June 24, 2022 — Ruth Matamoros has been chosen by the American Philosophical Society as a 2022 Mellon Foundation Native American Scholars Initiative Predoctoral Fellow. A LLILAS doctoral candidate, Matamoros, of Nicaragua, is a Miskitu Indigenous lawyer, researcher, and activist for the right to self-determination of Moskitia. Her doctoral research project examines the notion of the Miskitu people in relation to land and territory in contexts of colonial subordination. Learn more.
June 24, 2022 — Jorge Choy-Gómez, a LLILAS doctoral candidate, has won a 2022 Field Study Grant from the Conference of Latin American Geography (CLAG) for his research proposal titled "Humanitarian Violence: Care and Bureaucracy for Migrants and Refugees in Mexico.” The research focuses on public officials working in the Mexican government's DIF (Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia) detention centers for unaccompanied migrant children, and how the decisions and actions of state shelter workers are framed by state practices of care and transnational and local human rights discourses. Choy has also accepted a fellow position for the 2022–23 academic year at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy. The position will allow him to write his dissertation during the coming academic year.
June 20, 2022 — Gabriela Torres has been awarded the 2022 Community Engagment Award. She is a healthcare worker and organizer with a commitment to movement building that fights for access for marginalized groups. She has worked with human rights organizations in Mexico, but was selected for this award for her work with Communities of Color United for Racial Justice. Through her work at the organization, Gabriela has helped to create a mutual aid network that is committed to genuine support and exchange. Read the full story.
June 20, 2022 — Roberto Young has been awarded the 2022 Community Engagement Award. He is passionate about language revitalization and is currently studying Mayan Kaqchikel. He has received the award for his work with Academia Cuauhtli, a language and culture revitalization project for fourth-grade students in Austin. Roberto taught the students language and cultural lessons on Saturday mornings, developed curriculum such as the digital social studies lesson titled “Humanizing Mexican Migration,” and met with local Austin Independent School District teachers to discuss ways to incorporate Mayan math into the US K–5 curriculum. Read the full story.
May 11, 2022 — Christine Sanchez has been awarded the Iliana Salinas Undergraduate Scholarship. Created by Dr. Maria Salinas, mother, and Aaron Salinas, brother, this award honors the memory of Iliana Salinas, her passion for Mexican-American culture, and her work at the Perry-Castañeda Library. Christine Sanchez is a first-generation college student in her third year, majoring in Latin American Studies (LAS) and Anthropology. “As a Mexican American who was born and raised in Corpus Christi, it is an honor to be the first awarded this scholarship,” said Christine. Read the full story.
April 22, 2022 — Valeria Colunga, Latin American Studies and International Global Relations senior, is a recipient of the College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Distinguished Graduate Award. Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Colunga stands out for her activism with a global perspective. In the fall of 2021, she went to the United Nations in New York City as one of eight UN Next Generation Fellows who came together at the invitation of Secretary-General Guterres to generate ideas for the future. One product of their efforts is Our Future Agenda, a report that calls for A New Deal for a New Generation, envisioning a multilateral system to address climate change, jobs, and education in collaboration with young people. Read the full story.
April 22, 2022 — LLILAS PhD student Ana López H is recipient of the 2022 Charles Wilson Hackett Memorial Award from the Pan American Round Table of Austin. The award is given annually to an outstanding LLILAS graduate student. A queer Buddhist practitioner, poet, and interdisciplinary researcher from Bogotá, Colombia, López researches the lives of women who earn a living as paid domestic workers in Colombia, from a decolonial feminist perspective. Read the full story.
April 22, 2022 — Cindia Arango has won a Field Study Grant for 2022 from the Conference of Latin American Geography (CLAG). In her research proposal, titled “Una historia Ambiental del Río Magdalenda y los navegantes ‘bogas’ durante el siglo XVIII en el Nuevo Reino de Granada,” Arango writes that she “seeks to establish the connection between the Magdalena River and its navigators, enslaved population, and bogas (mixed-race ‘mulatos’) during the eighteenth century in Colombia (New Kingdom of Granada).” Read the full story.
April 22, 2022 — Mary Elizabeth Cassio Morales was awarded a Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship as well as a Fulbright. Morales’s dissertation “explores the relationship between Ecuadorian Amazonian Kichwa cosmovisions and heritage verbal arts: poetry, songs, and narratives,” she writes. “Spending time with the people of a rural, riverine community in the Napo Province, I am developing relationships with community members (using a lateral dialogic approach in the Amazonian Kichwa dialect) to learn and understand what these heritage verbal art expressions tell us about what it means to be Kichwa. What it means to be Kichwa includes people, but also animals and plants which form an integrated network of kinship.” Read the full story.
April 22, 2022 — Blanca Azucena Pacheco has received a University of Texas at Austin Graduate School Summer 2022 Fellowship. “My work centers on a documentation project of the Xinka system of medicine,” says Pacheco. “For my dissertation, I examine the everyday health/healing work of Xinka medicine practitioners [in Guatemala], who are primarily women, as a form of collective care and memory that permits collective survival of the Xinka. Furthermore, the Xinka system is a form of (health) care that allows them to strategically interact with the public health system rather than depend on it." Read the full story.
March 9, 2022 — Alexandra Lamiña, of Ecuador, was selected as a 2022–23 College of Liberal Arts Thematic Fellowship recipient. Her dissertation is titled “Indigenous geospatial mobility: agency, gender, and urbanization in Ecuadorian Amazonia.” According to Lamiña, the main goal of the project is to understand how members of the Kichwa Indigenous group are influencing the process of urban development in the cities of Puyo and Tena in Ecuador, with an emphasis on the role of women. Read the full story.
March 9, 2022 — Ruth Matamoros has won a Continuing Fellowship from the Graduate School, supporting work on her dissertation, “Takbaiki wal Pulpara (Do not mess with my land): Anticolonial geographies and the emergence of Miskitu people’s territorial resistance in the Moskitia.” The dissertation focuses on questions of communal land politics and environmental views of the Miskitu in the context of Nicaragua’s land tenure and settler’s policies. Matamoros belongs to the Miskitu Indigenous group from Nicaragua’s northern autonomous region. Read the full story.
March 9, 2022 — Pablo Millalen Lepin has been awarded a David Bruton, Jr., Endowment Fellowship to support continuing work on his dissertation, “Water and Land as Mapuche Gen: The Environmental, Social, and Cultural Effects of the Forestry Industry in Lof Mañiuko, Chile.” His research looks at the impact of the extractive forestry industry that has been in place since Chile’s independence, and its impact on Indigenous Mapuche community in Lof Mañiuko. A significant portion of his efforts are devoted to understanding the various forms of communal resistance and political agency that the community has developed in recent decades in the face of social, political, economic, and environmental injustices. Millalen Lepin is an Indigenous scholar from Lof Mañiuko, a Mapuche-Nagche community near Galvarino, Cautin Province, in Southern Chile. Read the full story.