On Being Hispanic

Dayana H., M1

Although the Hispanic community in St. Louis is smaller than those in larger cities, it is a very tight-knit community. Because the community is smaller, there are fewer resources, so being here has allowed me to make a bigger difference than I would have made in a larger city. I have interpreted at various locations, and it has been so rewarding to see how grateful patients are. I have been able to help out at the Saturday Neighborhood Clinic, El Torito Health Screenings, and Kingdom House. Casa de Salud is another great resource for the Hispanic community that I hope to get involved with soon. The number of Hispanic medical students at WashU is also small (for now), but we are close and it allows us to share our culture with the rest of our classmates! It has also opened up a lot of volunteering opportunities because we are in high demand. Our Latino Medical Student Association chapter is continuing to expand its extracurricular volunteer work, advocacy, mentoring, networking, and social activities. Although the Latino student population is small, I love knowing that our efforts will actually make a difference and help shape our community.

Outside of school, Cherokee St. is the main place to find various Hispanic restaurants, taquerias, panaderias, and grocery stores. One of my favorites is Taqueria Durango. Closer to campus is Burro Loco (their margaritas are on point).  For dancing, Friday is Latin night at Siam and Saturday is Latin night at Club Viva. Lastly, there are some beautiful festivals: Dia de Los Muertos at the Missouri History Museum, the Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival, and Fiesta in Florissant next June. Although I was not sure what to expect in St. Louis, I feel right at home.