Casa de las Américas Kicks Off Spring 2023 Programming

Kickoff Press Release Image

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY (March 21, 2023)Casa de las Américas at LaGuardia Community College aims to provide opportunities to educate and advance Latinx community members and support them as they become lifelong learners, professionals and activists, contributing towards the betterment of society.

After recently hosting the unveiling of its new student-created mural, La Casa hosted its first monthly Support Circle for First-Generation College Students on March 14.

“The idea for the support circles was borne out of my own experiences as a first-generation college student,” said Dr. Sonia Alejandra Rodríguez, co-director of La Casa and associate professor of English. “I know how overwhelming and isolating it can be to be a college student without any models to look to within your family.”

The first session drew students who spoke about feeling disconnected from other students.

“As a commuter school, our students are often rushing to and from school, work, and family responsibilities. First-generation students are sometimes helping their families—even sending money back to their home countries—it’s a lot of responsibility and pressure. Hopefully this Support Circle will make them feel more connected and give them a safe outlet to share their struggles,” said Dr. Ryan Mann-Hamilton, co-director of La Casa and associate professor of Anthropology, Latin American and Caribbean Studies in the Social Science Department.

The sessions are being run by La Casa Student Ambassadors, who received training in how to lead a support circle. The Ambassadors are: Johana Chulde Castro, a Criminal Justice major; Benjamin Gamboa, a Business Administration major; and Emma Gottschalk, a Liberal Arts: Social Science and Humanities major.

“Students are often more likely to open up to fellow students, so we have trained La Casa Student Ambassadors to lead the support circles,” said Dr. Rodríguez.

La Casa Hosts ‘Science for All: Tales of the Colombian Scientific Diaspora’

On March 16, the work of Clubes de Ciencia (Science Clubs) Colombia (CdeC) to improve access to high-quality scientific education for children and young Colombians belonging to historically disadvantaged groups in urban and rural regions of the country was featured in an event titled, “Science for All: Tales of the Colombian Scientific Diaspora.”

The event was organized by Milena C. Cuéllar, professor of mathematics and a Carnegie National Faculty. As a member of the Colombian diaspora, Dr. Cuéllar has volunteered with CdeC, traveling to rural areas of Colombia and “teaching math that’s cool to young people,” as she described.

More than 50 individuals attended the event, held in the Poolside Café, including representatives of CdeC and the Colombia Consulate, as well as LaGuardia faculty and staff. Attendees heard from CdeC director Dr. Elisa Chaparro about using scientific tools to make a better Colombia and promote careers in science. “Science doesn’t have borders,” said Dr. Cadavid. “It’s possible to use science to break down walls of misunderstanding and mistrust.”

The event featured selected works of Colombian photographer Daniel Lopez, who spent more than four years traveling to rural communities participating in CdeC across Colombia, e.g., Amazonas, Guajira, and Santander, as well as a musical performance by La Cumbiamba Eneyé and assorted Colombian foods served by Tamales Marujita.

Upcoming Events

Casa de las Américas is hosting a variety of events Spring 2023 that include:

For more information visit Casa de las Américas, located in Room M-141, go online, send an email to or call (718) 482-5995.

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LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), a Hispanic-Serving Institution, located in Long Island City, Queens offers more than 50 degrees and certificates, and more than 65 continuing education programs to educate New Yorkers seeking new skills and careers. As an institution of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his advocacy of underserved populations. Since 1971, LaGuardia’s academic programs and support services have advanced the socioeconomic mobility of students while providing them with access to a high quality, affordable college education.


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