Institute of Latin American Studies – ILAS Weekly Digest: Week of February 11, 2019


Columbia Students: Opportunity for undergrad to help produce How To Read podcast

Do you want to help communicate the ideas of the world’s most brilliant professors beyond the ivory tower?

If so, come and be involved with the podcast How To Read! It’s run by two Columbia graduate students, and despite our title, we’re not just interested in literature but also history, philosophy, art history, architecture, anthropology, etc. – basically all of the arts and humanities.

We’re supported by Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and have already interviewed such literary luminaries as Heather Love, Kwame Anthony Appiah and Stephen Greenblatt. You can find out more at

As the podcast develops, we’re looking for an undergraduate assistant producer, initially for one semester but the role could continue beyond if we all want it to.

Your main tasks:

– advise on the topics and content of episodes from the perspective of an undergraduate

– help edit audio of interviews (technical skills not required – we can teach you!)

– share in social media activities

What’s in it for you:

– intellectual: help shape the topics and content of future episodes

– communication: make your academic interests connect to the wider world

– technical skills: learn professional audio recording and editing

– web skills: managing website, podcast platforms, social media

Sounds good? Send an email to – describe in a few sentences why you’re interested. Then in 2-3 sentences choose one person you’d like to have on the podcast, and explain what topic you’d want to focus on with them. If you have any relevant previous experience, let us know that too.

Partners for Andean Community Health- Applied Immersion Programs

Volunteer, Learn and Experience Ecuador
These offerings are meant for both professionals and students that aspire to expand their horizons on the paradigms of development in the developed and developing worlds.
Program 1: Andean Sustainable Communities
Dates: June 1st-28th, 2019
Program 2: Community Vision Health Care
Dates: July 1st-28th, 2019
Program 3: Community-Based Urgent Care
Dates: August 1st-28th, 2019
Program highlights include:
  • Focus on the main tenet of social entrepreneurship, the Triple Bottom Line of People, Planet, Profit. (June experience)
  • Community Vision Health with clinical participation (July experience)
  • Community Urgent Care with clinical participation and EMT collaboration (August experience)
  • Collaboration with a local indigenous university
  • Homestays with local families
  • Community outreach
  • Eco-tourism

For more info on each program:

Society and Politics in Contemporary Central America

CLACS Summer Teacher Institute

July 10-12, 2019

A generation has passed since the 1980s and 1990s peace accords which promised to end the civil wars and lay the foundation for democratic practice in Central America.  El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, however, are today some of the world’s most violent societies.  The current migration crisis highlights the fragility of institutions in the region and the failure of its leaders to provide basic security or hope for justice.   This institute examines the reasons for mass migration in the region as well as the context of political exclusion, the breakdown of the rule of law, and gang violence which have impeded meaningful reform.

Cost:  $85 in-service teachers/$25 Education students (includes breakfasts, lunches, and materials).  Dorm housing is available for $80/night.

Application deadline:  May 24, 2019.  For more information, contact:  Julie Kline ( or 414-229-5986 or  Application available at:

Utah Nahuatl Language and Culture Program.

June 20 – July 31

Credits: 6-8

Tuition: $5,000 (Room and board are not included. The program is FLAS eligible)

If eligible, students interested in attending can also apply for a FLAS award from the University of Utah. The application due date is January 25, 2019.

Undergraduate student applicants must be able to begin language study at the second-year level or above and graduate student applicants can apply to start at year one and above if advanced in another regional language, ie Spanish. Applicants must either have status of U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien. Please see the following page for more information as well as a link to the online application:

For students applying that do not have a University of Utah unid, please complete and submit the paper application which can be found here:

We are happy to answer further questions as well regarding the FLAS award as well as the Utah Summer Nahuatl Program by email or by phone at (801) 581-6101.

The 2019-2020 Obama Foundation Scholars Program application is now live. The deadline to apply is February 3, 2019. Start your application today.

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University brings together rising leaders from around the world who have demonstrated a commitment to finding solutions to challenges in their communities, countries and regions. Over the course of an academic year, the Obama Foundation Scholars will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and skills and to build new capacities and networks that will accelerate their impact in their home countries.

The inaugural cohort is comprised of twelve accomplished leaders, who are participating in an immersive program that brings together academic, skills-based and experiential learning, designed by Columbia University in consultation with the Obama Foundation. Scholars participate in a required course, which will run for the length of the academic year, as well as additional courses offered by Columbia University that are relevant to their specific field or values-based leadership, or that fill in gaps in their previous studies. The program also takes advantage of the unique opportunities for engagement that come with being at one of the world’s most important centers of research and with being in the City of New York.

