NHI merges with pilot club Latinos Juntos

Student leaders of both clubs join forces to run Latinos Juntos amidst merger, remote leaning


Collette Doyle, Reporter

The 13-year LT chapter of NHI has merged its existing members and mission with pilot club Latinos Juntos. Attributed to the convenience of single leadership amidst the difficulties of remote learning, this merger will remain in effect until the Stipend Committee has an opportunity to review Latinos Juntos at the end of its pilot period, Director of Student Activities Peter Geddeis said.

Latino Juntos was approved for pilot status at the 2020 February Stipend Committee meeting, Geddeis said. It only held four meetings prior to the transition to remote learning. 

“We focus on social justice, we volunteer, we explore the Latino culture and create an inclusive environment for everyone,” co-president and founder of Latinos Juntos Janessa Mosqueda ‘21 said. 

Originally sponsored by former LT staff member Jorge Sanchez, Latinos Juntos is an outlet for Latino students at LT to learn more about their culture and find ways to serve in the community. It’s a club created by LT students for LT students. Contrastingly, NHI was a more academically driven club focused on formal debates and discussions, as well as educational pathways for Latino students at LT, Sanchez said.

“I’ll admit, we were kind of surprised that this merger wasn’t something that had been explained to us before it was officially announced,” co-president of NHI, Angelica Borrego ‘22 said. “There are so many other volunteer clubs at LT that cater essentially to the majority of white students that are allowed to peacefully coexist; however, the two only brown led groups were forced to merge.”

The decision to combine both NHI and Latinos Juntos as a single organization under sponsor Ibet Herrera’s leadership was solely based on their shared goals and the situation with the current instructional environment, Geddeis said. 

“In fact, I see this as broadening the reach of the two groups, at least for this year,” Geddeis said. “It will bring together two previously distinct groups of students to share their ideas for how they can have an impact on the LT community.”

Despite the difficult transition, leaders from both clubs have combined as one united front. Borrego and co-president of NHI Jessica Quintero ‘21 will join Mosqueda and her team to run Latinos Juntos. Incorporating discussion aspects of NHI, volunteer socratic seminars will be held in addition to presentations that educate members on new cultures

Given the consequences of COVID-19, the volunteering aspect of the club will look a bit different than volunteering at soup kitchens and organizing clothing drives. However, Latinos Juntos hopes to continue to provide a North Campus room as a “care space”  for lower-income students. Students can go to the “care space” to pick up materials such as toiletries, school supplies and clothing, Mosqueda said. 

“At the end of the day, our goal is to just make opportunities for Latinos,” said Quintero. “To make them feel comfortable in the LT environment, to feel like they can express themselves and to be surrounded by their culture. I feel like that’s our uniting bond.”

Latinos Juntos meets every Thursday at 3:30pm on Zoom.