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UMass Boston students embrace diversity at Casa Latina

UMass Boston students embrace diversity at Casa Latina
UMass Boston students embrace diversity at Casa Latina 02:11

BOSTON - On UMass Boston's campus, there is a special community of students determined to make a difference through unity, diversity, and creativity. 

Elianny Lopez is the coordinator and community leader of Casa Latina. "I feel like people don't know what it means to be Hispanic," Lopez said.

Casa Latina is a non-profit organization made up of students on campus at UMass Boston created to cultivate a community of diverse students who are willing to embrace Hispanic heritage and the many different aspects of it. 

"There has been a lot of controversy when it comes to this person is Latino or that person is Hispanic and I think the diversity, I embrace it and we have come together at Casa Latina to embrace it as well because if you're willing to learn what it means to embrace and learn more about the Hispanic heritage you are part of the community already," Lopez said. 

Sebastian Rodriguez is a music major at UMass Boston and plays in the school's jazz band. He says Casa Latina has enhanced his experience here. "Everyone is willing to help each other. When I first came here, I started learning Haitian-Creole, because I have a lot of Haitian friends here and just so you know they are Latino too technically," Rodriguez said. "And I learned another language through them and through that I learned another cultural perception and another way to look a life." 

Created in 1989, Casa Latina hosts weekly meetings, art exhibitions and does community outreach. 

"Definitely teaching me to remain in my culture and I know that's definitely hard in America to keep our culture alive and that's what Casa does for me," said sophomore Jackelyne Dutra. 

Casa Latina has a lot of events coming up including an art show, where different artists get to showcase and display the impact COVID-19 had on the Hispanic community. 

"Times of crisis spur creativity and hope. It would be tragic if again our stories and what we create are so traumatic that they are forgotten and not remembered," Lopez said. 

From books to artwork and to all forms of expression Casa Latina is bringing people and cultures together. 

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