By: Verónica Méndez-Cruz, Director of el Centro de la Raza at University of New Mexico
El Centro de la Raza is located at the University of New Mexico and is focused on meeting the needs of Latino students and families. El Centro provides guidance and assistance to ensure that students succeed and are able to give back to the state of New Mexico.
El Centro de la Raza is charged with serving the largest and fastest growing ethnic population at the University of New Mexico. El Centro provides support and advocacy services to over 3,000 Latino students and families every year. The staff and students of El Centro de la Raza are passionate about developing and implementing innovative programs that meet the needs of the Latino communities across New Mexico.
Engaging the Raza community, El Centro de la Raza provides tools for self-determination and resiliency, supports the transformation of students through knowledge, skills and responsibility and challenges self and systems to achieve social justice.
Established in 1969, for students by student and community activists, El Centro continues the legacy of advocacy, holistic support and partnerships.
El Centro de la Raza family –an ever evolving and symbiotic group of students, faculty, staff, community members and families– strives to stand together against oppression and transcending geographical and cultural communities for the achievement of collective power through life-long learning.
- To recruit Latino students and provide information to Latino students and their families about the University of New Mexico and El Centro programs/activities
- To positively impact retention and graduation of Latino undergraduate and graduate/professional students through academic, cultural/personal and professional activities designed to build a sense of community and a supportive environment
- Use program evaluation and assessment data for continuous improvement and to ensure its relevance in academic, cultural and professional aspirations of Latino students
Programs & Services
- Academic, financial aid, career, and personal advisement
- Advocacy & community outreach
- Bilingual recruitment services
- Student leadership development
- Facilities for studying, socializing and meetings
- Computer pod
- Satellite offices for UNM Libraries, Center for Academic Support (CAPS) tutoring services and Career Services