Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

9th annual Semana de la Raza, April 20-24, PCC Rock Creek Campus

On April 20 - 24, PCC will host a week in honor of Latino Culture, advocacy and celebration at the college's Rock Creek Campus. Semana de la Raza features free events that are open to the public, including lectures, music, awards and films.

Event Schedule

Monday, April 20

Description: The Multicultural Center and the Semana de la Raza committee is thrilled to recreate a traditional "Mercado" at PCC Rock Creek. The purpose of the "mercadito" is to share with everybody the Latino culture through entertainment, art, and food.

  • Event: "El Mercadito"
  • Locations: Building 7 Mall Area, 9am-6pm
    • Walk around and enjoy the traditional food, art and music. Mercadito at PCC brings an opportunity to celebrate and appreciate our diverse backgrounds through food and other goods. No te lo puedes perder!
  • Event: Opening Ceremony by Mitotiliztli Tezcatlipoca Aztec Group
  • Locations: Building 7 Mall Area, 9:30am-10:30am
    • The Aztec Dance (Danza Azteca) cultural movement has pre-Hispanic roots and continues to thrive in modern times because it is a medium of cultural dissemination; it is a link between ancient traditions and their interpretation in the present. The purpose of Mitotiliztli Tezcatlipoca is to provide the community with a space in which diverse aspects of different mesoamerican cultures can be exposed and explored. Danza Azteca groups are fortunate to have inherited teachings from our Elders that allow us to learn and share cultural wisdom and richness such as song and dance, philosophy, music and languages. Mitotiliztli Tezcatlipoca as a group includes and encourages people of diverse ages, abilities and backgrounds to come and learn from the tradition.
  • Event: César Chavez Distinguished Service Awards
  • Locations: Building 9, Event Center, 11:30am-1pm
    • Please join us in Celebration and Recognition of students, staff and community members who have exemplified the ideals of César Chavez through leadership, service and education.

Tuesday, April 21

Description: On Martes of Semana De La Raza, look through the lens of folkloric and popular dances from different countries for a small glimpse into the diverse cultural roots of La Raza. Get a taste of Aztec dance from Mexico, Afro-Cuban dance and rhythms and salsa dance from Cuba.

  • Event: "El Mercadito"
  • Locations: Building 7 Mall Area, 9am-6pm
    • Walk around and enjoy the traditional food, art and music. Mercadito at PCC brings an opportunity to celebrate and appreciate our diverse backgrounds through food and other goods. No te lo puedes perder!
  • Event: Master Cuban Dancer Freila Merencio Blanco - Lecture/Demonstration on Afro-Cuban Dance and Rhythms with percussionist Scott Wardinsky
  • Locations: Building 9, Event Center, 12:15am-1:45pm
    • Born in Havana, Cuba, Freila Merencio Blanco grew up in her grandfather’s home - a cultural center for performers and practitioners of various Afro-Cuban traditions in the barrio of Atares. It was in his company, "Liberación 75" that she started performing. She began her professional career in 1990 dancing with the renowned folkloric group, "Raices Profundas" becoming soloist and choreographer. Her tenure with RAICES took her throughout the island as well as to many countries around the world. As a Cuban artist, Freila is dedicated to passing on the treasures of her Afro-Cuban heritage with the same degree of integrity and quality with which they were given to her. Scott Wardinsky fell in love with Latin percussion at the age of eighteen and never stopped. He has studied at the Danza Nacional de Cuba and served as the technical director for the US tours of Los Muñequitos de Matanzas. In addition to touring with many bands including Nu Shooz and Paquito de Rivera, Scott most loves sharing the rich musical and cultural roots of Afro-Cuban rhythms from Cuba to the US.
  • Event: Learn Cuban Salsa - Rueda de Casino with Danica Fierman (PCC faculty) and Rob Hilario
  • Locations: Building 9, Event Center, 2pm-3pm
    • If you’ve always wanted to learn salsa or if you already dance salsa and want to experience the Cuban style, come join us. In Cuba, salsa dancing is called, "Casino" and "Rueda de Casino" means "Wheel of Salsa." Started in Havana in the 1950’s, this is a group version of Casino in a wheel. This style welcomes all ages and dance levels. Similar to square dancing, Rueda de Casino involves a caller and moves that allow us to change partners. In this session, you will learn the basic step and basic calls so we can dance an easy and fun PCC Rueda. Danica Fierman has been dancing since she was four, but started salsa dancing in 1996. She has studied Casino and Rueda de Casino in Havana, Portland, and San Francisco and teaches Rueda de Casino at Portland Casino Fridays. Rob Hilario walked into a Casino Salsa class on a whim in September 2005 and has never looked back. Working diligently to learn, perform, and teach the dance style he has come to love, Rob's focus has been to master the art of leading and general technique to make partner dancing enjoyable for follows as well as leads. Rob teaches Casino and Rueda at Dance With Joy Studios.
  • Event: Mitotiliztli Tezcatlipoca Aztec Dance Performance
  • Locations: Building 7 Mall Area, 5pm-6pm
    • The Aztec Dance (Danza Azteca) cultural movement has pre-Hispanic roots and continues to thrive in modern times because it is a medium of cultural dissemination; it is a link between ancient traditions and their interpretation in the present. The purpose of Mitotiliztli Tezcatlipoca is to provide the community with a space in which diverse aspects of different mesoamerican cultures can be exposed and explored. Danza Azteca groups are fortunate to have inherited teachings from our Elders that allow us to learn and share cultural wisdom and richness such as song and dance, philosophy, music and languages. Mitotiliztli Tezcatlipoca as a group includes and encourages people of diverse ages, abilities and backgrounds to come and learn from the tradition.

