to get onboard with reading: La Guagua (The Bus). An on-campus reading group that
explores Latino literature, La Guagua was founded a year ago by Ramirez, a part-time
socialize, network and voice their opinions," explained Ramirez. At the same time, he wanted
students to expand their own intellectual horizons and curiosity by learning from others.
tradition of Spanish-language literature and culture. The reading group has members from
Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Iraq, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico and Haiti.
Readings and discussions are held in Spanish.
discuss Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, and other authors.
Ramirez finds that after he invites students, they extend the invitation to others. Gerald Jansen
Ramon remembers meeting Ramirez in an MCC hallway and being asked, "If there was a reading
group, would you participate? My answer was, `Absolutely!' " By reading and discussing Latino
literature, Ramon feels his communication skills have improved.
meet different people who have the same educational objectives as I do."
learn and engage in informal spaces outside of the classroom. "La Guagua has a direct impact
on student retention and persistence rates, reducing the achievement gap among Latino, first-
generation college students," he said.
before in my life: reading."
criminal justice from UMass Lowell.
students are going through," he said. "My
parents didn't go to college, but I had an older
brother who did, so I leaned on him.
the U.S., and they don't always speak much
English. Often times, the most these parents
can do is to say to their kids, `It's up to you.'
But that's a lot for an 18-year-old to handle.
working part-time jobs to help their families,
many have daycare responsibilities at home
I did. Then they have to take their SATs and
CPTs, and figure out all those deadlines,"
Director of Diversity Outreach & Recruitment,
at email@example.com or 978-656-3380