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Posts from the ‘Guanajuato Blog’ Category

APPLES GLOBAL COURSE GUANAJUATO application open for spring 2019!

Interested in understanding migration issues from both sides of the border? Learn more about APPLES Global Course Guanajuato and how to apply here. Application deadline is Oct. 19, 2018.

2017-2018 Year in Review

The Latino Migration Project celebrates its eleventh anniversary providing research and public education about migration and integration in North Carolina. Read more about the exciting things we’ve been up to this year (below)!

2017-2018 Year in Review The Latino Migration Project

2017-18 APPLES Global Course Guanajuato application is open!

APPLY NOW for APPLES Global Course Guanajuato

UNC Study Abroad at the University of Guanajuato—-deadline Oct. 20. 

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This 3 credit spring course 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.

The course addresses ethical and practical aspects of the ethnographic method, which includes the preparation, transaction, and transcription of interviews. This course is designed for upper level students (Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors) and is also open to graduate students. Strong knowledge of Spanish is highly recommended. Students must be prepared to volunteer at a campus or community organization that works with migrant issues. Digital audio recorders are required. Above all, students must be motivated by a strong desire to better understand transnational migration issues.


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!

Guanajuato alum spotlight: Nicole LeNeave

Through leadership development, experiential learning, and engaged service, Guanajuato alumni have had an incredible impact through our programs, and continue to make their mark in their careers. One of these professionals we had the pleasure of connecting with is Nicole LeNeave, UNC ’14.


LeNeave (center) on the 2014 APPLES Global Course Guanajuato alternative spring break

Nicole LeNeave is a Ph.D. candidate, Department of History, at The University of California, San Diego. She is studying the cultural history of the Cold War in Latin America; specifically, looking at insurgency and rebellion through a music and art lens. Since graduating as a double major in Latin American studies (LTAM) and Latin American History with a music minor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, LeNeave continues to have wide-ranging experiences in Latin American Studies.

As an undergraduate, LeNeave served as an Institute for the Study of the Americas (ISA) intern where she transcribed oral history interviews and supported department communications. The work encouraged her to participate in the 2014 APPLES alternative spring break, which gave her the opportunity to record oral histories herself. After interviewing UNC Latino students and speaking with members of the Guanajuato, Mexico community, LeNeave was struck by the power of an individual’s narrative.


LeNeave (right) with ISA Director Lou Pérez (left)

“Oral histories are intrinsically part of the way we function.” LeNeave said. “They provide a greater understanding beyond the empirical nature of academia.”

Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, LeNeave first became interested in Latin American studies after taking a first year seminar with Professor Miguel La Serna about revolution and rebellion in Latin America. When it came to declaring a major, LeNeave liked the interdisciplinary nature of the LTAM major. The political science, music, history, anthropology classes all helped to frame her other major of Latin American history.

“LTAM is a great complement to another major,” LeNeave said. “I encourage people to do it and make it your own.”

LeNeave did just that, and with a future Ph.D. and dreams of a tenure-track professor position, she is just getting started.

Nicole, we look forward to seeing your forthcoming research and the great things you will do! Thank you for joining us.


Photo Gallery: 2017 UNC APPLES Global Guanajuato

We are so pleased to share photos from the 2017 UNC in Guanajuato class. Many thanks to Raina Enrique for sharing, we hope you will enjoy!

Snapshot: Guanajuato Class of 2017


Students in APPLES Global Course Guanajuato learn about transnational migration in Mineral de Pozos, former mining town in Guanajuato, Mexico.

We were delighted to receive a snapshot of students’ alternative spring break in Guanajuato, Mexico. Can’t wait to hear all about it!

LMP Welcomes Professors Laura Diaz Leal and Maria Eugenia Reyes Ramos

By Laura Villa Torres

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LMP staff (center) with visiting scholars (far right and left)

The Latino Migration Project hosted visiting scholars and professors Laura Diaz Leal and Maria Eugenia Reyes Ramos, from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Unidad Xochimilco.

As part of their visit, professors Diaz Leal and Reyes Ramos presented their research at the Southern Oral History Program and Duke University using some oral histories that are part of the New Roots/Nuevas Raíces collection. They also participated in the APPLES Guanajuato Class where they interacted with students who travel to Guanajuato for their Alternative Spring Break experience.

Visiting scholars also met with local representatives from Mexico and other community leaders, to explore issues faced by the Mexican community in North Carolina. Finally, the professors explored collaborations with the Latino Migration Project to possibly replicate the New Roots Archive in Mexico, as a sister archive, to open the possibility for students exchanges in the future, and to explore the publication of a special edition of their home department´s journal for a publication of Spanish articles to disseminate the work done in NC for Spanish-speaking audiences.

Professors commented about their experience:

“Nuestra experiencia en la UNC , desde la llegada hemos estado atendidas y cuidadas en todo momento, Con un programa bien elaborado de actividades a realizar. Ha sido sorprendente conocer la Universidad de Chapell Hill, con un campues tan grande y bien distribuido y atendido.
Las actividades que han sido planeadas , han sido cubiertas en tiempo y forma y horario y las personas que hemos tenido oportunidad de entrevistar , han sido cordiales, atentas y han accedido a nuestras entrevistas, tanto población inmigrante mexicana como personas que dirigen instituciones.
Han sido un aprendizaje y una experiencia de intercambio importante para nuestro desarrollo, aprendizaje y nuevos conocimientos. Esperamos poder continuar con este intercambio, ya que han muchas cosas que podemos aportar desde Mèxico y muchos aspectos que hemos entendido y que ustedes nos aportan a nosotros.
El campus de la Universidad me ha impresionado mucho por sus dimensiones, por la organización , por la cantidad de programas que ofrece, por las áreas en que se trabaja por el número de alumnos que atiende. Nos impresionan todos los servicios con que cuentan los alumnos, es algo de llamar mucho la atención. Vemos una ciudad universitaria y eso hace muy cómoda la estancia para los alumnos. Como invitadas es conocer otro modelo de universidad, que también nos hace reflexionar en nuestras propias Universidades , en lo que nosotros tenemos en Mèxico y nos da idea de las cuestiones que podríamos implementar allá.”

We were so glad to host such wonderful guests! We hope you will come again!

LMP staff participate in 2017 annual Engagement Units Summit

From left to right: Laura Villa Torres, Jessica White, Sara Peña and Maria

From left to right: LMP team members Laura Villa Torres, Jessica White, Sara Peña and Maria Silvia Ramírez.

The Latino Migration Project (LMP) presented a poster at the annual Engagement Units Summit Feb. 10, which was hosted by the Carolina Engagement Council at the Carolina Club, George Watts Hill Alumni Center. Team members discussed LMP initiatives of Building Integrated Communities, New Roots/Nuevas Raíces, and APPLES Global Course Guanajuato.

The summit focused on engaged experiential education: to enhance student learning and support communities. The summit was for campus engagement units and community partners. Centers, institutes, schools, departments and student organizations sent teams that represented overall units or specific efforts within a unit.

The program included:
Keynote address by Dr. Tania Mitchell, nationally recognized expert in the field of experiential education from the University of Minnesota,
Presentations on successful models for undergraduate, graduate and professional student experiential education, and
Roundtable discussions on how the University could better support and enhance experiential education on campus and with communities.

Student Spotlight: Guanajuato, Building Integrated Communities Intern Paige Hines

UNC Study Abroad in Guanajuato, Mexico is a student exchange program with the Universidad de Guanajuato (UG) in the city of Guanajuato, Mexico. This is a collaborative program of UNC Study Abroad, the Latino Migration Project, and the Department of Romance Studies.

UNC students directly enroll at the Universidad de Guanajuato (UG) for an opportunity to fully integrate into the academic, social, and cultural life in Guanajuato. One of these students we had the pleasure of speaking with is Paige Hines.


Paige Hines, Global Course Guanajuato Alum

Q: Paige, thank you so much for joining us. Can you tell us a little more about yourself?

A: I’m a senior Global Studies and Spanish Literatures and Culture major, originally from Greensboro, North Carolina. Like Chapel Hill and Carrboro, Greensboro has an increasing immigrant and refugee population. Growing up, and especially in high school, I was fortunate enough to be able to hear some of their stories, which has definitely informed how I see North Carolina today.

Q: Tell us more about what brought you to participate in the UNC Study Abroad Guanajuato program. How did the experience impact you?

A: I knew that I wanted to study abroad, learn more about Latin American culture and improve my Spanish. I heard of the spring service learning course that traveled to Guanajuato over spring break and thought it was a fascinating way to learn more about migration, its causes and the communities many who have settled in North Carolina have come from. When I saw that the study abroad program to Guanajuato opened up, I thought it would be a great opportunity to have a unique experience abroad. Also, Mexico has always fascinated me!

I loved every second of being in Guanajuato. I learned a lot about culture, food, politics, art, society and history through my host family who I chatted with over breakfast and dinner every day. Through the study abroad program, I got to see a rural side to the state I was living in, and learned about obstacles to higher education for those living in rural areas. I was really fortunate that pretty much every aspect of living in Guanajuato was a learning opportunity, from my friends, school, service and home. I was surprised at how many people I met by chance who had family connections to North Carolina.

Q: Wow, small world! We’re so glad you made connections that are so close to home. What are you up to now? IMG_1186

A: Since I’ve returned, I have been working Building Integrated Communities, an initiative that partners with North Carolinian towns and counties to implement policies that better include their immigrant populations, as well as Student Action with Farmworkers, a non-profit in Durham that bring students together with farmworkers to work to further the farmworker justice movement in the Carolinas. I have been excited in both roles to learn about different issues facing Latino immigrants, especially in terms of health and policy.

Q: We love how involved you are. What do you tell your friends when they ask about Guanajuato?

A: Guanajuato is one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico, and maybe the world! I was fascinated by the landscapes all around the city, and the colorful buildings characteristic of Guanajuato. I think many people have a different idea of what my experiences would be like than they really were, so I love to break those expectations.

My favorite memory may have been when my parents came to visit me. I became very close with my host family, and one night we all went out to dinner at a nice restaurant in a main plaza. A group of about 15 student-performers dressed in old Spanish attire (the town is Cevantes obsessed) came in to sing traditional callejoneada songs to another table, which is quite the performance. I got to enjoy the evening with my two families, who couldn’t even speak to each other, and celebrate a Guanajuato tradition. It was exciting to have my parents experience this alongside me, and my host family got to explain to us the history behind the songs and traditions. It was a memorable night!IMG_1383

Q: A memorable night indeed! We love that story. Why should others consider going to Guanajuato? 

Guanajuato is an amazingly multicultural city because of the university. People wanted to share with you the things they loved about their country, its people and culture. It also is complexly located economically. Much is changing and quickly, from industry and mining to agriculture and folk art. I think it is important to learn a little about those economic struggles to understand many facets of migration.

IMG_1192Q: When you are not studying, what do you like to do for fun?

For fun I like to read, travel, drink good coffee at cafes, backpack and hike and do yoga. I did all of those things in Guanajuato, too!

Paige, thank you so much. We look forward to hearing about your future adventures!