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Message from the Director

As director of the UCLA Latin American Institute, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our center. The LAI (previously known as the Latin American Center) was established in 1959 and has become one of the premier places in the United States to study Latin America. Throughout most of our history, we have been designated as a National Resource Center in Latin American Studies and had our research, teaching, and community engagement supported by the US Department of Education.

As an Organized Research Unit of UCLA, the LAI brings together faculty and students from our campus and the wider community to carry out and share interdisciplinary research on Latin America. Nearly 200 UCLA faculty members from –- departments, institutes, and centers are affiliated with the LAI. We also support the work of the Centers for Brazilian, Mexican, and Southern Cone Studies; the Program in Caribbean Studies; and the Andean and Central American Working Groups.

We contribute to the university’s educational mission through providing funding for the teaching of Latin American indigenous languages such as Nahuatl and Quechua. We also work closely with the International Institute’s Interdepartmental Degree Program (IDP) to support the students in the Master of Arts program in Latin American Studies. We offer a variety of funding for students, including graduate student research grants and Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for the study of Nahuatl, Portuguese, Quechua, and Advanced Spanish.

As a National Resource Center in Latin American Studies, the LAI has the privilege of promoting the study of Latin America throughout Los Angeles and across California. We do so through curriculum development workshops for K-12 educators, as well as through our partnership with the Southern California Association of Latin American Studies, which seeks to raise the profile of Latin American studies on nearly two dozen Cal State and community college campuses. Finally, we develop a variety of programming through collaborations with several Latin American consulates in Los Angeles, as with prominent cultural institutions in the Greater Los Angeles region and with research centers and universities throughout Latin America.

To find out more about the Latin American Institute, please take a moment to browse our website. Check out upcoming events on our calendar, and learn about current funding opportunities by subscribing to our listserv, reading our monthly newsletter, and following us on social media.

Welcome/Bienvenidos/Sejam bem-vindos!

Rubén Hernández-León
UCLA Latin American Institute