Joey Whitaker, Reporter, @JoeJoeW22
UVU kicks off its fourth global spotlight, a program that highlights an area of the world and celebrates what makes it unique.
The chosen country for this year is Mexico, a country rich in culture but with many problems as well.
“The inaugural event will mark the beginning of a great academic year and wonderful community involvement featuring the global spotlight, this year focused on our neighboring country of Mexico,” Dr. Baldomero Lago, senior director of the Center for Global and Intercultural Engagement, said.
The Center for Global and Intercultural Engagement has planned a semester of events geared toward helping people understand not only the unique culture of Mexico but also its cultural impact and relationship to the United States.
“The event will showcase the activities planned for the entire academic year, will display the first of six art exhibits programmed and we’ll listen to our own UVU students play Mexican rhythms and witness a folkloric dance from Mexico,” Lago said.
The inaugural celebration will introduce this semester’s cultural events. At the celebration students will have the opportunity to hear remarks from Mr. Harvey Scott, Director of International Trade and Diplomacy for the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
The keynote speaker at the event will be His Excellency Eduardo Arnal Palomera, newly appointed Consul General of Mexico to the state of Utah.
The inaugural event will take place on September 4 at 7:00pm.
The choice of Mexico for this year’s spotlight might seem an obvious one, considering the country’s proximity to the U.S., in addition to being the home nation of many Utah residents.
“I personally believe that it is a little overdue,” Lago said. “I am excited to display the amazing culture of Mexico, its rich heritage and the wonderful impact in our community. After all we have a quarter of a million Hispanic individuals residing in the state and over 3000 students attending UVU.”
Such figures, however, might raise questions as to why the school would spotlight a nation where many are seeking to leave.
Three of the eighteen events in the next four months cover solely the subject of immigration and Mexico. But Lago explained that while this is necessary, it is not the focus of the events.
“We want to present Mexico under a very holistic approach, cultural, economic, social, historical, etc.,” Lago said.
The Center for Global and International Engagement has carefully planned events to give a multifaceted look into the culture of Mexico.
“There is so much to say about Mexico, and unfortunately we tend to concentrate on the same issues over and over again, immigration and the drug cartel. I believe everyone has the right to see the whole picture of a nation with great resources and much to offer.”
Other events students have the option to attend include art exhibits, academic lectures, dance performances, holiday celebrations and multi-national business conferences.
For more information on specific events and the where, when and who, students can visit the Center for Global and International Engagement’s website and the Global Spotlight homepage.
“I am excited to display the amazing culture of Mexico,” Lago said. “Its rich heritage has had a wonderful impact on our community. This endeavor will see UVU students, faculty and staff, as well as community members and local leaders collaborate with Mexican leaders to focus on Mexico and develop stronger partnerships for trade, commerce and cultural understanding throughout the academic year.”