Our Mission

The mission of El Centro is to provide support for the Latinx community at CSU and Fort Collins. We do this by encouraging student engagement, academic success, cultural pride, empowerment, and volunteer/leadership opportunities. We strive to promote an inclusive environment that focuses on awareness and understanding of the Latinx experience.

Who are we?

El Centro is energetic, welcoming, and inclusive with students who are excited about Colorado State University. We have resources to support personal, social, cultural, and academic needs to empower students and promote personal growth. We offer a place for discovering heritage, traditions, cultural awareness, and a diverse educational experience.

Students can visit El Centro to relax, socialize, laugh, have dialogue, and build life-long memories. With dedication and motivation, we do all we can to assist students to be successful at Colorado State University. El Centro is a family, a “home away from home,” a place that provides a sense of belonging.

Brief History

1964 – 2009

In 1964 PROJECT GO was developed in an effort to incorporate the needs of all diverse students in an academic setting, specifically targeting students from ethnically diverse backgrounds and/or low income households. Its purpose was to identify and encourage economically disadvantaged students to continue their education beyond high school and to provide them with financial aid and academic support. In 1979 PROJECT GO became the Group Advocacy Program which comprised five offices: El Centro/Chicano Student Services, Black Student Services, Native American Student Services, Disables Student’s Programs, and Women’s Programs. Over the next few decades, the name changed from El Centro/Hispanic Student Services, El Centro Student Services, and finally El Centro in 2009.

2009 – Present

It was at this time that the Group Advocacy Program became known as the Student Diversity Programs and Services (SDPS) and all seven offices represented under this umbrella also had a name change to signify unity. No matter the name of our office, the purpose of El Centro has always been to welcome, encourage, support and promote the Latinx students within the University. We assist all students in all subject areas in developing the skills necessary to achieve academic success at CSU. The staff strives to provide individual assistance in an effort to improve students’ knowledge and study skills. As we continue to preserve our ethnicity, we create an atmosphere that is safe and fosters mutual respect and dignity.

In 2019, Dr Guadalupe Salazer, our long-time director, retired. Read Dr. Salazar’s letter to students here.

In 2021, Dora Frias took over the role of director. Read her welcome letter here.