By Lauren Mendoza, Con Mi MADRE alumni
During fall, our wonderful city celebrates our Latino community from Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15- Oct. 15) to Día de los Muertos. Experiencing what Austin has to offer is a fun way to stay active, keep up with our ever-expanding city, and is a great opportunity to engage in our community. There’s a lot going on in the upcoming weeks and the weather is finally agreeable, so be sure to take advantage of some of the fun cultural festivities. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started celebrating our Hispanic community right here in Austin during this beautiful time of year.
If you need a boost of energy to get you motivated to go out to the celebrations, get moving! Literally. No matter what your fitness level is, yoga and zumba are wonderful ways to get active and feel good. Whether you want to reduce stress, build muscle strength, improve your flexibility, or just stretch your tired muscles after a long day, millions of people have found yoga to benefit their mind, body, and spirit. This month the Mexican American Cultural Center is offering Yoga en Español on Wednesdays from Sept. 12 – Oct. 10, 6-7pm, for just $6.
If you’re looking for a workout that feels more like fun than work, try a zumba class. The Latin beats will get you moving to the salsa, flamenco, and hip-hop dance moves, and it’s great for people with all levels of dance experience. Take your mom, she’ll love it! It burns fat and stress, and is a great way to get back into exercising (even if it’s been a while). Zumba classes at the MACC are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Sept. 11- Oct. 16. As with any exercise it is always wise to consult a physician beforehand.
Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River Street. $6 per class.
In case you missed the Dieciseis festivities this month, you can still see Jose Antonio Garciaguerra’s artwork celebrating the epoch of Mexico’s Independence, “La Epoca de la Independencia de Mexico.” Concurrently on display at the Mexican American Cultural Center in the Community Gallery is “Plastic Eye,” photographs by Faustinus Deraet presenting images of Mexico captured by a plastic toy camera. Bring a friend and enjoy the live music at 3 p.m. It’s more like a fiesta than a museum. And in case you’re feeling creative, hang around for one of their classes on Glitter nichos, sugar skull making, or altar making.
Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River Street.
M-Th 10am – 6pm, F 10am – 5:30 pm, Sat 10am – 4 pm. Free admission.
Mexic-arte Museum’s current exhibition, Elements of Day of the Dead, examines contemporary interpretations of Día de los Muertos iconography and customs. Check it out on September 23, when they’ll also showcase live screen-printing from local latino artists and have other fun hands-on activities for the whole family. It’s a great opportunity to get creative and learn about an exciting new trade.
Mexic-arte Museum, 419 Congress Avenue 12 – 5 PM, Activities 12 – 3, Free admission Sundays.
On Saturday, October 13, Highland Mall is inviting all students (K-12) to perform talent acts celebrating Hispanic Heritage month. Perform in a group or solo act that honors Hispanic culture and win a cash prize up to $100. After the talent show there will be more celebrating with live music by Mauricio Callejas Band and La Frenetika. You can register online by Sept. 28 at http://www.highlandmall.com/event/hispanic-heritage-month-talent-show/ or pick up an entry form at the mall office Monday-Friday 8:30am-5pm.
Highland Mall, 6001 Airport Boulevard.
Of all the 24 hour food stops in Austin, La Mexicana is one of my favorites. This family owned panaderia and taquería has an all day breakfast and lunch menu, cakes, pralines, homemade flour tortillas and leading up to Día de los Muertos, much more. They have everything you need to celebrate, including sugar skulls and bread of the dead. Since they’re 24 hrs, it’s perfect for fueling up for late night studying or the morning before a big test. And since it’s fall, be sure to take advantage of the delicious pumpkin empanadas. Mmm.
La Mexicana, 1924 South First St. Open 24 hours everyday.
Tesoros Trading Co. has a beautiful assortment of traditional and contemporary folk arts and crafts from over 20 different countries including Mexico, Chile, Columbia, and Spain. This month they have beautiful and affordable skull and bone jewelry to help you celebrate Día de los Muertos con estilo. Then it’s just a short walk down the block to Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds to pick out your Halloween costume. They really do have just about anything you could think of. Why not try Superwoman?
Tesoros Trading Co., 1500 South Congress Avenue, 11am-6pm.