By Yvonne Villasenor, Dayana Zavaleta, Andrea Garcia, Nancy Vargas, Ariana Arredondo, Dianna Mendoza, and Belinda Espinoza
Exotic music and a mix of aromas swept through the Quad Wednesday at the 33rd annual International Festival as students from more than 30 countries showcased their culture and identities.
Grecai Cordova, an international student who just moved to the United States a year and a half ago, manned the bright blue and white booth representing El Salvador.
“I’m proud to be Salvadorian,” Cordova says. She was passionate about what her culture meant to her and wanted us to have a better understanding of her country, showing off historical sculptures dating to pre-Colombian times, intricate crafts, shirts and food.
Pupusas are stuffed corn or white tortilla, filled with pork, cheese and beans. Cordova mentions she’s “100 percent sure” everyone would love them. Another food she mentions is obleas, a cookie that has a dip of a sugar and milk base.
Mexico’s booth highlighted Dia de los Muertos, a Central American holiday commemorating the dead.
The Santiago family decorated the stand with an altar for their deceased grandmother. A piñata symbolizing the seven capital sins hanged from the center. Once the piñata is broken it means that the evil has left. Another addition to their stand was a Dia de los Muertos poster that displayed a woman with her face drawn to the style of a skull.
“We want to be closer to the dead,”Jazmin Santiago said.
Santiago, a volunteer worker at the International Student office, dressed in traditional ballet folkloric attire, was serving hot bowls of fresh pozole, tamales and tostada de tinga – shredded chicken in chipotle sauce topped with sour cream and parmesan cheese.