El Centro Chicano y Latino

Students in front of El Centro Chicano y Latino

"El Centro has life—changing and growing with each generation of students. Its life reflects our lives, serving a very important cultural, intellectual and social center for our community." - James M. Montoya '75, former vice provost for student affairs.


El Centro Chicano y Latino offers a welcoming and safe community for all students. It serves as the hub for the diverse Chicano/Latino undergraduate and graduate student community. Located in the Old Union Nitery, the center provides a variety of academic, cultural, social, leadership development, and mental health and wellness programs. These programs include the weekly Cafecito hour where students engage in conversation while enjoying home-made chocolate, pan dulce and coffee, the El Dia de los Muertos Celebration, Student and Alumni Professional Development Networking Dinner, César Chávez Commemorative Celebration, and the Annual Community Awards Dinner. The center also serves as an important link to faculty, staff, and alumni.


As a vibrant student center, El Centro Chicano y Latino works to support students academically, personally, socially and culturally. We focus on creating mature, aware and socially responsible individuals who advocate and dialogue for equity and social justice. 

Within the Chicano and Latino community there is great diversity of backgrounds, aspirations and sociopolitical views that adds to the richness of our collective experience.  El Centro’s programs provide Stanford students the opportunity to explore Chicano and Latino culture, history and traditions, and to use that understanding to work with other ethnic communities in the United States and around the world.

Frosh Scholars Program

In collaboration with Undergraduate Advising and Research (UAR), El Centro offers the Frosh Scholars Program, which introduces freshmen to crucial campus resources and supportive mentors. This is a fall and winter quarter program that helps freshmen make a successful transition from high school to college by matching them with Stanford graduate student mentors and by offering workshops on essential life skills such as time-management, mindfulness techniques, financial literary and public speaking. By meeting with their mentors and attending the workshops, Frosh Scholars will learn how to navigate a mentor/mentee relationship, access campus resources and cultivate new academic and life skills by the end of the winter quarter. Many of our frosh students are the first in their family to attend college and thus they face unique challenges in making the transition to Stanford. For that reason, we have designed a program that ultimately aims to empower freshmen who are Latino or from other diverse backgrounds to be more Reflective, Resourceful and Resilient so that they can successfully bounce back from the mistakes and failures that are part of any educational journey. These three Rs serve as our program’s motto and they also remind students that the key to being a successful student at Stanford is to enjoy the entire learning process instead of solely focusing on achievement.

What Frosh Scholars have said about the program

“Getting to know [my mentor] and getting his advice on various topics really helped crystallize the Frosh Scholars lessons for me while allowing me the opportunity to know someone who has travelled the undergraduate path and knows its ins and outs.”

“Every Stanford student comes in as a high-achieving high school student. The Frosh Scholars program transformed me into a high achieving college student.”

“If there’s one thing I learned from the workshops that will leave an everlasting imprint on me is that although you may not be the smartest or the best, you can be the best you that you can be and that there are people and resources out there who want to help you be that person. You just have to get out there and see for yourself.”

More information about Frosh Scholars Program

More information about El Centro