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Lafayette’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month will include a keynote speech by Oscar Arias Sanchez, former president of Costa Rica and 1987 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, an exhibition by photographer Laurence Salzmann, a fiesta on the Quad, and many other cultural events, presentations, and lectures.

Most events are free and open to the public.

Arias will give a talk on “Peace with Justice for Latin America and the World” 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, in Colton Chapel. The free event is sponsored by Lafayette’s Presidential Speaker Series on Diversity.

Championing such issues as human development, democracy, and demilitarization, Oscar Arias’ “positions on Central American issues have become the standards by which many people in Congress and elsewhere have come to judge United States policy,” according to The New York Times. He has traveled the globe to spread a message of peace and apply the lessons garnered from the Central American peace process.

Elected president of Costa Rica in 1986, Arias traveled throughout Central and South America to personally invite the Latin American heads of state to visit Costa Rica for his presidential inauguration. On the day he took office, the presidents of nine Latin American countries met in San José, where Arias called for a continental alliance for the defense of democracy and liberty. He affirmed that all Central Americans were entitled to the same liberties and social and economic guarantees of democracy, that each nation had the right to select, through free and fair elections, the type of government that could best meet the needs and interests of its people, and that neither armies nor totalitarian regimes were entitled to make this decision. In 1987, Arias drafted a peace plan, which culminated in the signing of the Esquipulas II Accords, or the Procedure to Establish a Firm and Lasting Peace in Central America, by all the Central American presidents on August 7, 1987.

In 1988, Arias used the monetary award from the Nobel Peace Prize to establish the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress, which includes the Center for Human Progress to promote equal opportunities for women and gender equality; the Center for Organized Participation to strengthen the participation and action of civil society in Central America; and the Center for Peace and Reconciliation to work for demilitarization and conflict resolution in the developing world.

Arias has received honorary doctorates from Harvard, Washington, Illinois, Oviedo, Franklin and Marshall, and Southern Connecticut Universities; the colleges of Dartmouth, Ithaca, and Quinnipiac; and several other educational institutions. He has also received numerous prizes, among them the Jackson Ralston Prize, the Prince of Asturias Award, the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Award, the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award, the Liberty Medal of Philadelphia, and the Americas Award.

Arias is president of International Press Service and serves on the Board of Directors of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development, and the Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. He also serves on the Board for the Inter Action Council, the International Negotiation Network of the Carter Center, and Transparency International. In addition, he is an active member of the Commission on Global Governance, the Inter-American Dialogue, and the Society for International Development.

Selections from “La Lucha/The Struggle” and “Imagining Cutumba,” a collection of photographer Laurence Salzmann’s black-and-white photographs of young Cuban wrestlers-in-training and digital prints of Ballet Folklórico Cutumba dancers in the city of Santiago de Cuba, respectively, are on view through Oct. 11 in Lafayette’s Williams Center for the Arts gallery.

Two free public events are planned in conjunction with the exhibition. A reception for the artist will be held 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at the gallery. Salzmann will give a brown bag talk noon Monday, Sept. 23, in room 108 of the Williams Center.

“I view my photographs as an attempt to create local and international bridges in a visual medium that appeals to people of all ages and cultures,” says Salzmann, who took the title of this series from a sign which, when translated, reads, “Monday to Friday: Wrestling.” The Spanish word lucha not only means “wrestle,” but also “struggle.”

“What fascinates me is the movement, the enthusiasm of people that participate in both wrestling and dancing,” he adds. “[Wrestling] is a metaphor for how our lives are a struggle and we have to overcome things.”

Salzmann’s photographic work in Cuba earned him a Pew Fellowship in photography and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in 2001.

Salzmann has had solo exhibitions of his work both nationally and internationally, including in Berlin, Tel Aviv, Paris, Amsterdam, Budapest, Vienna, and New York. His honors have included a grant from National Endowment for the Humanities, an International Research Exchange Commission Grant to Romania, and a Fulbright-Hays Grant to Romania. He has produced several publications, including Face to Face: Encounters between Jews & Blacks in 1996 by Blue Flower Press.

