Sister Cities Celebrate: Charreada brings attention to student groups - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Sister Cities Celebrate: Charreada brings attention to student groups

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Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2019 10:00 pm

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley ushered in Charro Days festivities with its annual Charreada.

On Wednesday afternoon, approximately 100 students had already arrived at the event held on the Student Union Lawn to celebrate the bond between Brownsville and Matamoros over the course of three hours on campus.

“ The purpose of the event is to bring students, faculty, staff and the community together to celebrate the rich Mexican heritage and embrace the city of Brownsville’s rich history with Charro Days,” said Cindy Mata, director of Student Activities.

The entire event is organized by UTRGV Student Involvement and includes a best dressed contest and a fiery jalapeno-eating contest.

“ That one’s self explanatory,” said Maria Almanza, an advisor with the Campus Programming Board, who helped coordinate the event. “Whoever is the bravest wins.”

A highlight of the three-hour event was the grito contest.

“ We think it adds to the aura of Mexican culture,” Almanza said.

And while the UTRGV Charreada is a celebration of Brownsville and Matamoros, Almanza said it’s also one of the best fundraising opportunities during the year for student organizations.

“ This is a huge fundraiser for student organizations,” Almanza said.

Student organizations set up Wednesday to sell everything from burgers to fruit cups.

The student organizations showed how diverse interests at UTRGV are with groups like Volunteers from around the World to Project Smile Mission Trips to the STEMS Club to the International Student Organization.

UTRGV departments also use the Charreada to gain exposure, Almanza said.

However, another draw for students, aside from the food, music and fun, was the giveaway.

UTRGV gave away a bucket geared toward Spring Break and a $50 gift card with a Student Activity tumbler.

The event is also a way to expose both the Brownsville and Matamoros communities to everything UTRGV has to offer residents on both sides of the border.

“ We would like for the city to come out to UTRGV the following year and join in the vibe,” Almanza said. “Bring the kids and inspire them!”

mreagan@brownsvilleherald.com

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