Latin American Studies Program to Expand Study Abroad and Hands-On Learning Opportunities for CNM Students
Students lining up to eat caldo de pollo rojo dish made at "Cooking in Nahuatl" demonstration

Latin American Studies Program to Expand Study Abroad and Hands-On Learning Opportunities for CNM Students

CNM, in partnership with UNM's Latin American and Iberian Institute, is excited to announce the extension of the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Languages Grant, which will support study abroad experiences and culturally enriched learning opportunities
December 05, 2023

CNM and the University of New Mexico (UNM) recently received an extension for the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Languages (UISFL) grant, originally awarded in 2019.

This grant supports CNM's Latin American Studies program, which offers students one-of-a-kind educational experiences, study abroad trips, and unique opportunities to explore various Latin American and Indigenous cultures.

"The opportunities and curriculum funded by this grant fit perfectly with CNM's student population," says Brandon Morgan, Latin American Studies Instructor and Associate Dean of CNM’s School of Liberal Arts. "Students can see themselves in the courses and events we offer, and ultimately it allows them to learn about various cultures in a way they haven't been able to before."

Since 2014, CNM and UNM have collaborated on joint grant funding applications to support Latin American Studies at both institutions. Now that the funding has been extended, Brandon and fellow Latin American Studies faculty member, Jessica Craig, are excited to expand learning opportunities and develop new courses.

"This round of funding will support the study abroad program even more robustly by offering student scholarships to help cover travel expenses,"  Jessica explains. "Plus, we will be able to offer more faculty development and hands-on learning activities for students, which helps spread awareness and increase interest in the program."

LatinAmericanCookingDemo-Sou.jpgSome of these activities are already in full swing, including a "Cooking in Nahuatl" demonstration that was hosted at CNM. The entire demonstration was translated from Nahuatl, a Uto-Aztecan language, and attendees learned how to make a traditional caldo de pollo rojo.

"Language, especially indigenous language, is a critical part of identity, but it is often lost or not passed down through the generations," says Jessica. "Providing students the opportunity to connect with these languages through these activities and in the classroom is amazing."

The grant will also support the development of additional Africana Studies courses at CNM that can easily transfer to UNM.

Looking forward, Brandon and Jessica are excited about the continued growth of the Latin American Studies program and hope it inspires other programs across the college to find new and innovative ways to support students.

"This grant and our partnership with UNM is truly what opened the door for the Latin American Studies program to grow, and we wouldn't have been able to do it on our own," Brandon says. "I highly encourage CNM faculty who want to offer things like study abroad to look for partnership opportunities so more students can travel and gain an in-depth understanding of other cultures."