CRYSTAL LAKE – McHenry County College will celebrate Latino Heritage Month in September and October with special events that recognize the contributions made by Latinos and celebrate culture and traditions.

The celebration begins with a Kickoff Fiesta at MCC from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Sept. 18 in the commons of Building B at the college, 8900 Route 14. It will feature Latin American food representing multiple countries, Latin American desserts, a hands-on craft activity, live music and a cultural performance by Danzas Ceremoniales de Mexico. 

A special highlight will be a special tribute to Argentina on Oct. 10 for being the first Latin American country to celebrate Dia de la Raza (Day of Race), which recognizes the diversity among Latin Americans.

More than 200 area high school students on Oct. 4 will attend MCC’s third annual Latino Empowerment Conference, where students will learn about the resources available to all college students, including scholarships and financial aid options, degrees and certificates available and career exploration strategies. Students also will hear MCC Latino alumni share their success stories and listen to “How Education Shapes Your Life” by motivational speaker Enrique Rodriguez of Univision Chicago.

The following activities also are planned for students, faculty and staff:  

• Study Abroad Seminar: 11 a.m. to noon Sept. 25 in Room B166-167. Lindsay Carson, chairwoman of International Studies, will present Study Abroad information for MCC students to explore Costa Rica. 

• Urban Gateways Visual Artist Hands-On Workshop: 10 to 11:20 a.m. Sept. 26 in Room B166-167. MCC students have an opportunity to engage in the Latino artistic process. This learning experience fosters relationship building, open communication, and meaningful interaction to support creativity, wonder and imagination.

• Study Abroad Seminar: 2 to 3 p.m. Oct. 2 in Room B166-167.

• Urban Gateways Musical Hands-On Workshop: 2:30 to 3:50 p.m. Oct. 8 in Room B166-167.

• Dia de la Raza Celebration: Noon to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 10 in the Commons Area. This day unites the Latin American countries founded by Christopher Columbus. This event will feature live entertainment and authentic food tasting. A special tribute to Argentina as being the first country to celebrate Dia de las Raza in 1921 will be featured. A trivia and PowerPoint presentation also are included.

For information about Latino Heritage Month activities, call the Multicultural Programs office at 815-455-7749 or visit