South Carolina Centro Latino

About "El Centro"

The South Carolina Centro Latino or "El Centro", bridges cultures statewide through linguistic awareness and accessibility. Our three pillars create institutional space for belonging, civility, wellness and equity: Latinx Interdisciplinary Studies, the Public Humanities, and Translation and Community Interpreting. The SCCL also studies the Spartanburg Racial Equity Index findings on monumental challenges facing Hispanics and Latinos/as. 

"Race and place determine largely whether people have the opportunity to thrive. Rising income inequality and persistent gaps in health, wealth, income, employment, education, and opportunity prevent low-income people and people of color from realizing their full potential, and in places where inequities are ignored and perpetuated, quality of life is limited for all residents... Inequities do not exist in isolation but are part of a reciprocal and complex web of problems associated with inequality on multiple fronts."

– Spartanburg Racial Equity Index



The SCCL brings visibility to Latinx Interdisciplinary Studies, thought leadership on authentic community outreach and inclusion by strengthening Latinx recruitment, increasing mentoring, promoting civic leadership, engaging bilingual and Spanish-speaking community members in the public humanities and expanding translation and community interpreting studies and certifications for students and bilingual professionals to further equip the Latinx workforce locally and globally.


Vision Statement

SCCL is nationally and internationally recognized for its collaborative, community-based, cultural and linguistic approach to increasing the visibility of Latinx Interdisciplinary Studies, the Public Humanities, Translation and Community Interpreting and talent in all spheres of higher education and civic life.


South Carolina Centro Latino Initiatives

  • Organizing Latina/o Interdisciplinary Studies and Talks on Civic Leadership and Mentoring
  • Hosting a “Latinas in Higher Ed Summit”
  • Hosting research forums on local and global impacts of migration
  • Expanding a Global Studies minor and certificate
  • Increasing interdisciplinary and multilingual public humanities scholarship
  • Sponsoring podcasts, interactive lectures and other public-facing work in other languages
  • Expanding the Alicante Study Abroad Program
  • Expanding a Service Learning in Translation and Interpreting Studies Minor
  • Training state professionals for Translation and Interpreting in School Settings
  • Offering Translation and Interpreting courses for school districts in South Carolina
  • Developing Translation and Interpreting certificate courses for law enforcement
  • Hosting an annual international Translation and Interpreting Conference
  • Supporting Scholarship in Translation and Interpreting Studies.
  • Building on the legacy of UnidosUS Líderes Avanzando through College Program
  • Providing services to parents in English, Spanish and other languages
  • Supporting a Latino/a Employee Resource Group


El Centro Programas

Latinx Studies

Check back soon for more information on El Centro and Latinx studies.


¡Clase de Avanzando con familiares / acompañantes!
(Avanzando class with family / companions!)

6 p.m. on Thursday, February 24, 2022, Health Education Complex 

Check out an Avanzando class at USC Upstate! Bilingual event! Open to all families/parents who would like to know more about USC Upstate.

Meet Susannah Waldrop, director of student success, Gabrielle Drake, assistant chair of LLC, Donette Stewart, vice chancellor of enrollment services, her wonderful team, El Centro faculty, student interns, and Avanzando students.

Learn about Avanzando through these recent stories:

Public Humanities

Check back soon for more information on El Centro and Public Humanities .

Spanish Translation/Interpreting Minor

Students pursuing the minor in Spanish Translation and Community Interpreting learn theories of translation and interpreting, study ethical guidelines for working as a translator or interpreter and apply their skills in service learning projects for area non-profit organizations. More than forty nonprofits locally and around the state have engaged our minors in service learning and internship opportunities in an effort to do outreach to the growing Spanish-speaking community in South Carolina, the Southeast and beyond. Students gain valuable interdisciplinary experience, career-readiness skills and academic and industry mentors while working with certified translators and interpreters. Students majoring in other disciplines (such business, healthcare, legal professions, or education and more) can prepare to be a bridge for communication in multilingual communities near and far.

Interpreting in Education Settings Certificate

The Interpreting in Educational Settings for bilingual professionals is offered every summer.

Next Course Offering is July 5 - August 2, 2022

Program Details and Registration

Study Abroad Program in Spain

The Spain Study Abroad program with Professor Maria Francisco Montesó occurs every May summer session.

*Program is currently suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Annual Conference on Translation and Interpreting

The Annual Conference on Translation and Community Interpreting: "The Bridging Cultures through Communication" is held every March to celebrate Upstate International Month.

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2022

Time: 3:00 pm

Location: CLC Ballroom Map-Pin.png

Recent news about the Conference:

Recruiting Events

Avanzando class with family/companions!
¡Clase de Avanzando con familiares/acompañantes!

Join Us!

Thursday, February 24, 2022

6:00 p.m.

Health Education Complex 


Avanzando class flyer PDF Document

Premier Fair

Sophomore Summit



Hernandez-Laroche, Araceli.jpg Araceli Hernandez-Laroche, PhD
Director, South Carolina Centro Latino
864-503-5221 | hernan49@uscupstate.edu | Twitter-Icon.png  @AraceliHLaroche 

Dr. Araceli Hernández-Laroche an associate professor of modern languages, and the foreign-language coordinator and assistant chair of the Department of Language, Literature and Composition at USC Upstate. The first tenured Mexican-American professor in USC Upstate history, Hernández-Laroche serves on the boards of Spartanburg’s Chapman Cultural Center, the Spartanburg Academic Movement and the LGBT Fund of Spartanburg. She represents Alianza Spartanburg on OneSpartanburg Inc.’s Inclusion Council. Hernández-Laroche was named the 2020 Career Woman of the Year by the Business and Professional Women of South Carolina and the 2020 Inclusion Advocate of the Year by OneSpartanburg. She was selected to participate in the 2020-2021 cohort of the Emerging Leaders Program through the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Hernández-Laroche received a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in French and Francophone studies and Italian studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. She earned her Master of Arts and Ph.D. in French from the University of California, Berkeley.

Assistant Director

Monteso, Maria.jpg Maria Montesó
Assistant Director, South Carolina Centro Latino
864-503-5203 | francis4@uscupstate.edu

Maria Francisco Montesó is a senior instructor in Spanish at USC Upstate. Montesó graduated from Universitat Jaume I, Spain, and earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in translation and interpreting studies in Spanish, Catalan, English and German. She has more than 10 years of experience teaching Spanish, translation and interpreting. Montesó is a Ph.D. candidate. Her research interests center on educational interpreting and pedagogy in translation and interpreting studies. She incorporates in-class pedagogical innovative projects and technology-intensive teaching-learning methodologies as part of the Quality Enhancement Plan and Active Learning cohorts. Montesó creates a service-learning component in her translation and interpreting courses, through which her students provide translation and interpretation services in the South Carolina Upstate in order to support non-profit organizations’ outreach into the area’s Hispanic community. She also created a unique certificate course to train bilinguals in English and Spanish to become professional interpreters in educational settings.