History of OLA

Origins

Students that graduated from Notre Dame in the year 2005 began drafting the origins of what we know today as the Organization of Latin America OLA.  The purpose was to have a club on campus that represented international Latin American students on campus because until then, there was none.
This group of students began drafting a constitution for the club, creating a logo and image for OLA, as a team and under the guidance of Holly Rivers.  This is how Jose Ricardo Avila, among others, drafted the four page constitution of OLA, which can be accessed through the website.  Pamela Avila (Notre Dame 06) designed, Guarito, the club’s logo.

Mission and Vision

OLA’s Mission:
 We unite all who are interested in Latin America by serving as a focal point where interests, concerns, and personal experience can be shared to promote further understanding of the Latin American culture.

Who we are:
Organización Latino Americana is an organization that celebrates the Latin American culture at the University of Notre Dame. We are a common ground for students, faculty and alumni that share a deep interest and/or concern for Latin America. We are a community that shares one true love for the Latin American traditions, way of life, heritage and its people.

Vision:
To become a link between the Latin American community at Notre Dame, those interested in the Latin American culture at Notre Dame and the Latin American alumni as to create long term support system that transcends generations.

What we do:
We serve as liaison between the Latin American community and the Notre Dame community.  We promote awareness and understanding of what the Latin American culture is all about.

Core Ideology:
OLA is dedicated to promoting the Latin American culture at Notre Dame by both promoting unity within this community, but also emphasizing the diversity of nations, and people that make Latin America.

Core Values:
-Cause a positive impact on others.
-Do the right thing.
-Give the best you can.

Goals and Projections

How do we do this?
We blend in the Latin American traditions into the Notre Dame lifestyle through activities in the academic, social, arts, religious and service spheres.

Academics
We bring to campus speakers that are interested in sharing their knowledge, personal experience and deep concern for Latin America. We invite undergraduates, graduates, and faculty to learn more of Latin America through the eyes of a true expert in a subject.

Social
We organize social gatherings where salsa and reggaetón become the greatest attraction. We promote those interested in Latin music and dancing to join us in a fun evening.

Arts
We organize activities where the purpose is to present the Latin American culture through an artistic medium: art exhibit, photographs or a fashion show.

Religious
We promote prayer in Spanish by inviting the Notre Dame community to join us in Spanish Mass in St. Edwards Hall and by organizing rosary prayers in Spanish.

Service
We come in close contact with the Hispanic community in South Bend by volunteering at El Campito Day Care Center where most children come from families that have Spanish as their first language. Our work there oscillates from playing with the children and helping them with homework and reading, to repairing the Day Care Center, and providing managerial work.
We also provide funds directly to organizations in Latin American countries to help out with the progress of education.