"La Excelencia Son Los Valores": Using the Lotería Game to Understand the Foundations of Latina/o/x Excellence Cultivated at Home

  • Lorena Gutierrez
  • Yajaira Calderon
  • Louie Rodriguez
  • Enrique Espinoza
  • Cindy Macias
  • Elisa Chang
Keywords: Excellence, K-12, Latina/o/x, Funds of Knowledge, Lotería, Familismo


This article examines the foundations of Latina/o/x excellence as a culturally-embedded practice born, taught, and cultivated in the home by the family members of Latina/o/x high school students. The research team conducted a phenomenological study on excellence in the home, school and community of Latina/o/x youth in Southern California. In this study, we examined the definition and source of excellence in the homes of Latina/o/x high school students through a Lotería Card Project inspired by artist, teacher, and professor, Dr. Luis-Genaro Garcia. Findings demonstrate that excellence involves meeting and excelling expectations in the home, is learned through intergenerational knowledge and lived experience, and is grounded in reciprocity. We offer suggestions to educators on how to learn about excellence in the lives of Latina/o/x students and their families.