‘Enlaces: I Am’ explores Latin American presence on campus, in Maine

Robert Ibarra '17, at left, and Kevin Tejada '17 are co-directing the Latinos Unidos production of "Enlaces: I Am." (Madelene Santizo '16/Bates College)

Robert Ibarra ’17, at left, and Kevin Tejada ’17 are co-directing the Latinos Unidos production of “Enlaces: I Am.” (Madelene Santizo ’16/Bates College)

In an exploration of the Latin American presence in Maine, Latino/a members of the Bates community offer a performance of music, dance, poetry and theater at 6 p.m. Friday, May 2, at Schaeffer Theatre, 329 College St.

Enlaces: I Am is presented by the student organization Latinos Unidos. Admission is open to the public free of charge. For more information, please contact msantizo@bates.edu.

The program explores the lives and contributions of Latinos/as at Bates and in the wider community through artistic pieces of self-reflection. It portrays the social struggles that people have endured, while demonstrating the beauty and richness of Latin American culture.

Originally conceived as a variety show patterned after television’s Sabado Gigante, the Bates production is in its third year and has been renamed Enlaces, which means to unite or connect. This year’s effort is directed by first-year students Kevin Tejada of Mount Kisco, N.Y., and Robert Ibarra of Los Angeles.

The centerpiece of the program is a play depicting the lives of Latin American characters and their families, examined first during the years when one usually applies to college, and then a little later in life. The actors are members of Latinos Unidos as well as other Bates students.

Enlaces will follow young Latino/a students as they search for better opportunities through education. By portraying their stories of struggle, the program aims to defy stereotypes and reveal the beauty in their journey of attaining the “American dream.”

The performers will endeavor to demonstrate the influence that Latino and Latina students have at Bates and in Maine.

Other highlights include a tango and a rumba performed by the Bates Ballroom Team, and dance performances choreographed and performed by Denise Del Villar ’16 of Maywood, Calif.

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