NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — On Thursday, students at Illinois State University celebrated Latin American Independence Day. The Association of Latin American Students (ALAS) furthered their mission to educate and celebrate by hosting an event in the Multicultural Center.

Latin American Independence Day celebrates countries breaking away from the rule of the Spanish and Portuguese.

Students were able to eat traditional food, design flags representing their countries and learn about Baile folklórico. Baile folklórico is a traditional Mexican style of dance.

Rubén Ramirez-Gomez, Vice-President of ALAS, said the event is a staple as to who ALAS is, which is educating while celebrating.

“It’s an amazing chance for people to get to know each other, for people to get in touch with their roots,” he said. “And even if they’re not apart of the community, they can just learn about it. We’re not just exclusively for Latinos or Latinx students. We are here for everyone.”

Jacqueline Zarco, Student Government Representative for ALAS, said to be able to host the event is very impactful because the Multicultural Center is a home away from home.

“This is something that I’m grateful for and I hope they see the significance and value of this place. But also the events we hold and the friendships we make. Everyone here is such a great person.”