The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Large student turnout for Mi Casa pre-launch event

Students attending the Mi Casa Oct. 18, soft opening listen on as guest poets recite and college organizers speak. The event attracted a large crowd with some students standing outside the door as they listened and participated. (Joseph Ramirez | The Union)

Faculty members, poets and students were packed into Room 302 on the third floor of the Communications Building on Oct. 18, for the soft opening of El Camino College’s first Hispanic center.

Called Mi Casa, which stands for Mexican, Indigenous, Central American and South American, had a pre-launch event where some people observed from the outside due to people packing the room.

students watch from outside the classroom because the Mi Casa room is too full
Attendees for the Mi Casa pre-launch event watch from outside of Room 302 because it was too full on Wednesday, Oct. 18. (Joseph Ramirez | The Union)

Counselor Maribel Hernandez has been working at El Camino since 2005 and is one of the organizers of the Mi Casa program. She said the center aims to have a positive impact for Hispanic students on campus.

“We want to bring all the different Latino cultures on campus together and share their cultures together,” Hernandez said.

As previously reported by The Union, while there had been some programs and clubs associated with Hispanic students, such as the Puente program and Salsa Club, there was never a center for them on campus until the creation of Mi Casa.

According to the Office of Institutional Research and Planning’s Annual Factbook, the percentage of Latino’s at El Camino for 2021-2022 was 50.4%.

Sofia Cetz (left) and Diana Gonzalez (right)
Communications major Sofia Cetz ,left, and History major Diana Gonzalez after attending the Mi Casa pre-launch event on Wednesday, Oct. 18 in the Communications Building. (Joseph Ramirez | The Union)

History major Diana Gonzalez, 19, is a first-generation college student whose parents are from El Salvador. Gonzalez attended the event with her friend, 20-year-old communications major Sofia Cetz.

“It is nice to have a safe space on this campus for Hispanic students,” Cetz said.

Information technology major Angel Lopez, 18, likes how the center provides a place for people who are also a part of his culture.

“I’m in the puente program and wanted to check out the opening of this [center], this is amazing to have our own place as Latinos,” Lopez said.

While serving cookies and Mexican sweet bread to attendees some of the faculty organizers and poets spoke about the Mi Casa program and the work it took to make the space a reality.

Fine Arts Senator Dulce Stein speaks to the crowd of students
Fine Arts Senator Dulce Stein speaks to attendees at the pre-launch event in Room 302 for Mi Casa on Wednesday, Oct. 18. (Jospeh Ramirez | The Union)

Associated Students Organization Fine Arts Senator Dulce Stein spoke to the audience about the original idea for the center two years ago, how it came to fruition and the importance of collaborating with each other.

“This program is meant to be for students and by students,” she said.

Students will be expected to take initiative in organizing activities and programs which will center around the arts ranging from painting, paper crafts and literary work to share their culture.

“This is a space to develop our ideas, pursuits, friendships and community,” Stein said.

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