Latin American Program: Cultures Collective

Está más lejos Río de Río que tú a mí.

¿ cómo es eso?

¿Cómo es que acabando de llegar ya te hayas ido

y teniéndote cerca de mí toda la vida

no te he nunca tenido nunca?


¿Cómo es que mirándote en el espejo

has desaparecido del cuarto

y después de tanta presencia

solo tenemos la ausencia?

-- Homero Aridjis


(English translation)

It is farther from Rio to Rio than you to me.

How is that?

How is it you’ve just arrived and you’ve already left

and having you near me all life long,

I’ve never had a grasp on you?


And how is it, watching you in the mirror,

you disappear from the room

and after so much presence

we grasp the absence, only?


In what ways do place and identity inform each other, inform ourselves, and highlight all of the spaces in between? LARP – Latin American Residential Program – combines academic and social activities as modes to expose residents to different facets and aspects of Latin American and Latino cultures, seeking to continue to understand the roots of place and identity.

This program was established by students in 1985 with the goal of exploring and celebrating Latin American cultures. LARP fosters an appreciation for Latin American languages, politics, and forms of cultural expression; it also, most importantly, fosters a sense of community. Resident Advisors and Graduate Associates (RAGAs) serve as support for residents to continue to cultivate interactions, experiences, and discoveries. Quintessential programming, like Domingo Social and Café con Leche Conversations, pairs with dynamic and topical discussions, such as a private dinner with the Mexican Consul and viewings of documentaries about Latin America. As part of the Harnwell Cultures Collective, residents will showcase the integrated experience and interconnectedness of cultural commonality in scholarly and creative presentations at the annual Harnwell Symposium. This program is well-suited for the student who takes initiative, is dedicated to the mission of the Cultures Collective, and is seeking intellectual and personal growth.

Program Goals: The Program invites residents to expand their understanding of other cultures and foster an appreciation for living in an intercultural community. At the conclusion of the academic year, residents will have developed their critical thinking skills, taken on leadership roles, and engaged with these topics through an interdisciplinary model.

Participant Expectations: The Program RAGAs will review details and activities at the beginning of the academic year, where residents will receive their LARP Compact. Residents will be expected to participate in the following, as decided by the RAGAs:

  • 1 major event per month
  • 1 minor event per month
  • Implement 1 minor floor event as determined by the RAGAs
  • Host 1 House program per semester

To apply:

If you are applying to a Program Community, determine if you would like to request a roommate, but keep in mind that your roommate must also be accepted to the Program Community.


Students of any gender can be roommates if they all elect to be in Gender Neutral Housing.


Log on to MyHomeAtPenn between January 24, 9:00 a.m., and January 28, 1:00 p.m., to submit your application.

For more detailed information on the Program Community application and process please visit this page on the Residential Services website or plan to attend our Information Session on Tuesday, January 16 at 9:00 PM in McClelland South Lounge. Please note that all applicants are required to respond to the following questions in an essay using a maximum of 500 words:

        Why are you interested in joining this Program Community?

        What would your involvement bring to this program’s overall experience?

        How have you participated in your current House community?

Applications will be reviewed by Harnwell Senior Staff and RAGAs affiliated with the Harnwell Cultures Collective. Interested students can apply to multiple tracks in the Collective, so it is highly encouraged that the essays reflect the uniqueness of each program in order to be seriously considered. If needed, Harnwell Senior Staff and RAGAs reserve the right to reach out to applicants clarifying room requests and additional concerns.

Contact:, please include "LARP" in the subject header.