Somos Purdue. We are Purdue.
The Purdue University Latino Cultural Center creates an inclusive environment for the entire campus community, fostering meaningful dialogue and cultural understanding of Latinx communities. We support Latinx faculty and staff while we recruit, retain and empower Latinx students to succeed, giving them a sense of belonging until graduation and beyond.
About the Latino Cultural Center (LCC)
The Latino Cultural Center, a department within the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, was established in 2003 after the Latino Student Union (LSU), with the support of the Latino Faculty and Staff (LaFaSa), demanded a physical space on campus dedicated to Latino cultures. The LCC has been recognized as a national model for other campus Latino offices and centers. The vibrant space intentionally represents Latinx cultures, identities, histories and accomplishments and is a place to gather, learn, share and celebrate Latinx cultures. Moreover, the LCC is a gathering place for Purdue's Latinx communities, a hub for Purdue's 17 Latinx-based student organizations, and the host for many cultural activities, scholarly lectures, and celebrations. The LCC serves as an educational and cultural foundation for all students, faculty and staff members. For many, the LCC is a home away from home and a place to find familia. ¡Todos son Bienvenidos! Todos são bem-vindos! All are welcome!
History of the LCC
In 2002, a group of students, faculty and staff gathered to discuss the establishment of a center at Purdue University dedicated to Latino cultures. The Black Cultural Center's historical presence on campus paved the way for these efforts. The vision included a physical location, a home away from home for students, faculty, staff and alumni. The LCC would also provide campus-wide programming and a space for scholarly and professional pursuits. LaFaSa and the newly formed LSU sent the Provost a proposal for Purdue University to establish a Latino Cultural Center. With enormous support, Purdue University established the LCC on April 11, 2003 at South Campus Courts, Building B on Harrison Street. The Provost's leadership and dedication enabled the LCC to open with an administrative assistant, student staff, and faculty & staff volunteers. During this year, the development of an LCC identity moved quickly. "Todos Son Bienvenidos" (All Are Welcome) was quickly adopted as a motto to emphasize to the campus community that the LCC was not just for Latinos or for people who speak Spanish, but for the entire campus community.
For almost a year, the LCC successfully functioned without a director and during this period, Día de los muertos and Latino Heritage Month were established as part of the LCC's signature programming. Representative artwork was important to the LCC and Eileen Garcia (MFA '01) was commissioned to create what would become a focal point at the LCC, a mural titled "Latin Dance, Music, Art, and Rhythm", which was completed in the Spring of 2005.
In March 2004, Maricela Alvarado joined Purdue as the inaugural LCC director. Under her tenure, many organizations were institutionalized by the university. Although the Latino Faculty & Staff Association (LaFaSA) at Purdue had been unofficially functioning since 2002, it became an official organization with executive officers in 2005. The Purdue Alumni Association recognized the Purdue Latino Alumni Organization (PLAO) in fall of 2004.
In 2006, the LCC was moved to larger, more centralized location at 600 N. Russell Street, a 2,680 SF house. In May of 2017, the Latino Cultural Center moved to 426 Waldron Street, a 2,777 SF house renovated for the LCC.
In May of 2018, a group of graduate students, led by Val Schull and supported by the LCC staff, cultivated the LCC community garden in the new home. In April of 2019, the garden was named Jardín Semillas.