Mercadito Returns for a Festive Evening

Malcolm Jacob, Scarlet Staff

On the night of Saturday, Feb. 22, Clark University’s Latin American Student Organization
(LASO), put on their annual Mercadito event. Mercadito, which means “little market” in
Spanish, is a chance for students to come together and celebrate the diversity of our student
body.
The event was held on the second floor of Dana Commons where tables were positioned in a
semicircle shape, each marked with a flag. There were a total of eight countries displayed in the
room, each with its own student representatives.
LASO’s president, Alejandra Rosselli (‘20), said she and the rest of the club set out each year to
organize Mercadito, hoping that some students will have the opportunity to share their
traditions, while others will be able to learn something new.
“This represents Latin American culture through the food,” Rosselli explained. “Most people are
familiar with Mexican food, but this introduces them to other cultures that are found within the
Clark community.”
A dish was available from each represented country, as well as suggested recipes for other
dishes. There were empanadas from the Dominican Republic, ensalada de pollo from Mexico,
pupusas from El Salvador, coxinha and bolinha de queijo from Brazil, tequeños from Venezuela,
ceviche from Ecuador, rice, peas and meatballs from Haiti, and leche asada from Colombia.
There was plenty of food but it was gone nearly as soon as it was laid out, which shows how
popular the dishes were.
In addition to the food vendors, there was a stand selling jewelry and vintage clothing. The
stand belonged to Clark student Martina Villanueva (’23), who runs her own business called
Magpie. Villanueva sells her items at affordable prices and even has an Instagram page for the
business.
This is not the only event that LASO participates in. They also organize the annual Noche Latina,
which is done in collaboration with Salsa Encendida. It was hosted back in November, and just
like Mercadito, is always a popular event.
The different dishes were the highlight for many, but there were also many opportunities to
experience Latin American culture. Attendees enjoyed listening to the music, catching up with
friends, dancing a little, and learning about the wide variety of traditions.
“Mercadito is a great way to get a taste of all these cultures,” said Edyth Rojas (‘21).
“The food is incredible,” said Maggie Herlihy (‘23), “It’s so interesting to see a wide variety of
cultures and diversity through the different types of food.”
Be on the lookout for more events hosted by LASO in the future. You can rest assured that
whatever they organize will be a fun time and a chance to try something new.