By Ariel Horton '21
For nearly five decades, Whittier College has celebrated Latinx culture and heritage through Tardeada, an annual family-friendly celebration honoring the legacy of community leaders including the late Martin Ortiz ’48.
This year marked the event’s 48th anniversary with the theme Corazón, Espíritu y Alma (Heart, Spirit, and Soul). According to the organizers, this theme was chosen to signify the empowerment of Latinx communities “through the connection and resiliency of their stories, leadership, and culture.”
Attendees enjoyed traditional Latin American cuisine and performances by the Esperanza Flores Ballet Folklorico, a dance academy dedicated to preserving the native folk dances of Latin American countries. The group features dances with influences from Spain, India, Africa, Peru, and Mexico.
Tardeada was established in 1971 by the late Martin Ortiz ’48, founder of the Center of Mexican American Affairs, a precursor to the Office of Equity and Inclusion. Ortiz was instrumental in increasing the number of Latinx student matriculating and graduating from Whittier. Currently, more than 50% percent of Whittier's student body is Latinx—one of the highest percentages among private liberal arts colleges in the country. Whittier has also been ranked as a top national college for Latinx student outcomes by The Education Trust.