New Beginnings – The El Centro Ribbon Cutting

As a part of Hispanic Serving Institute week at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), dozens of students and faculty gathered to witness the ribbon cutting of a new resource on campus: El Centro. 

There were many people participating at the event, with at least 60 to 80 individuals present. Organizers awaited students and faculty to celebrate this new space for Chicanx/Latinx student success.  

“This is our first event in this space. We’ve been holding pop-up events since last spring and the average number of students has been 80 to 100. Last week we had La Entrada, so we feel glad to hold this space,” said Kenny Garcia, a co-coordinator at El Centro. 

The event began with a speech and a large pair of scissors; the speech caused cheers, tears and laughter, leading up to the moment when the ribbon was cut.

Inside El Centro, popular Mexican antojitos (snacks) such as jalapeno popper and cilantro street corn dips were provided. It would not have been a celebration without some mojitos, so, there were also mojito mocktails available to sip on. Additionally, students were welcomed to take home El Centro t-shirts, keychains and pins. 

“I think the event is well done. The food and refreshments are nice [and] I feel like it’s very inclusive. It gets people very engaged,” said fourth-year Alex Hernandez.

El Centro has the goal to serve students and faculty of Chicanx, Latinx and other marginalized identities, in addition to advancing diversity and empowerment on campus.

“I think [El Centro is] cultural awareness, and a home away from home,” said Betsi Solis, a co-coordinator at El Centro. “[Community] is usually what we’re looking for as we go to college; we’re trying to build our own home, get our own community, find our friends that become our family, and I think El Centro’s really gonna offer that.”

If you are searching for social, emotional, educational or professional development, El Centro can be found in room 125 of building 12.

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