La Raza hopes to help immigrants


Ivan Becerril Gutierrez

La Raza Unida sold conches to raise funds for the International Institute of Wisconsin.

Ivan Becerril Gutierrez, Design Director

As the holiday season approaches, students from the club La Raza decided to host a fund-raising event in the last couple of weeks before the end of the fall semester.  

La Raza Unida is a Madison College club that focuses on the involvement of students of Hispanic background in the community. The purpose of their fund-raiser was to donate to the International Institute of Wisconsin, a non-profit organization that helps with immigration and refugee services. 

“This was an organization that club members chose and decided to donate to,” said Pedro A. Zepeda Samano, President of La Raza Unida. 

Outside the Truax Student Life Office, students played music and sold Mexican sweet bread and beverages. The club sold conchas and champurrado.  

Conchas are sweet Mexican bread named after seashell, conchas in Spanish, due to their visual resemblance to a seashell. Champurrado is a Mexican hot beverage, that shares a resemblance to hot chocolate.  

Members of La Raza prepared for this fund-raiser event with weeks of planning after the success of the Day of the Dead event last month. Students worked to create a menu and posters. They also worked along with local businesses to serve the champurrado and conchas. 

“Last month, we started the year with our first fundraiser. Working alongside Madison College club, United Common Ground. We sold conchas and sugar skulls on Día de Los Muertos, Nov. 1 and 2, intending to gain more funds for our club,” Zepeda Samano said.  

“We chose conchas thinking about the weather, the holidays and the time when the Truax campus is most busy. For November we sold 50 conchas.” 

The conchas were donated to the group from Los Atlantes Mexican Restaurant & Bakery, located at 5706 Raymond Road. 

“The fundraiser was a success, having the 50 conchas sell out in an hour and a half. So, we decided to double the amount and add a drink this month,” Zepeda Samano said.  

The conchas again were provided by Los Atlantes, while three gallons of champurrado were provided by Pan & Pan, 3559 E. Washington Ave. 

While selling conchas and champurrado, the club members filled the hall with their music. They played anything from Mana to Daddy Yankee, from Latin pop to reggaeton. Students and staff danced as they enjoyed a cup of champurrado.  

The club is considering holding another fund-raiser before the end of the semester. They’re also planning other activities for the rest of the school year. Sometime in February, they hope to bring in Edin Alex Enamorado, an activist from California whose focus is street vendors.