available at fiestalatina.org.

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