Wednesday, April 22

Description: This day is dedicated to high school and middle school students. Events include, First in My Family Panel with panelist Mark Figueroa, Octaviano Merecias, Narce Rodriguez and Nancy Ramirez as well as campus tours and student led workshops.

  • Event: PCC Education & Outreach
  • Locations: Building 9, Event Center, 8am-3pm
    • Students are invited to spend a day learning about college, student leadership, as we come together and celebrate the Latino culture. Workshops and presentations focus on educating young Latinos and teaching them valuable skills that will be helpful for their future, as well as what to expect in higher education. Workshops include the introduction of college 101, how to pay for college, leadership and campus engagement, and finding the motivation to succeed. There will be campus tours where students learn what a college campus is like. Students can engage and talk other Latino high school and college students. This day is dedicated to empower the next generation of students in order for them to have the necessary resources and knowledge about college.
    • Register online now!

Thursday, April 23

Description: Thursday a day of activism and service. Come and learn through a temporarily Immigration memorial wall about the ongoing immigration issue. Workshops during the day will be at the Event Center.

  • Event: Immigration Memorial Wall
  • Locations: Building 7 Mall Area, 10am-6pm
    • The Border Display shows the path many individuals take when crossing the Mexico/United States border. One piece of the display exhibits stories depicting the struggles people have when crossing the border, and why they chose to make the journey. On the other side of the border, the display will showcase success stories of people whose parents came to the United States without documents.
  • Event: Ayotzinapa in Oregon
  • Locations: Building 9, Event Center, 12pm-1pm
    • This is an informative workshop about the 43 students that despaired in Mexico. Learn what really happen and how it affects our community here and in Mexico.
  • Event: DREAMers en PCC
  • Locations: Building 9, Event Center, 2pm-3pm
    • This is a safe space for undocumented students and allies where we will talk about resources and the current immigration climate. Please join us!

Friday, April 24

Description: On the last Day of Semana de la Raza we will give back to our community and celebrate with a student lead Celebracion.

  • Event: Migrant Camp Service Project
  • Locations: Western Farm Workers Association, 9am-2pm
    • The Western Farm Workers Association’s goal is to eliminate the poverty conditions under which their members live and work. Join us as we serve our migrant community.
      *Registration required*
  • Event: Student Lead Closing Celebration
  • Locations: 10am-6pm
    • To end the day, and the week, join us to celebrate La Victoria! La Celebracion de La Victoria is a student lead celebration that targets PCC and Washington County high school students. Drinks and light refreshments as well as raffles during the night, celebraremos la Victoria! Featuring Dj Denver. All proceeds to be for the Multicultural Center Scholarship.