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. 

La Casa celebrated its own QuinceYALEa last month. A quinceañera is a celebration of the transition from girl to woman. Erica Yurvati (ES ‘15) was selected as the quinceañera for this celebration since she wasn’t able to have one of her own when she was turning fifteen.

The celebration had many of its typical traditions - including the changing of the shoe, a court, and the padrino and madrina, who were Ezra Stiles Master Pitti and Associate Master Alicia Schmidt-Camacho. Many students, alumni, and faculty were able to join us for this event, including Dean Marichal Gentry, President Peter Salovey, and First Lady Marta Moret. We were very glad to have so many people join us in celebrating a terrific person in our community while teaching our greater campus about a wonderful tradition celebrated by many.

On March 1st, La Casa hosted a day of service, as a way to give back to the New Haven community. Students ventured into New Haven to help the community on this annual day of service, visiting the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry and Clothes Closet, AIDS Project of New Haven, and helping with YHHAP’s Hunger Heroes and the The Icla da Silva Bone Marrow Drive.

Thank you to those who planned the event, and to all the volunteers! 

MEChA de Yale will be hosting the East Coast Chicano Student Forum (ECCSF) April 4-6!

The theme of the conference will be “Latin@s and Health in the US.” MEChA de Yale’s ECCSF committee is hard at work to develop an exciting program of guest speakers, panels, and workshops, plus the closing dinner and dance!

Check out the Facebook event HERE for more information and to register for this event!

The Association of Salvadoreñ@s hosted a pupusa dinner and discussion with Yale Professor Elisabeth Woods of the Political Science department, who has spent time completing field research in El Salvador, among other countries. 

At Yale, she teaches courses on comparative politics, political violence, collective action, and qualitative research methods. A particularly inspiring moment during the dinner was when Prof. Wood spoke of why individuals during El Salvador’s civil war engaged in risky and life-threatening behaviors – they believed in their collective power to bring about a more just society, despite threat to their personal lives.

Prof. Woods is also the author of the books Forging Democracy from Below: Insurgent Transitions in South Africa and El Salvador and Insurgent Collective Action and Civil War in El Salvador. 

Maceo Montoya (YC ‘02) has just released his new novel, The Deportation of Wopper Barraza, published by the University of Mexico Press.

Montoya is one of the people who painted the mural at La Casa that faces the Asian American Cultural Center while he was a student here. He was honored to receive a blurb from California Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, who writes, “Wopper Barraza is everywhere, yet he is a story never told since we are used to just remembering Mexico, not double-remembering—Mexico, U.S.A., then back again. Montoya’s dialogue is fierce, his multi-voices tender and rough cut crystal; his characters are carved with the dark-real scalpel of Juan Rulfo and Victor Martinez. Montoya makes it look so easy to enter lives never entered.”

His book is available for purchase in paperback and as an eBook. For more information about his work, recent projects, and images of his artwork, please visit his website.

Order the book through Amazon or Barnes and Noble now!

Many Colombian students gathered together in late February over some yummy arepas, rice & beans, and empanadas. They discussed ways in which to gather more frequently and build their community. Another dinner is in the works later this semester with a possible resurfacing of PorColombia led by two of our freshmen.

The QuisqueYalies had a lot to celebrate this past week with Dominican Independence Day! DSA had the pleasure of hosting Freddy Vargas, an award-winning Dominican filmmaker, on Thursday. Members of the organization, faculty members, New Haven residents, and the Ecuadorian consul gathered at La Casa to watch many of Vargas’s shorts with food. Viewers had the chance to ask questions following the screening. It was definitely a very exciting day to celebrate the independence of the Dominican Republic.