Adventist University of Health Sciences hosted its 11th annual International Food Festival on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011.
"We host this event every year to give our students some exposure to other cultures, other foods, and it's a way of embracing all the diversity that we have here within the College and within our Orlando community," said Ruby Gutierrez, director of Student Experience at FHCHS.
The 16 booths showcased food from countries as diverse as China and Jamaica to Turkey and the Philippines. Roughly half of the booths were organized and hosted by University employees, while the other half was run by students and area restaurants.
Semline Delva, first-year pre-professional studies major, was one of the students who prepared food for the Haitian booth. "You don't come across a lot of things like this where you get to experience different foods from everywhere," Delva said. "So it's like a little trip around the world when you go around the booths."
In addition, the festival featured a capoeira group from Cupoeira Brazilian Pelourinho. Jessica Ortiz, one of the performers, who's also a second-year biomedical sciences major at ADU, explained how the dance originated in Brazil. "Slaves used it to liberate themselves," Ortiz said. "The only way they could do it was they had to hide it from the slave master, so they disguised it as a dance form."
Throughout the event there were smiles and laughter as University students and employees enjoyed each other's fellowship.
"It brings us closer, it brings us together. We get to learn about different cultures," said Ashley Porter, second-year radiologic sciences major.
"I like seeing all the cultures come together," Ortiz added. "It's really—I never knew there was such diversity here in the school."
David Tao, instructional technologist, said, "It gives the students the impression that—you know—we're a big family here. They can come here, enjoy the food, the chat, talk to the professors. It's a social event."
The biggest benefit, in the words of Kelvin Santana, information systems administrator, is that "it helps the College unite and enjoy each others' food and company."
Special thanks to the following restaurants for their support and participation in the event.
- Carribbean Sunshine Bakery
- El Junqueno
- Gargi's Lakeside
- La Antioquena Restaurant
- La Parada
- Orchid Thai Cuisine
- Shakera West Indian Restaurant
- Tropical Smoothie
By Rainey Park