La Eracra: A Space for Cross-Cultural Dialogue
La Eracra, which is one of three cultural houses on 三一学院’s campus, is held in trust by La Voz拉丁 (LVL), a Latinx student organization that aims to raise awareness about Latinx culture, 历史, 政治, 和 social 问题. La Eracra—which means “the house” in the Taíno language—st和s at 69 Vernon Street, next to AASA 和 across the street from Umoja. Although LVL has existed at Trinity since the 1970s, La Eracra became the home of LVL in 1999.
Jennifer Chávez ’19, current president of LVL, said that all students are welcome at the house, which is also used by many different student groups, including the first-year program, Promoting Respect for Inclusive Diversity in Education. “P.R.I.D.E. hosts some of their meetings 和 events 在这里. We have a comfortable library for academic work 和 social gatherings,” Chávez said.
Carol Correa de Best, associate director of multicultural affairs 和 adviser of LVL for the past 18 years, emphasized La Eracra’s importance as an inclusive 和 multipurpose space. “La Eracra provides programming for the whole student body 和 opportunities for students to unwind when stressed,德贝斯特说.
Cultural houses at Trinity also maintain a strong relationship with the larger 哈特福德 community, to help create a bond between the student body 和 the city. Chávez said that flyers for LVL events are often put up in key social hubs of 哈特福德, such as El Mercado Marketplace on Park Street, 哈特福德 Public Library’s branches on Park Street 和 downtown, 和BiCi有限公司. Community Bike Shop, a program of the Center for Latino Progress. LVL is open to people of all ethnicities 和 has a commitment to the Hispanic community of 哈特福德. “We are constantly developing better strategies to ensure we can connect with off-campus 哈特福德 families, 青年, 和 other community members,查韦斯说:“.
These connections extend far beyond 哈特福德, as well. Several members of LVL participated in a service trip to Puerto Rico last summer to observe the psychological effects of hurricanes 和 to provide support to those impacted by Hurricane Maria. The students coordinated fundraising activities on campus for nearly a year to make the trip possible.
Chávez highlighted the significant impact La Eracra has had on students’ lives, through its emphasis on cross-cultural dialogue 和 creation of a supportive community. Regular “Café con Leche” programs feature discussions about current events, 问题, 和 topics affecting the Latinx community, often with professors 和 off-campus organizations leading the talks. LVL’s annual “SALSARENGUE!” is one of the group’s staple events, featuring live performances, dancing, music, 和 food. This year “SALSARENGUE!” will be Saturday, April 27, from 10:00 p.m. 两点了.m. in the Washington Room at Mather Hall.
Carlos Espinosa ’96, M’98, who serves as Trinity’s director of community relations 和 of Trinfo.Café, said that LVL meant a lot to him when he was a student. “T在这里 were not a lot of Latinx students when I was an undergraduate, but having LVL gave us a space for building wonderful relationships 和 having deeply emotional conversations about the common challenges we faced while at Trinity,” said Espinosa. “I’m incredibly proud of my friends who went on to establish La Eracra as a physical space symbolizing our presence on campus 和 the responsibility to be active participants in the life of the college.”
For de Best, being a part of La Eracra really is like being with family: her daughter, Kyra M. Malave IDP的13, was a cultural house coordinator of La Eracra during her time as an undergraduate at Trinity, 和她的儿子, Mickey Correa ’20, is actively involved in activities at the house. de Best also recalled the time she 和 her family lived in La Eracra for a week after a snowstorm left much of the state without power. “La Eracra has been an integral part of my life 和 holds a special place in my heart,德贝斯特说.
Written by Hamna Tariq ’20
This article is the second in a series highlighting the three cultural organization houses on Trinity’s campus. Read about Umoja House 在这里 和 look for a feature on the Asian-American Student Association (AASA).