Columbian and Honduran students present in this month’s Cultural Cafe

Samantha Karam

Kent State’s Office of Global Education hosted a Cultural Cafe Wednesday in the Student Center Ballroom, offering individuals from Columbia and Honduras the chance to speak about their cultures.

“(These cafes) give Kent State students an opportunity to learn about the world we live in,” said Frank Congin, director of academic relations for the Office of Global Education.

Ricardo Sepulveda, a marketing associate in the arts department, was one of two people who presented at this month’s Cultural Café.

“Yellow represents the gold we have. It also represents justice,” Sepulveda said. “Blue represents both the oceans: the Pacific and Atlantic, and vast number of rivers we have. The red is for the blood spilled during the independence process.”

During his presentation, Sepulveda gave an overview of his home country of Columbia, with brief lessons about its history, geography and culture.

Sepulveda ebbed in and out of his Colombian accent as he switched from talking about Colombian festivals, phrases and traditions to English explanations.

“It’s celebrating life and being happy,” Sepulveda said, referring to a flower festival specific to Colombia. “That’s what Colombians are all about.”

After Sepulveda’s presentation, guests were able to sample traditional foods from the two countries. The featured dishes were tortas de yuca — disks of fried Yucca plant with sugar and baleadas — fried tortillas filled with refried beans spices and avocado.

“Being the only undergrad Honduras student has not been easy, but it’s been interesting,” said Myrna Landa, a sophomore English as a second language major.

During her presentation, Landa gave some facts about Honduras, and showed a short video about the tourism opportunities in her country.

Landa also spoke about the Honduran dialects, religion, currency and traditions.

“Honduras is what I call an authentic paradise on earth,” Landa said.

Both presenters spoke about famous and notable people from their countries, some of who have a presence in the United States.

“Honduran people do not have limits to being (successful) and building a better world,” Landa said about the Honduran people who have made their home in the United States and have made an impact in various areas.

“In discovering the differences,” Congin said, “I hope you’ll see the things we have in common.”

Samantha Karam is a diversity reporter, contact her at [email protected]