Since its founding in 1969, El Centro de la Raza has helped Latino and underrepresented students at the University of New Mexico. This year El Centro is celebrating their 50th anniversary, titled50 Años de Excelencia y Justicia Social. 

The celebration acts as more of a family reunion, said El Centro's Director, Rosa Isela Cervantes. 

"We have students coming, (as well as) alumni that haven't seen each other in years," Cervantes said. 

As El Centro comes up on 50 years at UNM, they wanted to celebrate the milestone in a way that would allow them to continue to support students the way El Centro always has. El Centro provides resources to students, helping them to reach their fullest potential during their years at UNM.

A spinning wheel here, some fossils there and chunks of rich tradition was found in the halls of the New Mexico State Legislature on Monday, March 4. 

With wool in her hand undergoing a simple transformation, Luann McConnell traveled as far as Las Cruces, New Mexico to share her values of spinning wool. 

“I have been spinning for over thirty years and it is so much fun. It’s relaxing and it’s productive,” McConnell said. “It’s also a connection to the past because spinning is as old as civilization — to me, spinning links us to our past.” 

McConnell said she has volunteered spinning at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum in Las Cruces for more than a year. She said her husband also volunteers there as a blacksmith. 

One of the University of New Mexico’s most visible displays of public art, Luis Jimenez’ “Fiesta Jarabe,” was recently restored, and is a vibrant part of UNM’s large art collection from world-class artists. 

The sculpture is more commonly known as “Fiesta Dancers” and sits on UNM’s Cornell Mall. It’s bright colors and distinctive style is one of the first public art pieces greeting UNM visitors. 

Luis Jimenez’ work depicts a strong couple in a jarabe dance, which is traditional to Mexico. The sculpture was installed in 1993 and is an example of one of the many world-class art pieces available for the UNM community to enjoy. 

Jimenez is known for his fiberglass sculptures that deal with his hispanic and Southwestern cultural heritage that draws on his experience as the son of working-class Mexican migrants. An active artist from the 1960s until his death in 2006, Jimenez’ work is showcased throughout the United States, but his catalog contains a notable presence in New Mexico. 

This Saturday, the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will be rolling into Albuquerque and settling in the courtyard of ABQ Uptown. The pink pickup will be parked in the courtyard near California Pizza Kitchen from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

As part of Sanrio’s debut food related project, the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck made its first trip around the U.S. in 2014. The truck has traveled to more than 80 locations since its debut, and Albuquerque is next on the list. This year Sanrio added 25 locations to their 2019 tour.

UNM students celebrate Mardis Gras in the SUB

This past Tuesday, Mardi Gras was celebrated in New Orleans, but that doesn’t mean New Mexicans can’t party too. Student Activities hosted a Mardi Gras celebration in the Student Union Building as a way “to get students into the SUB and excited about things,” said event coordinator, Emily Louth.

Directly translating in English to "Fat Tuesday," Mardi Gras is an old Catholic tradition made famous by the rowdy parties in New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Also called Carnival, Mardi Gras is a way to let loose before Lent, the practice of giving up a habit in order to relate to Jesus’ struggles leading up Easter Sunday.

“You know, it started in Mobile, Alabama. It’s not the famous one; New Orleans took it over,” said Linda Piper, who attended the event. Today, Mobile has a rich Mardi Gras tradition of its own, as well as Galveston, Texas and some places in southern Mississippi.

"The Bachelorette" offers a witty, raunchy performance

I’ve been describing “Bachelorette” as a raunchier “Bridesmaids” to pretty much everyone who’s asked me about it. In actuality, I should just tell them to go see it for themselves.

This rendition of Leslye Headland’s “Bachelorette” was directed by Rashaad Bond. It’s set to run from March 1 to March 10 at the Experimental “X” theater. Headland’s dark comedy of three seemingly shallow women struggling to cope with the anxieties of adulthood was turned into a movie in 2012.

The show is being put on by SCRAP Productions, a student organization, as well as the University of New Mexico Department of Theater and Dance.

UNM's greenhouse flourishes with life

Spring is nearly here, and there is no better time to checkout the University of New Mexico’s Greenhouse located in Castetter Hall. The greenhouse hosts a number of native and nonnative plant species. With the days noticeably longer, many of the cacti have already begun their spring bloom of pink and yellow flowers.

The facility is cared for by greenhouse manager, Wesley Noe, who graduated from UNM in  Spring 2017 with a degree in biology. The focus of the greenhouse “is mainly research and teaching,” Noe said.  

Next to the public greenhouse, illuminated by phosphorescent pink LED lights, is another greenhouse dedicated to research. The research greenhouse hosts undergraduate and graduate research projects and is cared for by Noe.

Food Truck Review: Don Choche

The Samaniego family started their food truck “Don Choche” from scratch, building up the truck over the course of two years by installing the stoves, furnace, as well as building the connections with local food purveyors. 

Jorge Samaniego, the father of the business, has been the backbone to Don Choche’s success and is supported by his wife Nancy and daughter Cristina.

“Don Choche was my second food truck after my first one got too small,” Jorge said. “Little by little it came together, building up the money and waiting for the customers.”

Ariana Grande furthers her sound on "thank u, next"

The Italian-American, mega ponytailed popstar, Ariana Grande, took control of her story on Feb. 8, with her most recent album “thank u, next.” Multiple songs are already topping charts. The 12 track record is the 25-year-old’s fifth album and is consistent with the style of “Sweetener,” her previous album released in 2018. “Sweetener” earned Grande her first Grammy award for Best Pop Vocal Album earlier this month. 

Since releasing “Sweetener,” which featured her hit track “God is a Woman,” Grande certainly came into her personal musical style and powerful voice. “thank u, next” is a testimony to Grande’s building musical prowess through contemplative personal assessment on previous romances and trauma while keeping her chin high looking towards her future. Her new album takes on new elements of sound, further develops her style and delivers both the possibility of a new Grande era and classic Grandesque tones.  

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