Peer Liaisons

Ale Estrada (‘18 / ‘19)

Hello, Hola, Ola! I’m Ale and I have the privilege and pleasure of being the Head Peer Liaison for La Casa. I’m a senior in Ezra Stiles College majoring in psychology with a research focus on nonverbal behavior and communication and wellbeing. Originally from Lubbock, Texas, I come from a multicultural background, but my parents are originally from Mexico. I’ve worn many different hats at La Casa and have worked in a Social Gerontology and Public Health Lab, Alzheimer’s Disease Research, the Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis, the Admissions Office, and more! My favorite hobbies include napping, befriending all the dogs I see in the street, and finding new music. Catch me at self-care and mental health advocacy events, hanging out on Hillhouse, cooking at La Casa, and watching Parks & Rec. Although I’m known for my shady sense of humor and RBF, I’m always happy to chat and spill some tea! 

 

Juan “Juanjo” Valencia (‘19)

¡Q’hubo amigos! My name is Juan José Valencia Gonzalez, and I go by Juan or Juanjo; he/him/his pronouns, please. I was born in the beautiful city of Cali, Colombia! Most of my family still lives there, but I grew up in New Jersey, near Newark. I am a junior in Franklin college (previously in Branford) and I’m an Environmental Studies major, hoping to concentrate in biodiversity and conservation. In addition to being a La Casa PL, I was a Cultural Connections counselor this year, and I am also president of ¡Oye! Spoken Word, a multicultural spoken word poetry group affiliated with La Casa, which focuses on elevating the voices of marginalized people and especially people of color. In my personal life, I am a complete media junkie, and am always looking for new recommendations for books, movies, TV shows, and albums! Favorite genres are horror and sci-fi for movies; indie/alternative for music. I’m also low-key obsessed with brujería and other alternative spiritualities, so I’m into tarot card reading, astrology, meditation, etc. Other hobbies of mine include hiking, talking (leftist) politics, practicing joy and love as radical acts, and of course, chisme!

Jocelyn Dicent (‘20)

¡Hola! My name is Jocelyn, and I’m a sophomore in Pauli Murray majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Born and raised in Rockaway Beach, NYC, I am a daughter of Dominican immigrants. When I’m not busy trying to submit my p-sets on time, I’m a proud member and section leader in the Yale Precision Marching Band (YPMB). I am also a Cluster Tech for the Student Tech Collaborative (STC) and a former STARS I / STARS Summer Program participant. I am also a member of the Dominican Students Alliance (DSA). Feel free to reach out if you ever want to grab a meal or just hangout and chat!

Alejandro Comas-Short (‘19)
¡Hola mi gente!  My name is Alejandro and I am one of the many Ale’s of Yale.  I use he/him/his pronouns, and I am from Portland, Oregon, but my mom is from Puerto Rico and my dad is from Dallas, Texas.  I am a senior in Davenport College, and one of the many Ethnicity, Race and Migration majors at La Casa.  When I’m not being a PL or talking with friends in the Davenport dining hall, I am working on my Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellowship project about diasporic blackness and hip hop music, or ‘doing homework’ and listening to salsa music in one of the rooms in La Casa.  I am the co-president of Despierta Boricua, the Puerto Rican Student Association, and I am also in DSA, the Dominican Student Association, because I love Dominican food and my abuelo’s family is Dominican.  I also spend a fair amount of time at the Afam House, but outside of the cultural centers, you can find me working at the Davenport Buttery, or (badly) playing Dport IM’s.  I love soccer and basketball, and on Saturday’s you’ll see me feeling sad after Arsenal or the Portland Trailblazers inevitably disappoint me.  Other than sports, my hobbies include listening to all kinds of music from Princess Nokia to Kendrick and Hector Lavoe (how are those Spotify algorithms so good btw???), running, reading, hablando with friends, and of course Netflix.  Feel free to reach out if you ever want to hangout or just chat!
 

Brandon Lopez (‘21)

Hello! My name is Brandon Lopez Gomez. I go by any pronouns but prefer they/them/theirs. I was born and raised in Hawthorne, CA, which is part of the wonderful Los Angeles County. My mom was born in San Francisco to Mexican immigrants, and my dad was born in Guatemala. I am a sophomore in Saybrook College! My major is Psychology, and I am premed. I am also the Co-president of De Colores, a Latinx LGBTQ+ affinity group affiliated with La Casa and the Office of LGBTQ Resources. During my free time on campus, I enjoy reading, FaceTiming my family, listening to Beyoncé, running, meditating, cooking, eating bread, hanging out in the Saybrook dining hall, and practicing my French and Italian. I love talking about music, feelings, books, succulent plants, and literally anything else over coffee and/or food. Feel free and comfortable to reach out to talk or have a meal!

 

Deyri Garcia (‘20)

iSaludos! My name Deyri Garcia and I use she/her/hers pronouns. I am junior in Grace Hopper College from Phoenix, Arizona, and the eldest daughter of Mexican immigrants. I am double majoring in History of Science and History of Medicine and Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology. Besides spending time at La Casa, I also work in a Parkinson’s Disease lab at the Yale Medical School and volunteer as an interpeter at HAVEN clinic. As far as extracurriculars, I dance in Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Yale and am a member of MEChA, the social justice branch of La Casa, and LWAY (Latina Women at Yale). I am a previous participant in STARS Summer Research Program, and love talking anything biology. On my free time, I love exploring and driving to new places, doing mini-roadtrips, singing/dancing, and binge watching old shows. Find me at midnight either at the beach or trying to finish a p-set.

