The Club at South Windsor High School That Has Become an Outlet for Latinos

The Club at South Windsor High School That Has Become an Outlet for Latinos

Samantha Deras

Among all the amazing clubs here at South Windsor High School, United For Colombia (UFCO) definitely stands out. This small club at the high school has only been active for three years, yet they have surely accomplished a lot so far.

 

Last year their main objective was to raise money in an effort to sponsor children in Colombia and provide them with basic necessities, toys, transportation for school, and build a relationship with them by writing to them. This year, however, their goal is a little different. During the 2020-2021 school year, UFCO is striving to elevate the voices of the Latinx community in South Windsor and expose other students to their stories, making sure their voices are heard. 

 

“It helps people and it’s about other people, not just yourself,” junior Emma Lamica said when asked about her favorite aspect of the club. 

 

The club was started in 2018 by Ana Norato, a junior here at South Windsor High School, and her cousin Valeria Estrada, who has since graduated. “When we started this club we just got some friends to join, but I was proud of what we accomplished, considering how much they have on their plates. It’s amazing to me,” Norato said. “A lot of change needs to happen. I was motivated during quarantine to become more confident in my voice and help others.”

 

Norato hopes to give the small Latino community at the high school an outlet to have their voices heard. “I hope that with this club we create a space where they feel comfortable enough to show the world through their eyes. I really want other people that are not a part of this community to witness our struggles.”

 

The club has ten members this year, all of whom hope to contribute to the club in their own ways. “I hope I can help someone, whether it’s directly or behind the scenes,” junior and member Abbie Mathew said. 

 

Junior Ciara Styles recounts an experience she had with UFCO last year, “I went to the Strawberry Fest last time they had it and my friend Ana was there with her club so I walked down and went to say hello,” she shared. “The environment was great and everyone was really friendly and they seemed very happy to be there.”

 

Despite this unusual year, UFCO is conducting all of their meetings and services virtually, in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep all members safe. They hope to be able to complete all their goals and objectives, no matter the circumstances this year.

 

”There is a lot of racism in the US and in order to change that we have to start by hearing everyone’s stories and empathize with those people,” Norato said.