Latinos at UCF won’t let Hurricane Irma stop its Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. Although off to a late start, the celebration is moving ahead starting this week.

“I think it is appropriate that our theme is “¡Adelante! Leading with Courage,” said  Cyndia M. Muñiz, president of the Latino Faculty and Staff Association and advisor to the Latin American Student Association. Both organizations are sponsoring this year’s events. “Adelante means to move ahead despite challenges. The programs we’ve prepared this month are aimed at encouraging and empowering the Latino community to lead with courage and acknowledge Latino contributions here, nationally and around the world.”

Those looking to learn more about Hispanics and their impact on the community can check out an array of events from Cuban Chef and author Ana Sofia Palaez demonstrating simple and delicious recipes today to talks about the economic crisis in Puerto Rico and how to identify as Hispanic or Latino.

A diverse panel of Latino professionals will provide advice for combating adversity in the workplace and the documentary Made in L.A. will be screened as well. For a full listing of more than 15 events visit

The Closing Celebration is set for Thursday, Oct. 12, with Keynote Speaker Juana Bordas, President of Mestiza Leadership International. Her talk is entitled “Shaping the Bright Future of America.”  Bordas will also lead a workshop on the Power of Latino Leadership on Oct. 11.

“There are more than 15,000 students at UCF who identify as Hispanic/Latino at UCF,” Muñiz said.

The month-long celebration is not the only time the organizers work together. LaFaSA and LASA work throughout the academic year to highlight Latino contributions and achievement, with events like Nuestra Graduación, UCF’s Annual Latino Graduation Celebration, coming in May 2018. LaFaSA and LASA also support UCF’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and its Hispanic Serving Institution Task Force, which is leading the university initiative to achieve the federal designation of Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI).

About the Latino Faculty and Staff Association at UCF

The Latino Faculty and Staff Association (LaFaSA) at the University of Central Florida is an organization dedicated to raising awareness and advocating for the needs and goals of Latino community at UCF. LaFaSA seeks to advance educational and work opportunities that would enhance the status of Latinos/as within the university community. LaFaSA promotes a family environment that embraces and respects the various identities within the Latino/a culture through quality, bilingual programming, networking opportunities and guidance, to UCF’s Latino students, faculty and staff; and the greater UCF community. For more information please visit or call 407-823-2718.

About the Latin American Student Association at UCF

Established in 1985, LASA is the oldest Latino based student organization and the second oldest multicultural-based organization in the history of UCF. LASA’s mission is to provide the UCF community with knowledge of the Latino culture. LASA has three goals that go unchanged: (1) To provide UCF students with educational and cultural activities; (2) To collaborate with the community and develop a relationship between the UCF student body and the Orlando Latino community; and (3) To provide a familial experience at the college level.