Eduardo Leal (‘21)

Oi, tudo bem?

My name is Eduardo, but I also go by Dudu. I use he/him/his pronouns, and I was born and raised in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. I’m a sophomore in Berkeley College, and my major is Chemical Engineering. I’m very involved with STEM opportunities on campus, and last summer I participated in STARS, a program aimed at introducing minority students to research on campus. I’m also co-president of Brazil Club at Yale, and our dinners are open for everyone who’s interested in Brazilian culture or the Portuguese language, so hit me up if you’d like to come! On a more artistic vibe, I’m a member of Redhot & Blue, Yale’s oldest all-gender a cappella group and premiere jazz ensemble. I love music, by the way! Beyoncé is my favorite artist, but I’m also a huge fan of Rihanna, Frank Ocean, and Ariana Grande. I absolutely can’t live without Netflix, and I procrastinate way too much watching series and queer movies. If you ever want to talk about any of these things or just hang out, I’m your guy!
 

Esther Reyes (‘21)

Hi! My name is Esther, and I am a sophomore in Ezra Stiles majoring in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration. I use she/her/hers pronouns and I am from Brooklyn, New York but my parents are both from Puebla, México. You will probably find me working in the Stiles Buttery or, when I am not in Stiles, practicing with the rest of the Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Yale dance team! I am also a Board Member of A Leg Even, an student-run organization that helps facilitate the college process for low-income, first-gen students. I also worked in the Stiles Buttery last year so I am always down to grab a late night snack and just chat! I am also the first-year liaison for MEChA de Yale, helping coordinate the MEChA Bulldog Days Events this past semester. In my down time, I enjoy listening to Brazilian Funk (a summer in Brazil makes you fall in love with funk), binge watching Bob’s Burgers, making popcorn in my suite (occasionally burning it), and hanging out with friends. Feel free to reach out if you ever want to talk or eat some great buttery food!

 

Marissa Rivera (‘21)

¿Que onda? My name is Marissa Rivera and am a sophomore in Berkeley College. My pronouns are she/her/hers and although I am still deciding on a major, it’ll most likely be Ethnicity, Race, and Migration with a concentration in Urban Studies. I was born in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, but have grown up majority of my life in Houston, Texas (H-town,hold it down). Asides from being a PL on campus, I dance with Ballet Folklórico, and like to be involved with the first gen, low-income community as well as student activism. On my free time, I spend too much time on Twitter, hang out with friends, wander through the city, so hit me up if you want ever want to get out of the bubble! 

Veronica Sosa (‘21)

My name is Veronica Sosa (she/her/hers), and I am a sophomore in Berkeley College! I was born and raised in Sherman, TX, a little town about an hour north of Dallas. I am a daughter of two Mexican immigrants, and most of my life has been navigating the balance of being and living in multiple cultures. At Yale, I am still deciding what exactly I’m going to major in, but it’ll hopefully be some combination of Spanish, Economics, Statistics, and/or Political Science (it’s a lot, I know). Long term, my goal is to, in some shape or form, help empower women and girls of color and/or from low-income communities. When I’m not taking one of my power naps, you can also find me working the Berkeley buttery, dancing with Ballet Folklorico, or helping set up events for first-gen/low-income students. On top of all that, I’m also super into social activism and politics, driving and exploring New Haven, and making and sharing Spotify playlists! I also love corny jokes, talking about the news, and getting to know people! If you’re into any of this or just want/need to hang out, let me know! Feel free to reach out at any time :)

Yesenia Chavez (‘20)

¡Hola! My name is Yesenia, and I’m a junior in Branford College majoring in Neuroscience. I use she/her/hers pronouns and I’m a daughter of Mexican immigrants (que lindo es Chihuahua). Born and raised in Northern Colorado with my 3 other siblings, we learned to love hiking up the beautiful 14ers that surround us and enjoying our superior sunsets. I also love painting and Pinteresting in my free time and working at the Branford buttery, making bomb chicken grilled cheese with avocado and hot sauce. I work at a Neuro/Psych lab on social communication, am involved with YCC Events, and am one of the Co-Events Directors for Mind Matters: a mental health awareness group. You can generally find me in the BR dining hall “doing work”, listening to Romeo Santos or facetiming my family just so I can see my dog (he’s a mini poodle- can you blame me?). I love visiting coffee shops every weekend so feel free to reach out and join me sometime!

 

Diana Saavedra (‘20)

A little bit about myself: my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a junior in Trumbull College. I am an Ethnicity, Race and Migration major. I was born in Queens, New York but I have lived in the Bronx for the past 15 years. I am an Ethnicity, Race and Migration major and I am a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. My research for Mellon Mays focuses on Mexican migration and impact in New York City across recent decades (my family being part of this wave of migration from Puebla). On campus, I am also a Peer Liaison for La Casa Cultural and a Tour Guide for Yale Undergraduate Admissions. I am in Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Yale, which is a traditional Mexican dance group and is where I have found my family and best friends. This upcoming year I will also be working a Dwight Hall Urban Fellow. In the future I hope to perhaps go to grad school or law school (I am currently very undecided).  I love reading, watching Jane the Virgin and getting Yale to pay for my trips around the world!