Why I Love My Latinx Community at Harvard
The Latinx Community: Mi Comunidad
Part 1 of 2 - The Start and My First Year
There are many reasons why I chose to come to Harvard, but one of the main reasons was because of the Latinx community. As someone from a small town in southern Texas, being able to call Harvard a home was important. That small southern town is a predominately Latinx community, so finding people who look like me, talk like me, and have similar identities like me was important.
The deep love, happiness, and familial care that I feel for my fellow community members is difficult to explain, but I’ll do my best.
- The first time I saw a glimpse into the Latinx life at Harvard was through Harvard’s admitted student weekend. I was assigned to a few Harvard Latinas as my hosts. They took me around Harvard’s campus, introduced me to other Latinx students, and gave me an idea of what my life could be on campus.
- After I committed to Harvard, my hosts (seniors my first-year as a Harvard student) became my family and my home away from home. They taught me so much, and I learned so much from them. They taught me about my self-worth, about who I am and who I could become. They taught me to enjoy the little things, live for me, and the importance of self-care. They became my big siblings in the sense that they took care of me when I was down, they taught me how to write a paper, showed me the places on campus with free printing, introduced me to Insomnia Cookies, and made me believe in me because they believed in me. They showed me that failure is part of the journey of life, and being successful sometimes also means failing a few times. Basically, they helped me grow, and they’ll always hold a place in my heart.
- At the same time, I slowly became involved with groups in the Latinx Community. I found myself on the board of Fuerza Latina, the pan-latinx cultural organization, where I worked with amazing individuals to create a home and community within the Latinx community as a whole. I also found myself becoming empowered by the work done by Latinas Unidas, a club for women identifying Latinx people and those who care about Latina issues. They have a conference every year known as LEAD (Latina Empowerment And Development). There’s been only a handful of experiences that have made me feel powerful in the sense that I can do and become anything, but this conference showed and inspired me as a Latina on Harvard’s campus to challenge expectations and command attention with my voice. Being able to share in this with my friends was amazing!
- I also met so many of my close friends from the community through Presencia Latina, an annual Latinx showcase featuring all the talent in the community from Mariachi Veritas (Harvard’s Mariachi group) to Candela (Latin Dance group) to slam poetry, class dance routines and more! I was part of the Freshman Dance Crew, and we even met Alfonso Herrera from Rebelde!!
In all, my first year on campus was definitely filled with a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, tight turns, steep slopes and sometimes inversions, but through it all, I had a group of amazing seniors who had my back, a group of Latinas that taught me the true definition of what it means to be empowered, and a group of friends that pushed me to dance even when it felt like I couldn’t dance.
Stay tuned for next week to read more about my sophomore journey at Harvard alongside my Harvard family– La comunidad latinx.
About the author
Hey Everyone! My name is Bianca Rodriguez. I am a rising junior living in Leverett House. I am studying History and Literature with a focus on Ethnic Studies. I come from the magical Rio Grande... View full profile