The La Casa Peer Liaisons hosted the annual Latina/o Freshman dinner today at the center. The event’s speakers included Diandra Fermin YC ‘13, Juan Carlos Salinas GRD ‘03, and Sergio Troncoso GRD ‘92. These three amazing alumni spoke to students, both freshman and upperclassmen alike, about their Yale experience and how to make the most of life during and after Yale. Along with their personal anecdotes, everyone enjoyed a dinner of pupusas, pernil, rice, beans, and plantains. Dean Chavez and the Peer Liaisons ran such an incredible event that La Casa was packed with almost no room to move. It has been our most popular event to this day! We want to thank our alumni for attending and taking their time to talk to all of us!

Sonia Nazario, author of “Enrique’s Journey,” a Pulitzer Prize winning book, visited Yale on Monday, October 13th. She graced the center with her presence for dinner while she spoke about her book and the different issues that face migrant children from Central America as they travel to the United States. It was an incredible experience hearing how to view this phenomenon with a critical lens that would help the children in the best way possible.

Over 50 students gathered at La Casa last Friday for this semester’s first Cena. Featured was senior Sara Torres (ES ‘15). She is a MCDB pre-med who was the former president of MAS Familias. Sara gave a delightful and inspirational talk with such messages as “Don’t Settle” when speaking about grades and ‘Not using Yale’s nightlife as a coping mechanism’ and instead using it responsibly. Sara is not Latina but spoke of how she grew up in a Latin@ neighborhood and thus embraced the culture. People stuck around the center afterward to rave about her talk and the cena, leading it to be deemed an enormous success. We hope that you come to La Casa’s next cena; look out for the weekly newsletter for further details.

MEChA de Yale hosted their first Cafe con Karaoke night of the semester last week. The event was held in order to raise money for the Sueños Scholarship for undocumented students in the New Haven area. Tons of Yalies came out to sing songs in all languages and styles for the fundraiser. For those who weren’t singing, they enjoyed a ton of pan dulce and hot chocolate provided by MEChA. Look out for another Karaoke night in the future!

La Fe, a branch of the Yale Christian Fellowship, was created to provide a safe space in which all Latin@s can question, reflect, and discuss how Jesus is present in their cultural heritage and ethnic identity. We meet every Thursday from 5:15-6:30 PM to go over a Bible passage and have a conversation about its message and how we see examples of it in our lives and in Latin@ culture. We encourage anyone to join if one is Latin@, religious/ spiritual, or neither but still curious in exploring these topics.

Email roslyn.rivas@yale.edu for more information.

Students from a variety of STEM fields gathered at La Casa this past Tuesday, September 30th to celebrate Latino Heritage Month with MAS Familias. The event, Let’s TACO-bout Science, consisted of dinner with MCDB Professor Maria Moreno, E&EB Professor Marta Wells, and School of Nursing graduate student José Gutierrez. During the event our guests shared their experiences, research interests, and their advice for aspiring scientists. The event was a great success with great company and plenty of great food!

La Casa Cultural, the Latina/o Cultural Center at Yale officially opened its doors for the 2014-2015 school year on September 15th, 2014. Events celebrating Latino Heritage Month (LHM) began that same day, starting with a conversation with playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes ‘99. MEChA, YMSO, and Ballet Folklorico had the annual ¡El Grito! celebration, commemorating Mexican Independence Day the following day. Despierta Boricua had a cooking activity as well as a movie screening while CAUSA and DSA afterward for Caribbean Dessert Night. The LHM Keynote Speaker, Cathy Kissee Sandoval ‘81 graced us with her presence on September 25th. The Kappa Chapter of LUL hosted America’s Next Top Platano, and the Yale Collective of OPB had a discussion on violence against women at the Women’s Center as well as a fundraiser at Toad’s for the Ray of Hope Walk, which happened this past weekend. MEChA showed Yale a singing lesson during their Karaoke Night, which helped raise funds for their Sueños scholarship, which provides funds for undocumented students in New Haven.

It’s been a busy three weeks at La Casa, but the fun is not over yet. De Colores will be hosting a talk about Queer Latina/os in the Media, DSA will be hosting a domino tournament, and ASY will invite filmmaker Nelson de Witt in the coming week. Please stay tuned to more La Casa posts this year, right here on our Tumblr!

This Friday, La Casa will host its first Research Symposium at 3-5PM. We are glad to have 5 undergraduates, 2 graduate students, and 1 post-doc in the Latino community present their research in the symposium. Come on out to hear work in fields like Ethics, Politics & Economics, Psychiatry, American Studies, and many more!

RSVP to lacasa@yale.edu to confirm your attendance

Congratulations to the members of our Latino community who were named Freshman Counselors for the 2014-15 academic year! La Casa looks forward to working with all the FroCos next year as we welcome in a new class of freshman!
Carla Vasquez-Noriega (BK)
Luis Cartagenova (BK)
Deanna Palenzuela (BR)
Fabian Fernandez (DC)
Gracia Vargas (DC)
Christopher Melendez (ES)
Karla Maradiaga (JE)
Fabiola (Fabi) Davila (MC)
Gia Velasquez (SM)
Keren Abreu (TC)
Sandra Medrano (TC)
Be on the lookout as we feature our FroCos throughout this week!

