At Belen Jesuit, "all white" takes on a different meaning

At first glance, the name of a theme party causes New Times to do a double take. All White All Night reads the flyer for a February 4 party held at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School's gym. Considering the Roman Catholic educational institution for boys caters to a predominantly fair-skinned Cuban-American student population, we wondered, What gives here? After all, Belen — founded in Cuba in 1854 and relocated to Miami following Belen-graduate Fidel Castro's revolution — prides itself on churning out future leaders in business and politics with a high regard for social justice.

"There was some snickering about the name," admits Belen spokesman Ricardo Raimundez. "But there was nothing bad about the theme. The kids were just required to wear all-white to gain entry into the party."

The school administration did not put on the event, he adds. "This was put together by the student body council," Raimundez explains. "They made T-shirts and posted a promo video on YouTube." Indeed, the clip's only visual metaphor to describe the party's theme is a closeup of an illuminated lamp inside the gym. "Some of them resembled santeros," Raimundez quips about the party attendees. But he quickly clarifies orishas weren't tied to the theme either. "It was just the theme of the night to dress in all-white like the White Party at Vizcaya," he says. "There was no double meaning or anything like that at all."

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.