In addition, Scholars participate in one-of-a-kind experiences led by the Obama Foundation, including robust networking, mentorship, service activities and values-based leadership development, offering them a chance to learn from some of the world’s most innovative leaders and to build connections with the Obama Foundation and with Obama Foundation Scholars at the University of Chicago.

Obama Foundation Scholars at Columbia are part of Columbia World Projects, a new initiative that aims to systematically bring university research out into the world in the form of projects that will have a significant and lasting positive impact on people’s lives and will help guide the way to solutions to intractable problems, while additionally enriching research and scholarship.

Upon completion of the program, Obama Foundation Scholars, empowered by their experience, are expected to return to the regions where they have been working and continue along a path of service, either through their full-time job or volunteer opportunities. The purpose of the program is to help Obama Foundation Scholars take the connections and skills they acquire during the program and apply them for the benefit of their communities, countries, and regions. It is our expectation that Obama Foundation Scholars will remain engaged with the Obama Foundation after the conclusion of the program.

(Some more info on the program here:

We are excited to announce that the English Opens Doors Program has opened the application process for its 2019 volunteer services to teach English in Chilean Public schools!

As you may remember, my name is Stephanie Hairgrove and I am writing to tell you about our volunteering/teaching opportunity in Chile which might be a great fit for your students, colleagues, friends, or even for yourself! The English Opens Doors Program’s Volunteer Initiative, is a fee-free opportunity from the Chilean Ministry of Education, supported by the United Nations Development Programme-Chile. The English Opens Doors Program is seeking native and near-native Englishspeaking volunteers (above the age of 21) to teach English in coordination with Chilean teachers of English in public schools throughout Chile. Volunteers will work independently with students from 11 to 18 years old, and no previous teaching experience is needed to apply!

English Opens Doors Program volunteers spend approximately 35 hours per week focusing on developing students’ communicative abilities in English using a dynamic teaching style, facilitating intercultural exchange, and generally making English fun to learn! Volunteers will gain real teaching experience in a Latin American country through a United Nations sponsored program, while simultaneously learning (or improving their) Spanish-language abilities and getting to know an incredible country with a wealth of cultural and geographical beauty. More importantly, the English Opens Doors Program will give volunteers the opportunity to make a positive impact in a public-school community, and to change their own lives in the process.

Volunteers of the EODP are provided with the following benefits:

  • Fee-free visa
  • Host family experience (Individual room + 3 meals a day)
  • Small monthly stipend for daily transportation (approximately $100 USD per month)
  • In-country health insurance
  • Facilitation of a basic Chilean bank account
  • Thorough visa and pre-departure support
  • Comprehensive teacher training and orientation before the volunteer service
  • Pedagogical and cultural support from the National Volunteer Center and Regional Representatives during the volunteer service

For more information about this volunteer initiative, please check out our website at:

If you would like to speak to a former volunteer of the English Opens Doors Program to hear about their experience, with a Program staff member to further discuss our volunteer opportunities via Skype or email, or would like us to conduct a virtual presentation over Skype to your students, please send me an email and I can help coordinate this with you.

If you would like to access a promotional flyer to distribute to interested persons, please click the following link:   English Opens Doors Program 2019 Promotional Flyer!

Andes and Amazon Field School 2019

FLAS Eligible Ecuadorian Quichua,

Achuar, and Wao Tededo language programs

June 1-July 27

Sponsored by University of Pittsburgh, Florida International University, UW Madison

Instructors Tod Swanson(Arizona State University), Janis Nuckolls (Brigham Young University), Armando Muyulema (University of Wisconsin at Madison), Nely Shiguango, Abraham Boyotai and Miguel Vargas. Guest lectures by Prof. Pieter Muysken, University Nijmegen, Netherlands.

Learn to speakQuichua, Achuar, or Wao Tededo. Get a grounding in Amazonian culture from top experts in the field. Make lasting contacts with native communities for future dissertation work.  Establish a network of friends and like minded colleagues for life. Includes 3 nights in Ecuador’s pristine Yasuni National Parkor adjacent Waorani territory. 170 FLAS Fellows from 40 Universities have attended to date. Life changing for many.  More information at

Program offers 140 contact hours of EcuadorianQuichua, Shuar/Achuar, or Wao Tededo.  Cost $7500: (Covered by FLAS Fellowship broken down as $5,000 institutional payment; $2500 room and board). Limited partial scholarships available for students who cannot meet application requirements for FLAS Fellowships.

