Gonzaba Foundation

Texas A&M University-San Antonio hosted its annual Lights of Esperanza celebration Nov. 28, turning the campus into a vibrant spectacle.

The tradition celebrates the lighting of the campus to welcome the holiday season bringing together a community and even welcoming newcomers.

Lights of Esperanza took place under slightly chilly weather with temperatures in the 50s, creating a festive atmosphere. The entire campus sparkled with Christmas lights strung on the tops of every building. Garland and wreaths adorned the buildings, completing the seasonal transformation.

The event featured a diverse lineup of performers, including a local elementary school showcasing traditional Mexican dance and the university’s dance team, the Jaguarettes.

The Jaguarettes took center courtyard. With glistening uniforms, the dancers kicked off their routine with a competitive dance and cheer to Pitbull’s “Fireball”. The closing performance, “Like it’s Christmas” by the Jonas Brothers displayed holiday cheer to everyone near.

Melin Montemayor, a marketing sophomore and Jaguarette team leader, expressed how the dance team played a pivotal role in her decision to enroll at A&M-San Antonio.

“We are all leaders on the team,” Montemayor said. “The girls have been such an amazing figure to look up to.” The Jaguarettes’ performance resonated with the crowd, and Montemayor was thrilled with this year’s turnout. “When we were dancing, I just saw people on people,” she said. “It’s so loud out there, and honestly, it’s a good thing.”

Students, faculty and community members were able to participate in fun-filled activities, visit small business vendors, watch performances and laser light shows and explore the campus.

University Advancement hosted Holiday Bingo where people could win nine smaller prizes and one grand prize.

“They have really fun goodies in it ranging from baby mini generals to cute little mugs with hot cocoa,” said Jordan Burbank, the Annual Athletic Giving Officer. “The Gonzaba Foundation is partnering with us to help make this possible for all the students on campus.”

Other activities included snowball fights on the East Lawn, decorating stockings with The Coalition club and pinning the Santa hat on Oakley, a victim assistance dog, with the University Police Department.

Ashley Marie Photography helped capture memories with free photos.

Diana Sanchez, mom of three, said this was her first time attending any campus event. “I heard so much about it,” said Sanchez. “So I wanted to come and check it out.”

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