The Latinos Unidos Club

October, 2023
Katie QinKaden Li

Hispanic Heritage Month at PHS continues another year of successful celebration as the Latinos Unidos Club will soon kick off with their student and staff run soccer tournament. Earlier this month, the Latinos Unidos Club performed in assemblies to exhibit Hispanic culture through literature, music, and dance. To add on to this month’s celebration, the club is planning to show off another very important cultural aspect: soccer, otherwise known as fútbol in Spanish.

An enjoyable pastime for many, soccer has found popularity all over the world, especially in the Latino community. So, after bouncing around ideas for a fundraising event for the club, the club’s board ultimately decided on a soccer tournament. Both a cultural symbol and an entertaining sport, soccer was the perfect candidate for the Latino Unidos club to use as a way to spread their culture and unite sport enthusiasts.

The Latinos Unidos Club busily began organizing, starting all the way back in September. Setting up such an event is no small task, and the club members invested hours into the tournament. Along with the school’s staff, they are aiming to provide an exciting experience for the rest of the student body. The Latinos Unidos club has already finished setting up the prizes, with a trophy for first, medal for second, and a surprise gift (oooh) for third place.

“I’m learning so much by leading and organizing these events,” said Ozzy Morales ’25, a Latinos Unidos club leader. “I’m proud and honored that I was given this opportunity to lead and organize these events.”

But why soccer, anyway? Soccer was first introduced to Latin America at the end of the 19th century. Due to its easy-to-access nature, soccer also became a widespread hit across the whole continent, uniting Latin America by their love for this sport.

Indeed, sharing Latino culture is the most vital goal of the club, but there are other themes as well.

“[We want to] let people know that we can be together as a community, [as] it doesn’t matter if we have [a] different culture,” Dany Melchor Garza ’24, one of the club’s leaders, said.

Aside from athletics, the Latinos Unidos Club has coordinated other events such as the Festival Latino, where families were able to have fun and get to know each other. Besides the fundraising event, the club is preparing the Numina Gallery for the Day of the Dead, a day where people commemorate passed loved ones. In addition, the club has plans for their next third annual Festival Latino in the spring.

Students involved with setting up the tournament talk about their personal growth as well, valuing the cultural opportunities that come with their role as a member.

“I’m learning to be a better leader, student, friend, and overall a voice in my community,” said Morales. “[Using] my platform to inspire and encourage others in the community to celebrate one another is something that I am willing to do over and over again.”

People are often afraid to invest time and energy into big projects, and organizing a tournament is no small feat. However, Morales and Garza are capable of bringing together crowds and organizing massive events. The club has simultaneously brought the Latino community closer together, as well as spread the diverse aspects of Latino cultures to students throughout PHS.

“If we can put [in] a little effort, we can make things come true,” Garza said.