To apply:  1) Email or call Tod;Phone: 480 361-9289; Cell (480) 276-5913.  2) Apply for a Summer FLAS Fellowship through your university’s Center for Latin American Studies.  3)Apply to the language program online at  (List of FLAS granting institutions:

Note:  Students who are not from a FLAS granting institution can apply for Summer FLAS through Florida International University ( deadline January 1 2019)orthe UW Madison ( Februray 11, 2019)and need not apply through Pittsburg

The Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Utah, in partnership with the Instituto de Docencia e Investigación Etnológica de Zacatecas (IDIEZ), would like to announce the summer 2019 Utah Nahuatl Language and Culture Program at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah from June 20-July 31, 2019.

Nahuatl is the language with the most speakers amongst the 68 officially recognized living indigenous languages in Mexico. We offer the opportunity to study classical and modern forms of Nahuatl taught by highly trained native-language speakers at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels.


6-8 credits (8 credits for beginner and intermediate and 6 credits for advanced).


$5,000. Room and Board are not included. The program is FLAS eligible.

The program is Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) eligible and there are limited summer FLAS awards available for students from other institutions through the Center of Latin American Studies at the University of Utah.

Online FLAS applications will be available in the following weeks at:

Please email for inquiries about the FLAS award. Please email for inquiries about the program.

Cuba- The International Field Program

Organized by: The New School

Country Context

Cuba is witnessing profound change, uncertain yet pressing expectations, and the need to redesign its economic and political paradigms. The ongoing economic overhaul began by Raul Castro in 2010 and the diplomatic thaw between Cuba and the USA declared in late 2014 are being rewritten by the haphazard stance of the Trump administration vis-à-vis Cuba, and by the election of Miguel Diaz Canel to Cuba’s presidency in April 2018, signaling the emergence of a new leadership after 59 years. 2019 also signals the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution as well as the 500th anniversary of the foundation of the city of Havana.

A unique reality marked by two currencies (both void of international legal tender) and multiple exchange rates; an ever-increasing divide between nominal wage (in average 20 USD/month) and real income; and still standing social benefits (free medical care, free education, the longest rationing system in recorded history: 1962-present)—Cuba offers the possibility to study up close issues related to: socialism, economic transformations, race relations, gender and sexuality, informal economies, technology, and urban planning. These issues are not to be seen as static categories, but as question marks in a shifting environment.

Project Context

Havana has been historically one of the most vibrant and modern cities of the Western Hemisphere, as indexed by the first railway of the Spanish empire in 1837 (Spain would see its first train only in 1848). The city boasts one of Latin America’s most pristine historical centers (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982) combining architecture from the 16th to 19th centuries, with refurbished palaces leaning on collapsed complexes. The city is Cuba’s economic, touristic, and political heart and a place in which you will learn as much on the streets as in the classroom and through your involvement with Cuban organizations.

Given the many assumptions from outside, shifting landscape from within, and the need for cultural mediation in-between, the project is articulated around three cores. First, you will take classes with leading Cuban intellectuals, providing you with an alternative viewpoint on concepts we question from/against a neoliberal perspective in the US. Second, you will achieve hands-on experience through visits, workshops, and direct engagement with projects run by Cuban NGOs and CBOs. Third, you will have to conceive, execute, and evaluate a research project leading to a publishable paper—this can be a personal or group research project.

Objectives and Outcomes

The objective of the Cuba IFP in 2019 is to provide you with a unique research-oriented experience, where lectures and interactions with your peers from a different country will provide you with a more in-depth understanding of global problems at play in a specific context. Studying as it unfolds the emergence of neoliberal practices in an allegedly market-less economy; of class- and race-disparity in a purportedly class-less and post-racial society; of gender-equality in a highly gendered reality—these are some of the building blocks of a political grammar the Havana IFP will provide you with, in order to ideally make you better citizens of your own country.  Students can work on the following topics:

  • Economic transformation
  • Race relations
  • Gender Equality
  • Poverty
  • Food Security and environmental risk
  • Illicit/informal economies
  • Urban challenges/urban planning
  • Technology

Applicants will be selected based on research interests and foreseen adaptability to a shifting context.

Graduate and undergraduate students from other New School departments, as well as from other universities, are welcome to apply.

Partner Organizations


Cuban and foreign NGOs/GONGOS

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