Rasquache is a term of Mesoamerican Nahuatl origin which initally had a negative connotation in Mexico as being an attitude
that was lower class, impoverished, and having bad taste. This definition was later redefined by a Mexican and Chicano art mov-ement, Rasquachismo, transforming social and economic instabilities into a style and a postitive creative attitude. Often these artists in the Rasquachismo movement used the most basic, simplest, quickest, and crudest means necessary to create desired expressions, in essence, creating the most from the least. Making the most with the least is a statement of irreverence and is both defiant and inventive. Outside of artistic usage, rasquache is also used to describe someone's behavior or social status
such as reusing utensils, disposed & recycled everyday materials, and finding use for what is otherwise often perceived as non-valuable. Beyond being simply frugal, rasquache also involves inventing new uses for conventional objects. This often means giving a new function to something that would conventionally be considered broken or useless.
In the small town of San Francisco Coapan, it's common for people, places, families, and even personal belongings to have nicknames. Federico Cuatlacuatl's paternal grandfather is known as rasquache in Coapan, this means that every son and daughter and even grandchildren may be refered to as rasquaches. Rasquache Residency is located on what used to be a property that belonged to Federico's grandfather before he passed it on to Federico's father. The artist residency takes on the name of Rasquache as a reference to the history and ownership of the property as well as emphasizing the cultural importance of the region. Rasquache Residency embraces and honors the traditions and culture of Cholula region as a means to comprehend the diaspora of marginalized sectors in Latin America which may lead Latinos to migrate illegally to the U.S. By embracing such traditions and culture, Rasquache strives to bring forth visibility and awareness of a positive attitude towards the current sociopolitical instabilities of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The residency seeks to expand and build onto rasquachismo ideals by engaging in artistic works that produce positive attitudes by inverting negative sociopolitical and cultural connotations. Rasquache challenges artists to embrace and emphasize the adoption of rasquachismo attitude and ideals striving to rediscover and reconstruct community empowerment and artistic/academic agency for social change transnationally within marginalized and minority communities.