By Emilio Elenes
On the evening of 9 May, university students from Latin America and the rest of the world gathered at the Red Wagon Restaurant right next to Hochschule Rhine-Waal to indulge in poems and music in Spanish.
While most of the students enjoyed food and drinks served by the restaurant, those who dared could step up to recite their favorite poems, in Spanish or in any other language.
Some people read poems from past greats, and others performed original pieces. The open-air patio packed with students created a welcoming environment for even those passing by.
”I was having this kind of dream,” said Maria Jose Gordillo, the Gender and Diversity student who organized the event. “I always wanted to organize something related to poetry in Spanish, but I didn’t have a space to do it.”
Gordillo says that she chose the Red Wagon, a train coach converted into a small restaurant just on the edge of campus, to host the event because it was such a great location but always empty.
“The owner of the red wagon was having some difficulties getting customers, Gordillo said. “So I thought to myself, by doing marketing about the event and using the space in and around the Red Wagon some interesting things could happen here.”
Most attendees said they thought the evening was an utter success. Kaayin Kee, an International Relations student attending the event says that it is great that students have ideas and we all get to appreciate them.
“I really like the initiative of the students and the event was great,” Kee said. “We have many international communities and nationalities existing within our student body that deserve to have representation”.
The students were not the only ones to be delighted by the occasion. Alejandra Manthey, the owner of the Red Wagon, originally hails from Chile. She says she envisioned the restaurant as a place where students can and should do such events.
“Hosting these type of intercultural events has always been one of my main goals since I took over the business, Manthey said. “Money is never a priority to me, but rather creating a space where we can promote the cultural diversity of Latin America and show it to the rest of the world.”
Students interested in hosting an event at the Red Wagon can directly approach Manthey at the restaurant. She speaks German and Spanish. The Red Wagon’s normal business hours are from 12:00 to 8:00p.m. every day. Except on Tuesdays, they are closed.