Crossing Cultures club takes on Venezuela

Richland’s Crossing Cultures club is hosting a donation drive to bring much-needed supplies to the citizens of Venezuela. The club will host a donation table April 2-3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in El Paso Hall.

The escalating political crisis in the South American country has consumed news and media sources for weeks due to deteriorating living standards and an overwhelmed infrastructure.

“We as a group want to take responsibility with a lot of other people to contribute to the [Venezuelan] community,” said Cody Mahan, one of the lead advisers of Crossing Cultures.

The idea of the relief effort came from Richland student and Crossing Cultures member, Bárbara Gandica. She is a Venezuelan native who began studying at Richland last fall. She found a welcoming environment with the Crossing Culture club and the Richland community.

“I came from Venezuela recently so I was new here and didn’t know anybody,” Gandica said. “When I joined Crossing Cultures, I made new friends and felt safe.”

It was during one of the club’s discussion sessions about selflessness that gave Gandica the courage to initiate the proposal.

With the support of Mahan, other club advisors, student members and Gandica’s passion to help her homeland, the idea is to give students the opportunity to donate basic goods, from canned foods to toiletries, that are difficult to obtain in Venezuela.

“We like to thank the people who took the time to understand the situation in Venezuela,” Arianne Mendoza, a Richland student and member of the Crossing Cultures club. “We also like to thank you for helping us with even the smallest contributions.”

Crossing Cultures is a club at Richland that focuses on bridging the diverse cultural groups that attend Richland with the goal of initiating dialogue and creating a better college experience.

The club may not have the backing of the nation’s federal reserve or a significant military presence, but they hope to make an impact through the contributions and invite the Richland community to be part of the relief campaign.

The club is open to everyone who wishes to participate. Topics of discussion range from building understanding between cultural groups, analysis and debate on traditions and global events.