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Running Back Zach Vigil (23) celebrates a touchdown during spring practice at University Stadium on Friday, Feb. 24.

Hispanic athletes on representation in sports at UNM

A week into Hispanic Heritage Month, Uxue Guereca, Zach Vigil and Nahawa Diarra Berthe, who are all Hispanic Athletes at University of New Mexico, discussed their experiences and representing their culture through their respective sports.

Hispanic Heritage Month spans from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 and is centered around celebration and representation of Hispanic culture.

Outside hitter for the women’s volleyball team, Guereca is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico and is in her senior year at UNM. Despite having multiple scholarship offers to play for other schools, Guereca chose UNM to be “closer to home.” On the volleyball court she said she strives to represent her culture with her style of play.

“I represent (my hispanic culture) by the way I play. I have a lot of freedom and pride and I get to show that off and on the volleyball court,” Guereca said.

Women’s basketball guard, Berthe, is currently a junior at UNM. Berthe is from Barcelona, Spain. At first, she wasn’t interested in playing basketball but then she started to develop a love for the sport when she started watching her sister practice and play.

“I’m representing my country and my family, I feel like they are proud of me because not everyone gets to do what I’m doing or have the experience of what I’m getting to experience here at UNM,” Berthe said.

Guereca also said that she feels she can “represent her cultural values” through the sport. 

Vigil, a running back for the New Mexico Lobos Football team, is currently a sophomore. From Rio Rancho, New Mexico, Vigil won the 2021 New Mexico Gatorade Player of the year. Vigil said he also takes pride in being able to represent his culture through sports that he often feels his culture is underrepresented.

“A lot of the Hispanic culture is overlooked; there’s not a lot of Hispanics playing in the league and being here at UNM allows me to represent them. I hope that when younger people see me they have hope that they can do what I can do, I’m thankful I can do it through this platform,” Vigil said.

Rodney Prunty is a freelance sports reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on twitter @Rprunty05

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