Therefore, let’s give a warm welcome to IE Clubs’ newest addition: the IE Latino Club Segovia Chapter.
The founders of this club are Leticia Gomez from Puerto Rico and Valeria Herrera, a Venezuelan raised in Miami – pictured below. Both are first-year BBA students at the Segovia Campus.
As the Latino Club in Segovia continues to grow, it provides not only representation – but a platform for the Latino community that makes up 38% of the student body.
I spoke to the founders to get an insider’s look into the process of starting a new club at IE.
What inspired you to start a club?
Leticia – It was the first day, [and] we were walking around the club fair. I wanted to join a cultural club – I saw the Africa Club and Asia Club – and so, I looked for the Latino’s Club. I remember in Puerto Rico, they always told us that universities had clubs and associations for Latino and Puerto Rican students, so that was something I always aspired to do: to have a club where I can identify as a Latina. So when I didn’t see one at the fair – I knew I had to do it.
Valeria – So what made me and Leti (Leticia) start the Latino Club was basically that we were walking around the club fair and we saw that there were all these different clubs and we just thought that it would be obvious for the university to have a Latino Club. We did like 4 laps around the fair and when we didn’t find it, there was no hesitation for Leti to say “we have to do this!”
What was the process of starting the Latino Club at IE?
Leticia – It was easy for students, which I found impressive because compared to my high school things like this could take a long time. They make it so easy and I loved it. We sent an email to Campus Life stating our purpose and mission. They then sent us a survey to know our name, and year, asking why we want to open a club and plans/activities for the club. Then we needed 50 signatures of people who would potentially be interested and then we sent it. It took around a week. They were very accommodating.
Valeria – Since it’s a club at a university, it has to be taken seriously – it’s not something you can do from one day to another. There was a whole process, that being said, the university does listen to your ideas and help you a lot with the process itself – like logo designs, etc. It was very nice to know the university supported the club.
What is the overall mission of the club?
Valeria – For Latinos to feel at home. Being in Spain is far from home and everybody is going through it. Through the Latino Club, everyone has a piece of home – whether it be music, people, dancing, or even drinks! The purpose was to make people feel at home in their Latin American country – but everybody, including non-Latinos, is welcome!
Leticia – To gather all the Latinos and provide a space where they can feel at home and comfortable. When you are in such an international environment, you can sometimes feel lost – so it’s important to have a sense of home and keep in touch with your roots.
“to provide a place where Latinos can get together to know more about each other as well as each other’s cultures. Moreover, our objective is to get together at least twice a month to share our stories and have a reminder of our homes.”– Leticia Gomez, The Latino Club’s official objective sent to Campus Life
The founders of Segovia’s Latino Club embody IE’s mission of innovation and entrepreneurship with their ambitious plans for the future.
What has the club achieved during this academic year’s 1st Semester? What is in store for the 2nd Semester?
Leticia – The club has done a total of two activities this semester, both at the karaoke bar Drillos, in Segovia. At the first one, our opening event, we were just starting and it was a success with around 58 [attendees.] Many people, even non-Latinos, congratulated us and joined. Our event, a Christmas event, was spectacular – more than 100 people joined and the DJ stayed until 5 am.
Valeria – For the first semester, we were approved a bit later – around October. We have done two events so far […] both were amazing, and we got a lot of help from friends – special shoutout to Manuela, Sofia, and Christina.
Leticia – For the second semester – we have in store to produce our merch – our hoodies with a little phrase that identifies us as Latinos. We also want to make bigger events that include more people outside the Latino community and welcome them into the environment. We are thinking of expanding these parties to Irish or Kotaho (other clubs/bars located in Segovia). We also want to do non-party activities where people can meet and talk – a moment people can share food or music from their countries.
What was the most difficult part of starting an IE club?
Leticia – It’s being continuously motivated. Motivation is key in creating a club, you have got to keep your motivation throughout the process. It can be difficult, but it is manageable because you have a good time, and it is a great learning experience – definitely teaching me a lot for the future.
The Latino Club in Segovia opens its doors to not only Latin students but also to the entire IE community – creating a space to share music, dances, and food.
Make sure to keep up with announcements to not miss any fun upcoming events!