Published: Aug. 3, 2017 By

Aquetza summer programMore than 40 high school students with strong ties to Colorado's Latino/Chicano communities came from across the state to participate in this summer's free, residential Aquetza summer program at CU Boulder.

Youth participants engaged in a unique, trans-disciplinary educational and community leadership experience that focused on learning Latino/Chicano history, discussing social and economic issues, and developing bonds and friendships with program leaders and other youth participants. Throughout the week, the youth also envisioned themselves as university students and came to understand themselves as scholars - holders and seekers of knowledge.

"Aquetza seeks to thoughtfully engage students in examining and exploring the intersections and connections across the disciplines of history, literature, health and environmental science, as well as offering students an opportunity to explore how to leverage their community assets and academic skills to become positive, influential, and inclusive civic leaders in their home communities and schools," explains Magnolia Landa-Posas, CU Boulder 2017 alumna and Aquetza leader.

"Our hope is for students to see the world as it is, and imagine the world as it could be," she states.

"This program has helped me a lot in terms of discovering my own identity as a proud Mexican woman," explained Nancy Palacios during a televised interview with Telemundo Denver. Nancy is a two-time Aquetza participant and a current student at East High School in Denver, CO. "It's also taught me a lot about my roots and about who we are as a people," she said.

To learn more about Aquetza visit their website at Aquetza's Youth Education, Leadership, and Community Empowerment Program at CU Boulder is hosted by UMAS y MEXA de CU Boulder, and is a program of CU Engage. View more photos from this summer's program on CU Engage's Flickr site.