Casa Bolívar

History of Casa Bolívar

The oldest of the language houses, the Casa Bolívar opened its doors to the UVA community in 1981 with nine students under the leadership of Professor David Gies. Unable to immediately secure University recognition as an academic facility, the Spanish House consisted of five apartments in Oxford Hill. In fall 1984, the University allocated six apartments, to be known as La Casa Hispánica, in Lambeth Field. In fall 1996, twenty-three students moved into the Jefferson Park Avenue complex. In November 1997, the House was renamed the Casa Bolívar by the Venezuelan Ambassador in honor of Fernando Bolívar—the nephew and adopted son of Simón Bolívar, who attended UVA in 1827.


The Casa Bolívar’s living experience strives to unite the Spanish language and the various cultures that compose it. Residents come home to hear and speak Spanish. Common living areas provide residents with the chance to chat casually, while nightly dinners provide for a more structured gathering. Daily interaction, periodic meetings, and a wide range of planned activities enable students to explore their common interests in the culturally diverse Spanish-speaking world, and to provide a place for residents to exchange stories about their personal experiences in Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, the United States and several hispanophone territories. The Casa Bolívar welcomes native speakers; non-native students who have lived, traveled extensively, or studied abroad; and students currently enrolled in Spanish courses.


  • Café Hispano – Join us for an informal and relaxed conversation in Spanish! Enjoy coffee or tea while you practice Spanish with other students in the UVA community. All levels are welcome! For more information, check us out on Instagram.
  • Events like Cine, tardes de conversa, actividades contemplativas, talleres de comida, yoga.      
  • Do you want to know more about Casa Bolívar events or collaborate with our community?Contact the Spanish House Director, Paulina Vazquez Elizondo at


  • Apply to live at the Spanish House! The Spanish House is open to all upperclass students who are interested in becoming part of an academic living-learning community with a strong emphasis on Spanish-language immersion. 
  • Interested students may apply through theHousing and Residence Life website. Applications for the 2023-2024 year are due by November 1st. Highly ranked candidates will be invited to attend a short interview.
  • Off season interested students, once applied through Housing website need to fill the following form and send it to Paulina Vazquez Elizondo at


Check us out on Instagram @uvacasabolivar , Facebook and our website