The new house on the block: Nuestro Hogar Latino

New housing option fosters community for Latinx or Hispanic students

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The new house on the block: Nuestro Hogar Latino

The living room of the Nuestro Hogar Latino displays flags of various Latin American countries. Photo by Jin Ni, '22.

The living room of the Nuestro Hogar Latino displays flags of various Latin American countries. Photo by Jin Ni, '22.

The living room of the Nuestro Hogar Latino displays flags of various Latin American countries. Photo by Jin Ni, '22.

The living room of the Nuestro Hogar Latino displays flags of various Latin American countries. Photo by Jin Ni, '22.

Jin Ni

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Nuestro Hogar Latino, or “Our Latino House,” is the new addition to campus themed housing designed to provide Latinx students with a space on campus.

Latinx, as opposed to Latino/Latina, is a broader term to refer to individuals of Latin American descent that some use for gender inclusivity.

For its residents and guests, Nuestro Hogar Latino is a step in the right direction for Latinx students who have felt underrepresented on campus.

“When I came to visit [as a DIVE student], there was only so much representation,” said Carolina Rubio Regalado, ‘22. “We appreciated the efforts of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity, but there was just something missing.”

Nuestro Hogar Latino is located at 210 University Place. Photo by Jin Ni, ’22.

There are other themed housing options on campus, like Casa Hispanica, which focuses on Spanish speaking and fostering language-driven environments for students. But before this year, there wasn’t a designated space for Hispanic or Latinx students to meet together and foster a sense of community.

According to the official university website, the Latinx House “aims to provide a community and environment in which Latinx cultures, issues, and identities are promoted and acknowledged.”

The house also serves to provide a safe space to celebrate Latinx identity, which varies from person to person, across cultural, linguistic, racial and ethnic lines. Located by the Washingtonian House at 210 University Place, Nuestro Hogar Latino houses up to three students.

“[The house has] given me a greater sense of community as we host events, especially over Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Jackie Tamez, ‘22, one of the residents. “It’s nice to see everyone come, regardless of whether they are Latinx or Hispanic or not. They get to celebrate with us and see our home as a space to find community.”

Residents of the house also partner with the Latinx Student Organization (LSO) to sponsor and host social and cultural events. On September 23, the house invited 30 prospective students, who were visiting campus as part of the Diversity and Inclusion Visit Experience (DIVE) program, to tour the house and meet its residents and LSO members.

The prospective DIVE students played Lotería, Dominoes and Giant Jenga, and ate chips and cookies while spending time with current students on campus who identify as Latinx.

“It was a great evening filled with Latinx snacks and traditional games,” Rubio Regalado said. “I am happy that the DIVE students got to enjoy it with us.”

Some of the prospective students shared concerns about coming to Washington and Lee University and feeling marginalized, but many of the upperclassmen that came to the event shared their own experiences and sought to alleviate fears of not belonging.

“Having this place shows to all prospective students that W&L is making efforts to welcome all students,” Rubio Regalado said.

Tamez said she’s excited for community building events that the residents of the house have planned.

“We have an arts and crafts project where current students can go to the house and decorate their own clay pot and plant things in them so that they can feel like they have something in the house belongs to them,” she said.

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