Congratulations to the members of our Latino community who were named Freshman Counselors for the 2014-15 academic year! La Casa looks forward to working with all the FroCos next year as we welcome in a new class of freshman!

Carla Vasquez-Noriega (BK)

Luis Cartagenova (BK)

Deanna Palenzuela (BR)

Fabian Fernandez (DC)

Gracia Vargas (DC)

Christopher Melendez (ES)

Karla Maradiaga (JE)

Fabiola (Fabi) Davila (MC)

Gia Velasquez (SM)

Keren Abreu (TC)

Sandra Medrano (TC)

Be on the lookout as we feature our FroCos throughout this week!

The five chartering members of Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. at Yale celebrated crossing as the Alpha Line during the first weekend of March. (For those less familiar with multicultural Greek life: a person “crosses” into organization after undergoing a pledge process that involves structured learning/activities related to the history of the sorority or fraternity. The pledge process occurs each semester, and the group of people that cross during the same semester are known as a “line.” Being the Alpha Line signifies being the first line to cross on a campus.) As chartering members, Maria Zepeda, Yvette Borja, Evelyn Nunez, Laura Muñoz, and Paola Severino successfully petitioned OPB to come to campus, visiting OPB sisters from New York to Berkeley to Chicago, hosting information sessions, conducting community service in their hometowns, and supporting the MEChA de Yale protests to prove to OPB that Yale was a great fit for the organization and its mission. As interested members of OPB, the Yale Betas were captivated by the organization’s national philanthropy: raising awareness for violence against women, as well as its emphasis on learning and celebrating different racial/ethnic cultures, community service, and being politically aware. The Yale Betas had great support from the neighboring Beta Kappa chapter at the University of New Haven during their pledge process and are looking forward to creating new opportunities for collaboration that will allow Yalies to get outside of the “Yale bubble.” Visit here for more information about OPB and follow @yalebetas on instagram to follow all of the exciting programming the Betas will soon be offering.

Two weeks ago, ¡Oye!, La Casa’s Spoken Word Group, had their spring showcase in the Davenport Theatre. Titled #FEELFEST, the performers shared emotional stories to their audience, causing plenty of snaps, claps, laughs, and sighs.

You don’t have to audition to join ¡Oye! If you’re interested in joining the group, stop by La Casa at 10PM on Tuesdays.

La Casa Cultural hosted our very first Spring Retreat! The day was filled with wonderful company and discussion, and a fun afternoon bowling and dancing, as students took the time to relax and get to know each other better. 

It was a great opportunity for students to reconnect with the cultural center or even for those coming to their very first La Casa event - thanks to everyone that came!

Math and Science Familias enjoyed a beautiful Saturday afternoon picnic with Assistant Professor of Psychology, Prof. Samanez-Larkin and his family.

Prof. Samanez-Larkin, who currently teaches PSYC200 Statistics, spoke about how his interest in psychology began, and his current work in the neuroscience of decision-making, particularly the differences in cognitive processes as an individual ages.

MAS Familias members also heard about clinical psychology from Silvia, Prof. Samanez-Larkin’s wife (who moved with her family from Peru when she was a few years old!), and her work in the field, and enjoyed getting to know the couple’s one and a half year old daughter (who showed off her gymnastics skills)!

With good food (oreo and coffee ice cream!) and company, the picnic was a great success!

From April 4th to 6th, MEChA de Yale welcomed students from several other East Coast schools for Spring 2014 ECCSF! Workshops were held on a number of health related themes, such as mental health services and the experiences of Latin@ health professionals. The conference also included a special alumni address from Alvaro Huerta ‘03 from the National Immigration Law Center.

The closing dinner brought together all the conference goers for a delicious meal at the St Thomas More Golden Center. Guest of honor Marta Moret SPH ‘84 shared inspiring words about the work still needed to be done in public health, and encouraged students to recognize the importance of gathering evidence to support their causes and the need to recognize their potential to bring about positive change. 

Congratulations to MEChA de Yale and the entire ECCSF planning committee, especially Jack Mejia-Cuellar ‘16 and Juan Diaz ‘15, on a wonderful conference!

The Kappa Chapter of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. celebrated the crossing of their Xi Line this past weekend, and welcomed the addition of two new Yale Hermanos: Alfonso Toro Jr. and Sebastian Medina-Tayac. Undergraduate and alumni Hermanos from Yale, Dartmouth, Cornell, and several other universities in the northeast came out for the celebration that honored the work Fonzy and Sebi had done to become Hermanos. 

Lambda Upsilon Lambda is a fraternity that seeks to take the leadership role in meeting the needs of our communities through academics achievement, cultural awareness, community service, and brotherhood. “I am beyond proud to call these two men my Hermanos,” said William Genova, Kappa Chapter President. “This is not simply a title. We are Hermanos, and like our motto states, ‘La Unidad Para SIEMPRE!’” 

Pictured are Hermanos of the Kappa Chapter–Yale University: Angel Falcon, Derek Morales, Jamil Abreu, Javier Cienfuegos, Alejandro Jimenez, William Genova, Shawn Montañez,Carlos Malvestutto, Alfonso Toro Jr., and Sebastian Medina-Tayac.