The Floricanto Club Gives Students the Freedom of Expression


Robert Andaluz

A drawing by Floricanto Club president Robert Andaluz to spread awareness of Asian hate.

Antonio Heras, Staff Writer

A new club at Godinez Fundamental High School (GFHS) has started on campus without holding meetings on campus.

The Floricanto Club is a place where anyone who wants to express themselves through art, poetry, or stories can feel right at home. 

The club, was started on October 19, 2020, by graduating senior, Robert Andaluz.

Andaluz who is the club’s president, said the motive for creating this club was because he wanted to do something about the rise of hate crimes and incidents. He asked English teacher, Joel Medina, if he was willing to be the adviser and without a doubt, he said yes. 

“It was around the time of the George Floyd protests when I was inspired to make this club. And I was actually part of the march in Santa Ana,” said Andaluz. 

The main purpose of the club is to give students a safe and free environment to talk about local and world-wide issues while also giving club members a chance to express themselves through poetry they compose, art they craft, stories they listen to, and of course, help spread awareness of people who have faced injustices, and learn more about their experiences.

“It also teaches students about civil engagement and gives them a chance to hear other people’s stories,” added Andaluz.

Originally, the first few ideas for the club name didn’t work. It wasn’t until his mother gave him the idea of the word “Floricanto”  which comes from the Chicano Movement, when activists used stories, poetry, and art to express how they felt. The word flori- means flower and -canto means sing. 

From upper left, clockwise, Robert Andaluz, Joel Medina, Hector Flores, David Chetla, Angelica Hernandez, and Jasmine Delgado in a meeting with Don Han. ( Photo Courtesy of Robert Andaluz)

“After learning more about the history of the word and finding out where it comes from, I knew this was a great name for the club,” said Andaluz. 

Most meetings consist of club members presenting, as well as planning poetry and sharing current topics. However, once in a while they have guest speakers who talk about their own experiences and personal struggles.

On April 26th, 2021, they hosted Don Han, who works in  OC Human Relations, share his childhood experiences dealing with hate and talk about his work spreading awareness to hate crimes and incidents. 

“For me the best part about this club is hearing people’s stories and getting to know their struggles and perspectives,” said Andaluz.

Even though the club finished their last meeting on May 7, it is still being discussed whether the Floricanto Club will continue on its mission to provide students with an opportunity to express themselves. The club usually meets on Mondays between 3-4 p.m.

“This is a club for everyone and I hope to see more people join,” said Andaluz. 

He added, “I hope that this club will continue to grow even after I graduate.”