Walnut High Latinx Parent Alliance hosts Pan Dulce y Cafe


Freda Lei, Design and media editor in chief

Walnut High Latinx Parent Alliance, a new parent nonprofit organization, hosted its first event, Pan Dulce y Cafe con Mr. Maine Tuesday, Nov. 16 in the multipurpose room (MPR) to get feedback on ways to better accommodate, communicate and support Latino students. 

After a little over a month of preparation, Latinx Parent Alliance began its journey of supporting Latino students. The Walnut High Latinx Parent Alliance was inspired by the growing number of Latino students at Walnut High School and the actions of the Chinese Parent Association and the Korean Parent Association. Over 159 families that primarily speak Spanish at home were reached out to about the Pan Dulce y Cafe con Mr. Maine event. The objective of the event was for Latino parents to meet one another and to ask parents what needs are not being met for their children. 

“The purpose of this meeting is twofold. First, to make people feel welcomed — not just Latino parents, but especially Spanish-speaking parents,” founder and parent Luis Cruz said. “The second purpose is to start finding out things like ‘What is it that [Latino students] need? What are some of the challenges they are experiencing,’ so that when we have our meeting, we can go back and say, ‘All right, these are the things that we need to do.’”

As the event began, parents introduced themselves to one another and enjoyed pan dulce and coffee. After introductions were made, parents were split into four rotations, in which each group was assigned a different question to give feedback on how the school could improve and increase support for Latino students. 

“I think it’s really important that [everyone] knows that these events are not exclusively for Latino parents, meaning all parents can become a part of this, but our focus is to help Latino students and their families. We want to make sure that we are inclusive, not exclusive,” Cruz said. “Our goal is to initiate a movement to help Latino parents and Latino students.

Questions were written on a piece of poster paper in both English and Spanish. The four questions asked at this meeting were: As a Latino/a parent, what have you experienced has been the greatest challenge for you and your child as it pertains to Walnut High School? What type of resources can we offer parents and students that would better assist you socially and academically? What is working well and what can we do as an organization to improve your experience at Walnut High School? What can this organization do to create an environment that represents Latino/a culture and achievement on campus? 

“We wanted to bridge that gap of the language barrier and just provide resources and support for them, and I think the meeting went very well. When you invite people, you don’t know who’s going to show up, but we had around 30 people there,” principal Ryan Maine said. “It was a good turnout. We got some really good input from the families, and we’re looking forward to starting to look at that moving forward.”