La Casa Cultural at Yale: The Latino Cultural Center
The Latino Cultural Center at Yale works to unify Latinos/as across campus and in the greater New Haven community. The current cultural center has existed since 1977, when La Casa Cultural unified the Puerto Rican and Chicano groups on campus, as well as opened its doors to all Yalie Latinos/as. The center provides a large library of books and resource materials on Latin American subjects, lounges for students to work and gather in, and ESL programs for non-native-English speakers on- and off-campus.
La Casa Cultural invites undergraduate, graduate, and professional students to participate in its events and get involved in the greater community. It serves as a link for Latinos/as across graduate schools, bringing together students from Yale’s Law, Medical, Divinity, and Forestry Schools. The Latino Cultural Center extends its resources and ever-growing network to all alumni, so that Latino/a alumni from every school can stay involved with Yale across the country and internationally. The center distributes the Yale Latino Alumni Prize to graduating students who have been involved with the center and maintained a high level of academic excellence while at Yale.
In addition to providing the community with dinners, talks, panels, and discussions celebrating Latin American culture, the Latino Cultural Center connects current students with fellowships and scholarships to help Latino/a students finance their educations. In particular, the center annually sponsors “La Casa Scholar of the House Fellowship,” which encourages research in the field of Latino/a studies, including issues concerning US Latino/a communities.
In addition to the larger Latino community at Yale, F&ES has its own Latin American Student Interest Group (LA SIG), which brings together students interested in discussing current Latin American issues, research, and work. LA SIG hosts talks by academics and professionals, movies, and discussions, all of which emphasize Latin American culture, and research and internship opportunities. Most recently, LA SIG has started offering Salsa dance classes every Monday in Bowers Auditorium, Sage Hall, home of F&ES.
(Photo from La Casa Cultural: The Latino Cultural Center at Yale.)