Lotería night teaches Spanish terms through bingo

Students participate in Lotería event in the Rotunda. Vanguard Photographer | Audrey Bergey

As Hispanic Heritage Month continues, so do the numerous events throughout campus spotlighting Latinx culture.

On Tuesday, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) held a Lotería night in the Student Life Rotunda.

Lotería is also known as Mexican bingo as both games involve the random calling of cards with the goal of covering certain spaces on a playing board.

Angelica Johnson, senior social work major and lead coordinator for OMSA, helped organize the event. She said that though Lotería and bingo are similar, there are several key differences.

“Lotería is different than American bingo as there are characters instead of numbers that are the face of the card to show what that person or thing is for the Spanish term,” Johnson said.

While Lotería may be new to some, it is a game with a rich history.

“Latinx and Hispanic communities have been playing this game for hundreds of years, but in the past decade, it has become increasingly visible in the United States,” Johnson said.

Social work senior Emily Schueren attended the event and was excited to revisit a familiar game.

“A few years ago, I worked with OMSA at a Lotería with them,” Schueren said. “Translating Spanish to English is fun for me too.”

Schueren was one of many students to take home prizes, which included candy, DIY kits and Bluetooth speakers.

Also found at the prize table were custom Lotería-themed backpacks, hair clips and phone stands featuring the iconic imagery used on the playing cards. These prizes were donated by Regalitos by Doña Lola.

Acting as hosts for the event were political science sophomore Sammyra Nieves-Rivera and communications junior Evangeline Cruz.

The pair spent the evening calling out cards in Spanish while providing English translations. As attendees called out “Lotería” the hosts rushed around the rotunda verifying straight line, four corners and full card Lotería wins.

“It was amazing, I loved it,” NievesRivera said. “I loved the turnout, I loved seeing different faces.”

Cruz said she enjoyed being able to share the fun of Lotería with fellow students.

“I always love doing events like these that spread our culture and awareness to the campus community,” she said. “Especially after [2020] it’s great to have events again on campus and being able to see students again. It’s just an amazing feeling”

Further events exploring Latinx culture will take place through October.

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