Penn State Berks celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

September 08, 2021

WYOMISSING, Pa. — Beginning in mid-September, Penn State Berks will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a variety of events; each event is intended for a specific audience, including prospective and current students, the campus community, and the general public. Some events will be held in-person and others will have virtual options. In addition, some events are scheduled after Hispanic Heritage Month.

Charlas con Chocolates   

  • 2:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Sept. 15, 2021–Nov. 17, 2022
  • Franco Building, room 102

Penn State Berks students, faculty and staff are invited to this weekly gathering to enjoy cultural conversations and word games in Spanish while sampling chocolates of the Americas.  

Latin Fest

  • 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22
  • Perkins Student Center Auditorium

An annual event celebrating Latin heritage, Latin Fest is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the general public. With the theme of “one language; many cultures,” the event will include live performances and other presentations, followed by a taste of Latin cuisine. 

This event is sponsored by the Penn State Berks Diversity Committee. For more information, contact Sharon Pitterson-Ogaldez at or 610-396-6080. 

Latino Forum

  • 9:30–11:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 15
  • Perkins Student Center Auditorium and via Zoom

The ninth annual Penn State Berks Latino Forum is a free event for students from all Berks County high schools, as well as members of the local Latinx community. This year’s event will feature keynote speaker Javier Ávila, who will present a one-man show titled "The Perfect Latino." Ávila offers a close examination of the American-Latinx experience, taking the audience on a journey as he moves between cultures, navigating a world of misunderstandings and misconceptions. Ávila provides a fascinating perspective on what it means to balance assimilation with cultural preservation. The keynote will be followed by tours of the campus.

The mission of the Latino Forum is to empower the Latino students to pursue higher education. The forum provides inspiration and motivation for students as they learn that higher education is both desirable and attainable. 

Registration is required. Attendees can register for the in-person event or they can register for the Zoom option.  Those who register for the Zoom option will receive an email with the link to join. 

“Certificate in  Spanish for Healthcare” Picnic & Concert

  • 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20
  • Alumni Pavilion   

The college is hosting a picnic and concert in celebration of the new “Certificate in Spanish for Healthcare.” This event is open to Penn State Berks students, faculty, and staff and it includes lunch. No registration is necessary.

El Camino de Santiago

  • 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27
  • Franco Building, room 157

This event is open to Penn State Berks students only. John Galen, owner of Ethosource Office Furniture in Reading and an expert in El Camino de Santiago, will discuss his experience completing "El Camino de Santiago," or "Way of St. James." El Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, northwestern Spain. Legend states that the remains of the saint are buried in the cathedral. Many follow its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth. The Camino de Santiago has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its important role in encouraging cultural exchanges between people from all over Europe and the world for many centuries. 

Day of the Dead Celebration

  • 6 p.m., Monday, Nov. 1
  • Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room

This free event is open to Penn State Berks students, faculty and staff, as well as the general public. Penn State Berks will celebrate the rich Mexican traditions of Day of the Dead with an illustrated talk and refreshments traditionally served during this holiday. 

Spanish Program Social

  • 12:15 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 3,
  • Franco Building, room 102  

Students enrolled in the Penn State Berks Spanish minor are invited to this event to learn more about the program and Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society. 

Bilingual Story Telling

  • 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4
  • Virtual Event 

Penn State Berks faculty and students will present virtual bilingual readings of traditional stories for local elementary schools. This is not a public event.

For additional information on these events, contact Donna Chambers, assistant teaching professor of Spanish, at 610-396-6332 or via email at

Last Updated September 09, 2021