07 May 2010

Cultural weeks are anticipated events in the MBA due to our international profile. These weeks are really made with passion and effort since all the events are voluntarily organized well in advance and all the activities must be self-financed!

Latin Week is special… why? Because it is the perfect opportunity to share as a single community, the multiple cultural expressions that coexist among many countries! The main challenge we set up for this year was to show that beyond the good music and party spirit, Latin America is an interesting region for the global business community, still facing a lots of obstacles, but with the attitude, preparation and potential to become a new economic power.

How did we manage to give people an idea of what Latin America is? Well, in fact, we tried to be as inclusive as possible and through different activities, we were able to show a glimpse of each country:  during 4 days, students and administration had the joy to see our region thanks to the photographic exhibition held in the MBA hall where people could see astonishing images of Machu Picchu in Peru, Iguazu Falls in Argentina and the Barranquilla Carnival in Colombia.

The first night, we projected the academy award-nominee movie “Amores Perros”; and every morning onwards, people got the energy for the day thanks to the inspiring flavor of the Colombian Coffee that was complimentary served in the MBA hall.

The second night, we organized an interesting economic round-table on emerging markets where students had the opportunity to ask – off the record – as many questions as they wish to international top executives that have worked in the region. After the economic round table, we offered a wine tasting with the famous products from Chile followed by a Latin Food buffet where we all had the chance to taste the incredible empanadas from Argentina, the amazing salgados from Brazil, and the delicious patacones and refreshing tropical fruits from Colombia. People really had a great time and the event ended around midnight!

Everybody was looking forward for Wednesday night, since we were holding the “Save the beach” party sponsored by Corona Beer. All the party lovers came with their best “beach” outfit to experience one of the most remembered parties in Résidence Expansiel history. Although it was a Wednesday, the Latin spirit prevailed and we all had unforgettable moments thanks to the refreshing flavor of Spanish Sangrías, Brazilian Caipirinhas, Mexican Margaritas and Cuban Mojitos.

For the final day, we prepared a “gala dinner” among some Latin cultural expressions: The menu included entrees from Peru, Italy and Romania and the main dish from Mexico. Among the activities we had that night, we were surprised with the strength of Alix-Lek who won the “jalapeno” contest, eating more than 10 of the spiciest chilies, or the hidden talent of Nicolas and Pamela who gave a lesson on singing techniques at the karaoke event. The jury decided to declared “out of competition” the performance of Fumihiko which had been practicing “La Bamba” since he was 8… Not to mention the skills of Will who dare to sing “rancheras” along 3 professional mariachis and the lovely performance of “Marinera” done by Peruvian kids. What a night!

Thanks HEC for the remarkable Latin Week we had in 2010, more than 150 people enjoyed all the events and we hope next year will be even bigger and better!

Juan Diego Rojas, HEC MBA Participant September 2009

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