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Ecuadorian Student Union Looks To Make Its Mark At Hunter College

Screenshot from the Ecuadorian Student Union’s announcement post on their Instagram @esuhunter.

The Ecuadorian Student Union at Hunter College represents much more than just the start of a new club. 

Student leaders of the Union said they will try to elevate the club, which only obtained their official stamp of approval in April, by celebrating the culture and history of Ecuador.  

“I came up with the idea of creating an Ecuadorian club not only for Ecuadorian people but any Hunter student,” said President Sebastian Guaman. “What that entails is creating a community for students to cultivate  Ecuadorian traditions and customs so they not only learn about their history if they are Ecuadorian, but also learn more about the world.” 

The executive board includes Mia Garzon as Vice President, Jordan Jines as Treasurer, and Ludwin Tenezaca as Secretary. 

Since last semester, Guaman, who immigrated to the U.S. when he was 12-years-old, had the idea of creating the club, but he doubted whether Hunter needed such a club as he didn’t know many Ecuadorian students at Hunter. 

However, this spring Guaman had the opportunity to meet many Ecuadorian students and shared his ideas. Their positive reactions killed all the doubt Guaman had.

“As I became more engaged with other clubs at Hunter this semester, I met other Ecuadorians,” said Guaman. “I told them about my idea, and they got excited.” 

Guaman hopes the Ecuadorian Student Union can help students make lifelong connections. Guaman notices many people don’t take advantage of the clubs and resources offered at Hunter. Guaman strives to make the Ecuadorian Student Union a community for all students who don’t have one, especially incoming freshmen. 

One meaningful connection Guaman has made at Hunter is with Garzon, whom he only met at the beginning of this semester at the school club fair. Guaman and Garzon started as friends, and Guaman asked Garzon if she wanted to become Vice President due to her administrative background. Garzon is currently the leader of the Catholic Club at Hunter. 

The creation of the Ecuadorian Student Union WhatsApp group chat and Instagram page was all created by Garzon. She is amazed at the 64 members in the WhatsApp chat because she never realized there were that many Ecuadorian students. 

“Once I put the word out, we were gaining many followers the first day on Instagram,” said Garzon. “Once we created the group chat, I was surprised we had so many people answer all at once.”

The four pillars of the Ecuadorian Club are to celebrate, connect, cultivate, and embrace. Garzon wants to reflect on these pillars through her leadership while emphasizing scholarship in the club. Garzon says it is a privilege to be in Hunter and wants that reflected in the community the club creates. 

Garzon hopes while the club embraces Ecuadorian culture, students from other cultures come to the club. She describes the best part of culture as being able to share it with people. 

“It’s silly to name it a club because, in reality, we’re just a bunch of students coming together to celebrate being Ecuadorian,” said Garzon. “If you want to share your culture, this is where you have the opportunity.” 

Guaman and Garzon are not the only ones busy throughout this process. Jines got his position as club Treasurer due to his business background– he runs a rum business that involves a lot of budgeting. 

Students should look out for a potential volleyball and soccer tournament hosted by the Ecuadorian Student Union this summer. In addition, Jines is toying with the idea of creating an Ecuadorian cooking page on social media to reach more people. 

The club’s executive board continues to meet weekly to plan for an array of activities. 

“There is going to be an abundance of stuff that will not only be fun but informative,” said Jines. “You can experience things here that you have never experienced before.” 

 Students can connect with fellow Ecuadorian students and keep up with announcements through the club’s Instagram page and WhatsApp group chat, accessible through the group’s Linktree

Club meetings will begin in the fall.

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