What it means to be a Casista at UC Davis

Welcome to the family

Temporarily located in the University House Annex, the Chicano/a Latino/a Retention Program is designed to be a resource where students can find the guidance and support they need in order to graduate.

One of the projects under this division is a living learning community for freshman that identify with the Chicano/a Latino/a community- Casa Cuauhtémoc.

This community is designed to create an environment for the students to have a sense of belonging; a home away from home.


Cirilo Cortez, Director of Strategic Chicana/o and Latina/o Retention Initiatives is one of the many staff that work with students one on one helping them achieve their goals.


On October 4th 2016, UC Davis students, alumni, and faculty came together to celebrate the new building where the living learning community “Casa Cuauhtémoc” now stands, as well as the 29 years of legacy.

Created to be a support system for first year Chicano/Chicana students, it has proven to be much more than that.

From previously being in Rienda Hall, Casa Cuauhtémoc is now in Thompson Hall. The new hall where the living community was moved to is a much larger facility allowing the number of Casistas to double over the past year. From Student Housing, to the Student Recruitment and Retention Center , faculty from various departments are putting great effort into further developing this great support system for the students.

“Casa Cuauhtémoc in one word; Family,” stated Samuel Blanco III after speaking at the event and telling the great memories he has from being one of the first Casa members. Working with Upward Bound, he is one of the many staff that are there for the students that helps them to achieve their main goal – graduate.


Working along side Cirilo, Dr. Lina Mendez said: “UC Davis accepted you, we’re going to make sure we graduate you.”

Staff make it known to students that they are not alone and that by working together, anything is possible.

Casa Alumni, 21 year old Chemical Engineering major Sergio Garcia is living proof that Casa Cuauhtémoc greatly impacts the college experience of Chicano/a Latino/a students.

“It really helped me to like connect with my roots and really be prideful of being a Chicano at  Davis. Every time someone asks where I lived my freshman year, I always say Casa with pride.”


“This celebration reassured me of my decision to request being part of Casa. I feel supported by the staff and the residents of Casa. Not only that but I feel a sense of belonging and that the people that are part of Casa can really be my second family. I am ecstatic and proud to be a Casista,” stated 18 year old Karen Denisse Lopez Human Development major after attending the event.

Without a doubt, this living learning community has, and will continue to reach out and make sure that a sense of community is built as well as provide students with the resources necessary for them to get on the right path towards graduation. Together, anything is possible.

“Once a Casista, always a Casista.”


UC Davis