BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — National Hispanic Heritage Month starts today and runs through October 15th. A Latin American student group at South Dakota State has a series of events planned and the first one was Thursday – a mariachi band in the student union.

The sound of guitars, a trumpet and a violin are bringing a festive feel to campus.

“It gives the students the chance to indirectly share their culture, and like for other students who don’t know about Hispanic Heritage Month to learn a little bit about it and to just like listen to some Hispanic music if they’ve never heard it before,” Latinx Student Success Advisor Brooke Jackson said.

To kickoff Hispanic Heritage Month, the band “Mariachi Con Amigos” from Sioux Falls performed on the stage in the student union over the lunch hour.

Oscar Garcia, Asledi Castillo and Vanessa Valadez are all members of the Latin American Student Association, or LASA. They all have Mexican roots.

“I’m really looking forward to be being able to do more things like this and just kind of get our tradition and culture and values out there to everybody And just really excited to bring that to every student here and share that with everyone,” Garcia said.

Valadez is LASA’s president.

“It’s just a great time to be able to show everybody what we partake in every single day with our struggles or just advantages, some of our culture, our history and a little bit of everything as well,” she said.

Castillo, LASA’s vice president, says these events happen because of the organization’s budget and fundraising.

“It would be really nice if any students, teachers or just community members could come over here and celebrate with us,” she said.

The events are open to anybody.

“You do not have to be Latino for this. That’s the main point. We’re trying to showcase our culture to everybody,” Valadez said.

You can see a full list of events on the SDSU Latin American Student Association Facebook page.

KELOLAND News will be celebrating Hispanic heritage later this month in a special Inside KELOLAND. It will air September 24th at 9 a.m. CT and September 25 after the late local news.