Last Saturday, January 28th, the Students for Justice in Palestine from Green Mountain College brought a great event to the community bringing food and dance performances. The event called Alianza para la Justicia y Liberación: México y Palestina started in the East Room with some local food, such as vegan chili and ground beef chili. Students and community members enjoyed food together while listening to Mexican music. The community dinner finished at 6:45 pm, but the events did not end there.
After the dinner, the audience enjoyed a great performance by a professional Mexican dance company in Ackley Theatre. The dancers showed the different folklorico dances that exist in Mexico, while also encouraging audience participation. They shared the history behind their dances and the origin of their costumes.
Paola Fernández is a student at Green Mountain College and is responsible for organizing the event. She invited members from Immigrant Justice, an alliance of immigrant workers from México who live in Vermont and fight for their rights and equality in their jobs in the dairy farms. According to Paola, the main objective of the event was to “demonstrate that the immigrant worker is not a machine, but is a human being with feelings who has a great culture that they are proud of. Students for Justice in Palestine created this event because we do not only believe in liberation of Palestinian people, but also in liberation of all oppressed people.”
The families of the members of Immigrant Justice really enjoyed the events, especially during the folklorico performance. “The goal of the folklorico dance performance was to bring a piece of the Mexican culture to the state of Vermont, with the objective of not only making students and community members have an enjoyable night but also to give the alliance members and their families a memorable night since they do not have the opportunity to go back to their home country,” Paola said.
This event demonstrated that the state of Vermont needs more cultural diversity, so that foreigners, like the ones from the Immigrant Justice, do not feel isolated and far away from their home countries and traditions. Thanks to the Students for Justice in Palestine event, Green Mountain College students, community members, and families from the Immigrant Justice had a great night of food, music, dance performance, and most importantly, a different cultural experience.
Be sure to check out some of the folklorico performance photos: