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UNC Senior Ana Dougherty Receives 2017 Princeton in Latin America Fellowship

Read more from our friends at UNC Global.

Winston-Salem pipeline information sessions | Winston-Salem Sesiones informativas para recién llegados

Our 2014-2017 BIC partners in Winston-Salem host their inaugural NEWCOMER PIPELINE session in less than one week! See flyers for details/registration.

¡Nuestros socixs BIC de 2014-2017 en Winston-Salem alojarán su sesión inaugural de su “PIPELINE” PARA RECIÉN LLEGADXS en menos de una semana! Véase folletos para detalles e inscripciones.


Guanajuato spotlight: Elizabeth Byrum

“In a lot of ways, my time in Guanajuato has cemented my desire to work with community-based interventions and to definitely center my future work around relationship building and meeting people where they are in the moment. ” Elizabeth Byrum, Guanajuato c/o 2013

APPLES Global Course Guanajuato (GLBL 382) is a three credit spring course that combines ethnographic methods, oral history, and service-learning to examine Latin American migrant perspectives. Students research and work with migrants in North Carolina and spend spring break in migrants’ home communities in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Through leadership development, experiential learning, and engaged service, Guanajuato alumni have had an incredible impact through our programs. We were pleased to sit down with Guanajuato alum and current UNC School of Social Work graduate student Elizabeth Byrum.

Q: Elizabeth, thank you so much for joining us. Tell us a little more about yourself.

A: I graduated from UNC in 2013 with a journalism and global studies (Latin America focus) double major and Hispanic studies minor. After graduating, I worked for almost three years in the nonprofit sector in Raleigh, NC around development and grant writing, first with the AJ Fletcher Foundation and then with the Autism Society of North Carolina. I’m originally from Raleigh and I’ve always had an interest in working in the nonprofit community in the Triangle, particularly in a human services field where I could use my passion for storytelling and writing, as well as my Spanish language skills.

I am currently a graduate student in the School of Social Work and I am interested in child welfare and abuse prevention, integrated healthcare, and supporting refugee and immigrant populations. I will begin my first field internship for my graduate program in August 2017 at an inpatient behavioral health center for children and adolescents.

Q: That sounds fascinating. Tell us how you were(/are!) involved with Guanajuato. What influenced you to participate as an undergraduate? How did the experience impact you?

A: I was extremely fortunate to be able to visit Guanajuato twice while at UNC for my undergraduate and I am so excited that I’ll be returning this summer for graduate research! In 2012, I was one of the interns for Project Guanajuato, a two-month community-based internship that partnered with small communities in Guanajuato and the Fundación Comunitaria del Bajío. I lived in El Gusano for two months that summer and it was an incredibly transformative experience. While we spent most of our days organizing English classes, art activities, and other community events, the opportunity to build intimate relationships with the community and to understand the stories and experiences of individuals who lived in rural Mexico (and who often had several family members living in the US) and who often had several family members living in the US was very meaningful. I was extremely excited about the opportunity to return to Guanajuato with the APPLES Global Course Guanajuato in spring 2013 and visit with my host family and the many other wonderful individuals I met the summer before. Overall, these experiences informed my interest in working with the Spanish-speaking community and furthered my learning about the immigration process in the United States and the many challenges that exist for families that reside in two separate countries.

Throughout my undergraduate years, I wanted to pursue opportunities to learn and explore the Spanish language and also participate in experiences locally that connected with Spanish-speaking immigrants. I was and still am particularly interested in community development work and the creation of a network of supportive resources for immigrants here (accessible, relevant health care, housing assistance, language classes, etc.), and it was a great opportunity to see the informal transnational relationship that exists between the Triangle community and Mexican communities of origin, many of which are in Guanajuato.

Byrum (far left) will return to Guanajuato for her graduate studies in 2017.

I’m excited to be returning to Guanajuato this summer for three weeks as part of a UNC research team that will be conducting a school-based psychosocial intervention for adolescents. The intervention will focus on stress and self-harming behavior and will be conducted in Juventino Rosas with middle and high school students. I’m also hoping to reconnect with the Fundacion and my former host families while I’m down there!

Q: That is so wonderful you are able to go back! What is your favorite memory from your experiences in Guanajuato thus far?

A: I would say that my favorite memories of my previous time in Guanajuato were the art activities that we planned for the kids in the El Gusano community. We created musical instruments, made a mosaic mural, created and painted piñatas, took photos and made photo frames, plus many more things. Every week, we would organize an art activity and so many kids and teens in the community would come out to participate. We were able to get to know them very well over the course of several weeks. I also just loved sitting with my fellow interns and our host families around meals and sharing stories or watching telenovelas. My entire experience was very relationship oriented and the moments that we spent together are what I remember most fondly. and each of the moments that we spent together are what I remember most fondly. Overall, it’s still often hard to explain to friends and family the impact of my experiences, particularly from the two months I was in the community. In a lot of ways, my time in Guanajuato has cemented my desire to work with community-based interventions and to definitely center my future work around relationship building and meeting people where they are in the moment.

Q: We love that. What does Guanajuato mean to you, and why should others get involved?

A: My Guanajuato experiences really provided an important cross-cultural perspective into the greater social issue of migration and community building. They have definitely helped me develop personally and have helped guide my interests professionally, including deciding to return to pursue a graduate degree.

I’ve consistently recommended the APPLES course to anyone who is interested in understanding in depth our growing global community. It’s a fantastic way to really connect with many issues that are hyper-relevant in Chapel Hill and the greater North Carolina community. The course provides a holistic perspective and tangible connections between our communities and those in Mexico.

Q: When you are not studying for your Master’s degree, what do you like to do for fun?

A: My partner and I love to go to local concerts at venues like the Cat’s Cradle, The Pinhook, and Kings. We try to go to at least a few a month. We also love traveling and try to plan domestic and international trips each year. I also enjoy practicing yoga and exploring the yoga community in the Triangle; in fact, I just completed my 200 hr yoga teacher training this year. I also spend a lot of time cooking, playing with my dachshund, and hanging out around Raleigh.

Wow, congratulations on completing 200 hour yoga training, Elizabeth! And thank you so much for sharing this with us, we look forward to the great things you will do!

Congratulations, Laura! Published article, “Transnationalism and health”



Laura Villa Torres

We are pleased to share the work of our Bilingual Outreach Assistant, Laura Villa Torres. The article, “Transnationalism and health: A systematic literature review on the use of transnationalism in the study of the health practices and behaviors of migrants,” conducted a systematic review to explore if and how transnationalism has been used to study migrants’ health and what a transnational perspective contributes to understanding health practices and behaviors of transnational migrants.

We hope you will enjoy! Click here.


Transnationalism explores social, economic and political processes that occur beyond national borders and has been widely used in migration studies. We conducted a systematic review to explore if and how transnationalism has been used to study migrants’ health and what a transnational perspective contributes to understanding health practices and behaviors of transnational migrants. We identified 26 empirical studies published in peer-reviewed journals that included a transnational perspective to study migrants’ health practices and behaviors. The studies describe the ways in which migrants travel back and forth between countries of destination to countries of origin to receive health care, for reasons related to cost, language, and perceptions of service quality. In addition, the use of services in countries of origin is related to processes of social class transformation and reclaiming of social rights. For those migrants who cannot travel, active participation in transnational networks is a crucial way to remotely access services through phone or email, and to acquire medical supplies and other health-related goods (traditional medicine, home remedies). We conclude with recommendations for future research in this area.

Research spotlight: Occupational science and occupational therapy

The Latino Migration Project is pleased to share the work of UNC Chapel Hill students and faculty conducting research relating to Latin American/Latino migration. Sara Peña, M.S. Candidate in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and Institute for the Study of the Americas program associate, conducted a study entitled, “Responsibility and Belonging: Exploring Adolescent Latino Male Soccer Social Group Identity.”



Latin American immigrants are a fast-growing segment of North Carolina residents, and the incorporation of youth into society is imperative in determining quality of life. Occupational therapists are qualified to address the needs of Latino adolescents as they navigate new social group occupations and identities; yet, to date, there is limited evidence exploring this practice. This study explores how the social group occupation of playing on a school soccer team influences identity. Participants included Latino male middle school soccer players who live in a rural community. The author used a grounded-theory qualitative research methodology, which allowed for the participants to be the experts in their experiences and have the theory emerge from data collected. A focus group was conducted and coded for themes. Implications contribute to an understanding of how Latino adolescent identity and school soccer come together, and suggest further studies regarding social group occupations and Latino adolescents.

For more information, contact Sara Peña,, or Linn Wakeford,

Updated 2017: Guanajuato Professional Portal

Michelle_quoteLatino Migration Project alumni are blazing trails in their chosen career paths…& they’ve got our attention.