His work is in the collections of Philadelphia Museum of Art; International Center for Photography, New York; Beth Hatefutsoth Museum, Tel Aviv; Jewish Museum, New York; Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.; and George Pompidou Center, Paris.

Gallery hours are noon-5 p.m. Monday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday; and 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and before public performances in the Williams Center.

The full schedule of events:
Thursdays, September 12-October 17, 7:30-9:00 p.m. — Latin Dance Thursdays, a class devoted to teaching the merengue and salsa, Kirby Sports Center 229. Tickets for the six class series are $6. Sponsored by Hispanic Society of Lafayette and Recreation Services.

Friday, September 13 – Month-long bookstore display, College Bookstore.

Sunday, September 15, 3-6 p.m. — Fiesta Sunday on the Quad, marking the official commencement of Hispanic Heritage Month. Sponsored by Hispanic Society of Lafayette, Lafayette Activities Forum, and Recreation Services

Wednesday, September 18, noon — Piñata Party, Farinon College Center. Sponsored by Hispanic Society of Lafayette

Friday, September 20, noon – Mexican Murals: A Call to Revolution, brown bag lecture, Farinon College Center. Sponsored by Hispanic Society of Lafayette

Sunday, September 22, 3-5 p.m. – Reception for artist Laurence Salzmann, creator of “La Lucha/The Struggle” and “Imagining Cutumba,” Williams Center. Sponsored by Williams Center for the Arts

Monday, September 23, noon – Laurence Salzmann brown bag discussion, Williams Center for the Arts room 108. Sponsored by Williams Center for the Arts

Wednesday, September 25, 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. – Latino Market – Can You Stand the Heat?, Farinon College Center. Sponsored by Hispanic Society of Lafayette and Office of Intercultural Development

Friday, September 27, noon – Exploring Hispanic Horizons, brown bag discussion highlighting study abroad opportunities in Spanish-speaking countries, Hogg Hall. Sponsored by Chaplain’s Office, department of foreign languages and literatures, and study abroad program

September 30-October 4, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. – Hispanic Heritage Exhibition, showcasing the original work of Manuel Acevedo, David A. Portlock Black Cultural Center. Sponsored by Wood Dining Services

Tuesday, October 1, 4-7 p.m. – A Taste of Latin America, featuring traditional Latin American cuisine, Marquis Hall. Sponsored by Wood Dining Services

Wednesday, October 2, noon – Latin American art and photography by Ricardo Viera, Williams Center for the Arts room 108. Sponsored by Office of Intercultural Development and Curlee Holton, associate professor of art

Friday, October 4, 10:30 p.m.-2.30 a.m. – Noche Tropical Dance Party, Farinon College Center. Sponsored by Recreation Services

October 4-October 8, 7-10 p.m. – Like Water for Chocolate, a Mexican film directed by Alfonso Arau, Farinon College Center. Sponsored by Recreation Services

Monday, October 7, 8 p.m. – Keynote speech by Oscar Arias Sanchez, former president of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Colton Chapel. Sponsored by the President’s Office

Tuesday, October 8, 8 p.m. – “Modern Dance,” presented by Limon Dance Company, Williams Center for the Arts. Student tickets are free of charge, and others interested in attending may call (610) 330-5009 to reserve seats. Sponsored by Williams Center for the Arts

Thursday, October 17, noon – Presentation by artist Manuel Acevedo, Williams Center for the Arts room 108. Sponsored by Portlock Black Cultural Center

Thursday, October 17, 5-7 p.m. – “Latin Roots in American Visions,” a presentation by artist Manuel Acevedo, Portlock Black Cultural Center. Sponsored by Portlock Black Cultural Center

Monday, October 21, noon – Rolando Barahona Sotela, director of Museo de Arte y diseno Contemporaneo in Costa Rica, Williams Center for the Arts room 108. Sponsored by Office of Intercultural Development

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