Group brings culture, connections

La Raza Student Union provides safe space for Latinos

By Karla Juarez, Advocate Staff


The La Raza Student Union (LRSU) focuses on bringing culture to the Contra Costa College community by providing volunteer opportunities and a support system to its members.

Throughout the semester, the LRSU’s members plan a variety of events to help their community, as well as events to bring the group closer, as if they are family, by learning more about their culture.

CCC also offers La Raza studies to give the students a chance to study in-depth about the Latinos and Chicanos in America.

“Taking La Raza studies opened a new world, more opportunities and set of knowledge about my culture,” club President Ricardo Sanchez said.

Sanchez said LRSU helps students to feel comfortable with their culture. Not only do they learn where they come from, but also they practice and celebrate events.

Every Wednesday, La Raza members meet in General Education building, room 310 at 3:30 in order to talk about their events.

LRSU is made up of 16 members who come together at the beginning of their meeting and introduce themselves to those who just joined and share something about their day.

On March 29, during a club meeting, they discussed their next event.

For Cinco de Mayo, (In this date the first victory of Mexican army against French is commemorated and it is called the Battle of Puebla) they are planning a student panel, karaoke night and workshops, Sanchez said.

“We are planning a fundraiser to get lawyers in order to help undocumented students to get their DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) done,” he

The club members and their adviser La Raza studies professor Agustin Palacios thought about having a marathon to raise funds to pay the group of lawyers to come to campus.

But the marathon was canceled because the city of San Pablo did not give them permission, Sanchez said.

He said, last semester, the LRSU brought a legal team for free, so they are going to try to contact them again.

The goal is to provide financial help for parents of undocumented students since they have to pay the lawyer and the application fee as well, Sanchez said.

There will be two workshops on May 12 and 13, so if some people can’t attend one, they can come to the other one, Sanchez said.

La Raza club plans to host a student panel on May 5 in CCC.

La Raza members are contacting six students from high school and who have transferred to a four-year university.

“They can share their experiences in their campus and how they relate their education to the community,” Sanchez said.

After the student panel, there will be a Karaoke night and food from their culture such as Tamales and Pupusas.

Club Vice President Cesar Martinez said, “(The LRSU) has helped me to be open minded and to meet new people. We are like a family.”

“La Raza studies also has helped me to know more about my culture and where we came from,” he said.

Martinez said this semester is his first in the club and he had the chance to be the vice president of the club.

He said being part of the group is like being part of a family who supports each other and bond through different outings, like camping.

LRSU member Nestor Guzman said, “I am in my third semester in the club and I found another family.”

Guzman said being part of La Raza Union has inspired him to support his community.

“I feel really comfortable in the club because all the members have one thing in common. We belong the same culture,” he said.