Indigenous People Day event showcases Aztec dances

By Juan Calvillo

The Aztec dance group Coatlicue Tonantzin celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day with traditional Aztec dances in front of the East Los Angeles College E3 building on Monday. 

Christopher Olivares, co-vice president of the Sociology Club, said the club coordinated the in-person event to increase the visibility of Latin representation on campus.

The Danza Coatlicue Tonantzin dancers at the event were Angel Elizalde, Britney Elizalde and Olga Munoz. Angel said the translation of the Aztec, or Nahuatl, name Coatlicue Tonantzin refers to Mother Earth or the Virgin Mary. 

The South Los Angeles group was part of last year’s Sociology Club’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day online event. Olivares said the club wanted the dance group to return to make sure there was representation on campus.

Angel said with the change from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day it is important to keep the transition going. 

He said the point of doing dances was about continuing this transition because it keeps the connection to Latin culture alive.

“We were invited to honor our history, our traditions. I think it’s really important to do it on a day like this,” Angel said.

Olivares said the lack of events for Hispanic Heritage Month is disappointing. He said students talk about advocacy but there is little follow through when it comes to having things done.

“We want more Latinx activities and representation,” Olivares said, “A voice is just a voice…but there is no action.”

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