Through LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING, and ENGAGED SERVICE, LMP Professionals have had an incredible impact through our programs, and continue to make their mark in their careers.

Check out the updated Professional Portal page now.

Sanford BIC, COLTS survey residents served by new county transit

Shout out to our survey team in Sanford! Hispanic/Latinx ridership on COLTS Transportation has already increased following the new bus route and marketing, and we are learning more about how COLTS can better serve these residents.

¡Un grito de agradecimiento al equipo de encuesta en Sanford! La tasa de pasajeros hispanos/latinxs en el transito COLTS ya ha aumentado después de la nueva promoción y ruta de autobús, y vamos sabiendo más sobre cómo COLTS puede servir mejor a estos residentes.



Meet Kristina: Guanajuato Class of 2017 and FLAS Recipient


FLAS recipient and Guanajuato alum Kristina Caltabiano (left) with her brother in Guatemala

She’s a Peace Corps Volunteer alum, FLAS award recipient, and is in the newest class of Guanajuato alumni.

Meet Kristina.

FLAS fellowships fund the study of less commonly taught languages and area studies coursework. This program provides academic year and summer fellowships to assist graduate students and advanced undergraduates in foreign language and area studies. The goals of the fellowship program include: (1) to assist in the development of knowledge, resources and trained personnel for modern foreign language and area/international studies; (2) to stimulate the attainment of foreign language acquisition and fluency; and (3) to develop a pool of international experts to meet national needs.

Before pursuing a dual graduate degree in social work and public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Caltabiano served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala. There, she worked as a health educator in a rural Mayan community and cemented her aspirations to work internationally in a community organizing capacity. After learning about FLAS from a Peace Corps colleague, Caltabiano pursued the opportunity and was granted an award to learn Portuguese.

FLAS was even one of the reasons Caltabiano chose to pursue UNC’s dual MSW and MPH degree. She said the opportunity allowed her to tailor course assignments to align with her interests on different areas within Brazil. Part of the award allowed her to live in São Paulo and pursue an upcoming fall semester in Rio de Janeiro, where she hopes to achieve full proficiency.

“Such a huge part of my graduate school experience is learning Portuguese, and I’m so grateful and aware of what a gift it is,” Caltabiano said.

Studying languages has always been an interest of Caltabiano. Originally from Syracuse, NY, Caltabiano attended St. John’s University where she studied both Psychology, International Relations and minored in Spanish. As an undergraduate, she studied abroad in Chile and then following graduation, spent one year teaching English in Spain.

“Languages are fun for me,” Caltabiano said.

In addition to learning Portuguese in her graduate studies, Caltabiano participated in the APPLES Global Course Guanajuato alternative spring break. The course allowed her to be connected to the local immigrant community and better understand the link between North Carolina and migration, specifically from Guanajuato, Mexico. Caltabiano said the oral histories particularly humanized learning about the migration experience.

“You can hear and read about migration all the time, but interviews bring to life someone’s personal account of what life looks like, what life looks back in their home country, and how their kids lives are different from theirs,” Caltabiano said.

When she’s not busy learning Portuguese, studying for her dual degree, or participating in service learning, Caltabiano enjoys traveling, being outside, and spending time with loved ones.

Thank you so much for sharing photos from your experiences in Brazil (above) and thank you for joining us, Kristina! We look forward to the great things you will do!

Dr. Hannah Gill one of nine individuals and groups honored for public service

Dr. Hannah Gill, director of the Latino Migration Project, was recognized for engaged teaching for her work with the APPLES Service-Learning Global Course Guanajuato. The spring semester course trains bilingual students to understand the contemporary and historical complexities of immigration through research, service-learning with immigrants in North Carolina and travel to communities of migrant origin in Guanajuato, Mexico. The program fosters bi-national relationships with migrant families, secondary schools and foundations in Mexico. The Latino Migration Project is a public educational program on Latin American immigration and integration in North Carolina that includes undergraduate teaching.


See the original post here

Photos: Winston-Salem Wins National League Of Cities Cultural Diversity Award

Read more here on the City of Winston-Salem site.

The City of Winston-Salem held an April 3, 2017 Special Meeting of the City Council. Councilmember Denise D. Adams presented the First Place National League of Cities award to BIC’s partner, the Winston-Salem Human Relations Department, for their Winston-Salem BIC Newcomers’ Pipeline project.

We congratulate the City and all of the community stakeholders on this collaborative work!