In depth with ALAS at WHS 

Image from author.

Among all the clubs at Washington High School, ALAS, the Association of Latin American Students is a cultural club that provides the opportunity for many to be exposed to Latin culture and be able to experience something new and different. Throughout my interviews with members of the club, I had the privilege of going more in depth with the leaders of ALAS and gaining insight on what the point of the club specifically is, their plans for WHS, and what they are striving to achieve.

Armando Canales, a senior, and Joselyn Camacho, a junior, both share the idea of wanting to share and express their culture more in the community, starting off with their school. Even though this club had already been started prior to their time at Washington High School, they took the positions with gratitude after the previous leaders left. With this being their second year leading and guiding this club with the help of their administrators, Spanish teacher Mr. Pierce and counselor Ms. Vera-Valdez, they have gathered many students who share the same idea of expressing their Latin culture and having something in common, from attending meetings and speaking on further plans to physically involving themselves and doing activities such as the upcoming Multicultural Week. 

Throughout this week many clubs come together and share the idea of what it is to experience different and various cultures. The week starts with two main days that ALAS plans on participating in: the International Kitchen, and the Multicultural Assembly, both taking place soon in this upcoming month of April. In International Kitchen, clubs at WHS get the opportunity to share with others different types of foods, and ALAS takes this opportunity to share some of their traditional pastries, drinks and foods. This year they plan on offering a staple of Mexican cuisine, flan, a caramel pudding, with condensed milk or caramel custard, which is a custard dessert with a layer of clear caramel sauce. ALAS will also be serving traditional drinks known as horchata and jamaica. Happy to be able to share these delicious dishes with many, ALAS and its leaders aspire to grow even more and make themselves known among the school. 

A way Armando and Joselyn plan on doing that this year is at the multicultural assembly, in which they will be contributing traditional Latin dances such as bachata, merengue, and folklorico. “I believe this can be impactful for others because we also encourage them to tell friends and bring them to learn more about us and benefit from new knowledge,” says Canales. Practices for the dances are still occurring and the opportunity to learn is still open to those who are willing to be part of the future of ALAS. 

Being leader and in charge of a club can mean multitasking on both the responsibilities of school and of the club. For both Armando and Joselyn, this can be challenging at times, but as Armando mentions, “[previously] I got to see the leaders work and the effort they all put out in order to make the club the club, and create events, meetings, and activities that made me really desire their position.”  The desire to pursue the vision that past leaders had given him overrode any doubt that came into his mind about not only leading a club but also individuals who had come in with expectations about the club. With future events in mind such as multicultural week, lunch rallies, and much more, ALAS welcomes any other student profoundly interested in learning more about Latin culture. 

Angie Mendoza is currently a senior at Washington High School, born and raised in the Bay Area and surrounded by the Fremont community. With this being Angie’s very first year at the Hatchet, she is excited to be able to have the opportunity to write about events taking place in the community and the new ideas that will be brought to life in Fremont and Washington High School. In her free time Angie enjoys being able to go out and take in the fresh air while listening to her top music by her favorite artists. Aside from being “out and about” she’s also delighted by her time spent at home, whether it be taking naps or spending her time painting and drawing. Her future plans consist of being able to graduate high school and attending Ohlone college on a two year plan and major in psychology to fulfill her desires to become a psychologist in the near future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *