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January

FLAS provides tuition and stipend assistance for language training in Less-Commonly-Taught Languages (LCTLs), including Portuguese and Haitian Creole, to promote global understanding. Summer Fellowships also include the study of Quechua. Full-time, degree-seeking FIU graduate and undergraduate students in professional schools (Business, Law, Medicine, Journalism, Social Work, Engineering, etc.) are encouraged to apply if they are completing work related to Latin America.

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LACC and the Green School are honored to host Congressman Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, at FIU on January 27. Rep. Engel is recognized for his strong support of U.S. relations across the hemisphere and authored two bills on Latin America and the Caribbean signed into law by President Obama in December, 2016. At FIU he shares his insider view on "The Future of U.S. Policy Towards Latin American and the Caribbean."

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FIU's BBC campus hosts the Miami launch of the Brookings Institution/LACC joint research report on "Tourism in Cuba: Riding the Wave Toward Sustainable Prosperity" for students, businesses and industry specialists. Authors Richard Feinberg and Richard Newfarmer are joined by Cuban expert Jorge Duany, economist Maria Dolores Espino, and John Thomas, lawyer. Together they assess the picture of existing players and offer policy options for Cuba under the incoming US administration.

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February

In a project designed to reach students and practicing journalists across Florida and in the Latin America and Caribbean region, IAPA and LACC offer the second in a series of webinars dedicated to social media on mobile devices as a news source. Thursday, March 2 at noon EST Google's Alberto Lalama discusses how Google subsidiary Jigsaw is protecting freedom of expression in the midst of hackers bent on censoring and blocking differing points of view.

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The Western Hemisphere has undergone a dramatic shift in geopolitical leadership over the past decade although these changes have not reduced the number of security threats facing the hemisphere. The 2017 Hemispheric Security Conference brings together academics and practitioners to examine the most pressing security challenges facing the hemisphere on March 9th.

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Human trafficking exists in many areas not commonly recognized. LACC's student organization, MALOKA, takes worldwide trafficking head on in a student conference on March 3 at FIU. The many facets of trafficking, often referred to as modern slavery, will be the subject of an in-depth academic discussion created by FIU students from across disciplines.

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In collaboration with US Southern Command and the US Army War College, scholars join key security and defense leaders to cover trends and challenges in the hemisphere. Under discussion will be external state actors, regional leadership, and challenges and opportunities in US security and defense policy.

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Ambassador Sérgio Moreira Lima, President of Itamaraty's Alexandre de Gusmão Foundation (FUNAG), shares Brazil's positions on international relations and foreign policy with faculty, students and community members on Monday, Feb. 13 at FIU. Moreira Lima served in the United Nations, in his country's embassies in Washington, Lisbon and London, and as Ambassador to Tel Aviv, Oslo and Budapest.

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Former NBC journalist and EVP Paula Madison found the story of her life when she and her siblings, raised by a Chinese-Jamaican mother in Harlem, set out to verify the identity of their mother's Chinese grandfather. The journey led them from Kingston through Ontario to China and, ultimately, their extended family. The film documentary "Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem", screening at LACC on 2/17 with the presence of Madison, tells the inspiring story.

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University students from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala are invited to apply for the Central American Security and Drug Policy Scholarship (CASAD). The CASAD program will provide tuition and stipend towards completion of LACC's Master of Arts in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (MALACS). The scholarship is sponsored by LACC and Open Society Foundations. Deadline to apply: Feb. 15, 2017.

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March

The AOTP on March 28 awarded LACC its prestigious 2017 Award for the support and promotion of Portuguese language teaching. LACC supports Portuguese teaching as part of its Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The program includes local projects with Miami Dade County Public Schools as well as nationwide through the annual meeting of U.S. teachers on "Perspectives on Teaching Portuguese at Mainstream Schools." Awards ceremony 5/6 during the Brazilian International Press Awards.

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Twenty years of dynamic economic, social and institutuional transformation have begun to erase more than a half century of violence, drug trafficking and insurgent groups, such as the FARC, in Colombia. Ambassador to the U.S. and former Minister of Defense Juan Carlos Pinzón will join LACC Director Frank Mora on Thursday, March 30, in an open conversation on the next challenge to the Santos administration, the implementation of the Peace Process.

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MMCA17 on March 23 features a lineup of A-List experts and innovators who research and work on break-through platforms to address the digital divide that exists throughout the hemisphere. Leading professionals and scholars define the problem, share high-level strategies, discuss the need for innovation and reveal emerging technology, platforms and initiatives. A Must See for practicing journalists, pre-journalists, students and policy specialists.

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Latin American and Caribbean Studies graduate students hosted the "South Florida Student Conference on Human Trafficking" on March 3, 2017. This hugely successful event was organized by MALOKA, the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Graduate Student Organization. Congratulations MALOKA!

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April

Dr. Bianca Premo announced the first phase of FIU's History Dept. project that visualizes via online mapping the multiple power structures people navigated during colonial times. The overlapping jurisdictions of church, crown, guild, and villages made for a life far more complex than perceived by traditional observation of a one-dimensional map of a Spanish viceroyalty. The project is spearheaded by PhD candidates, post-docs and faculty from the History Department.

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On April 23, Jose Miguel Cruz appeared on C-Span as the expert consultant on Steve Scully's Sunday morning show that discussed transnational gangs. His take: the gang MS-13 of teens has been forced to start over again after last administration abolished them on both coasts and is far more dangerous in Central America. The interview took place after Attorney General Sessions cited the gang's role in the Trump administration's immigration policies.

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Nicolas Lemay-Hébert’s research is on post-earthquake Haiti and the political economy of interventions, local narratives of resistance to interventions, and peacebuilding and state building issues. Multiple stays in Haiti led to in-depth knowledge of the toll cholera —absent until UN Peace Forces arrived— has wreaked on the poorer Haitian population. Following the long overdue apology from the UN in 12/2016, Nick and his team are currently advocating for the material retribution to victims.

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In 2016-2017 Professor Jorge Esquirol of FIU's College of Law published books, chapters and law articles on comparative property law and the internationalization of Latin America's judicial systems. The works were published in Portuguese, Spanish and Italian by prestigious legal journals and publishing houses. Esquirol has a S.J.D. from Harvard Law School, focusing on Latin American legal systems and teaches international law, comparative law and commercial law at FIU.

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FIU’s LACC, CRI and Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management joined researchers from the Brookings Institution and St. Thomas University in January to present findings from the LACC/Brookings publication on Cuba's tourism industry. Under discussion: policy options for Cuba’s tourism industry, the U.S. role in its future expansion, and the potential impact of the Trump administration. The event was aired in its entirety this week on C-SPAN.

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May

On May 23 FIU experts will report on The New Face of Central American Gangs: MS-13 and the Gang Phenomenon in El Salvador at FIU-DC. LACC Research Director Jose Miguel Cruz and JGI Research Scientist Jonathan Rosen present results of their survey of nearly 1,200 youth gang members and former members. FIU's Pres. Rosenberg will introduce the panel, joined by moderator Frank Mora, and Cynthia Arnson (Woodrow Wilson Center) and Desmond Arias (George Mason University) will act as discussants.

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Professor Nick Andre and FIU alumna Nyya Toussaint have created the first Haitian Creole course for the language-learning platform, Duolingo. The platform, also accessible via app, includes a language proficiency assessment. This Haitian Creole course was developed with the support of Toussaint’s US Department of Education FLAS Fellowship award. It will soon be available in all of Duolingo’s platforms free of charge. Click on title to read more.

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Jorge Esquirol, FIU Law professor and LACC affiliated faculty member, teaches, publishes and lectures in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. Over the past year alone, he has lectured in the US, Germany, Colombia, Thailand, Brazil, Uruguay, Italy and South Africa. Esquirol's focus is broad, earning him renown for his ability to present comparative scenarios for each audience. Specialties? International, comparative and commercial law. Congratulations to a LACC member making global impact!

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Citing LACC's support of K-12 Portuguese language and culture programs at FIU and in Miami Dade County Public Schools, on Saturday, May 6th, the American Organization of Teachers of Portuguese (AOTP) Florida Chapter presented the 2017 award to LACC Director Frank Mora. The award is in recognition of "the passion and commitment for education, inclusiveness and diversity."

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On April 25, Dr. Jean Rahier inaugurated a collection of his work in a ceremony at the Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar, Quito. The material is part of his research carried out in Afro-Ecuadorian communities between 1984 and 2003 on festivals, cultural practices and issues related to racism and discrimination. The new collection is the major repository of Afrodescendants in the Andean region. The donation took place within the framework of the MOU signed between FIU and the UASB in 2015.

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June

On Wednesday, June 28, Dr. Chantalle Verna inaugurates the 20th Annual Haitian Summer Institute (HSI) Lecture Series with a talk on the research and history behind her recent publication "Haiti and the Uses of America." The presentation is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception to celebrate the HSI's 20th Anniversary. Join us! For details please click on the title above.

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LACC affiliated faculty member Dr. Melissa Baralt and team won the national "Bridging the Word Gap Challenge" which awards $75k for a project that teaches parents how to maximize their babies' language development. By age 3, children from low-income families hear 30 million fewer words than their more affluent peers. Baralt's app was created to reduce the word gap and promote bilingualism among Hispanic babies. It was the only entry targeting a minority population. Click on the title for info.

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JGI and LACC announce the launch of a new series of reports examining the cultures of militaries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Authored by top scholars, the ongoing military culture series examines internal and external factors that shape contemporary institutional identities. Click on the title above to access reports on Cuba, Honduras, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Argentina. Forthcoming reports examine the militaries of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala and Peru.

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Juan Carlos Gomez is a law professor and director of the Carlos A. Costa Immigration and Human Rights Clinic at FIU. With decades of experience defending immigrants, Gomez recently made front page news as part of a group denouncing the increased number of scams targeting immigrants. Fearful of increased deportations under the Trump administration, undocumented immigrants turn their dollars and their destinies over to sometimes unscrupulous "lawyers" who promise work permits...and then disappear.

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July

LACC's 20th Annual Haitian Summer Institute students are on the ground in Haiti practicing their Haitian Kreyol skills and absorbing the country's rich culture. Dr. Jacques Pierre and assistant Rose Nicholson lead the group in the exploration of Cap Haitien sights and events. Link to their photos by clicking on the title above.

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Ten educators from across the US are in Cuba this week to learn about educational practice and philosophy on the island. Cuba claims following the Revolution its literacy rate was increased from 60% to 100% within two years by sending thousands of “literacy brigades” travelling across the country to rural areas. The program has been hosted by LACC and the University of New Mexico since 2016 and is led by Dr. Eric Dwyer of FIU's School of Education and Human Behavior.

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LACC is pleased to announce the launch of a fully online Bachelors degree beginning this Fall'17. The degree joins LACC's nationally recognized undergraduate and graduate degrees, joint degrees, and certificates of specialization. All are designed to provide students from a broad range of disciplines —physical sciences, humanities, business and law, for example— the ability to center those interests in the LAC region. To learn more about the online BA and LACC degrees, click on the title above.

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August

LACC Affiliated Faculty member Carolin Lusby, a specialist in sustainable tourism, represented the Chaplin School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Argentina's UADE for an exchange program on sustainable tourism. In her interview she argued that as international mass conventional tourism is slowly recuperating, steps to guarantee sustainable tourism are lagging. In her view, Argentina's wealth of natural and cultural resources are rife for development. Click on the title for interview.

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Twenty-four educators participated in the 2017 Summer Teacher Institute entitled “Whither Cuba? Perspectives on Cuba in the 21st Century.” These educators represented K-12 and post-secondary institutions from six states. The workshop was a collaboration between FIU's Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, UW-Whitewater, UW-Madison Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies (LACIS) and the UW-Milwaukee Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS). +More info on title.

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Pioneering voices from the social and religious movements that led to the Liberation Theology boom in the last century meet in a two day (9/14-15) symposium at FIU to explore the diverse movements and launch a project to build a digital library encompassing all. Scholars/Theologians include Gustavo Gutiíerrez, Peruvian founder, and Luiz A. Gomes de Souza, expert on Dom Helder of the Brazilian movement. To RSVP click on the title above

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On September 12, Attorneys General of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras discuss their common strategy to combat gangs, drug cartels, financial crimes and corruption at FIU. Their collaboration has shown notable results in the battle on transnational criminal organizations, in particular MS-13. Frank Mora moderates the conversation that includes Kenneth A. Blanco, Acting U.S. Assistant Attorney General. Details and RSVP by clicking on the title above.

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On Sept. 6 at UM's John C. Gifford Arboretum, Dr. Javier Fransisco-Ortega, renowned tropical botanist and LACC Affiliated Faculty member, presents recent findings from the Université de Montréal and the Botanic Garden of Montreal that confirm La Salle Brother Marie-Victorin led plant-hunting expeditions to Haiti in 1938 and 1942. A major part of the discovery links Marie-Victorin to David Fairchild, founder of Miami's Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. The wealth of material remains under study.

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LACC and FIU's Latin American and Caribbean Interdisciplinary Initiative on Religion host Dr. Gustavo Gutierrez, leading Dominican priest and author of the classic, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, Salvation, that transformed the language of justice for the poor in Latin America. Supported by LACC's Title VI grant, Gutierrez inaugurates a two-day conference of Catholic Church leaders and offers a workshop for K-12 teachers on how to teach socio-ecclesial movements of liberation.

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Fifteen MDCPS Middle and High School teachers learned about Latin America and the Caribbean in 7 lectures and training on digital video production in a week long workshop held at FIU's BBC campus. See photos and agenda by clicking on title above.

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September

On the eve of Hurricane Irma's landfall in S. Florida, LACC affiliated professor Ligia Collado-Vides appeared on Oppenheimer Presenta to discuss how warming waters from climate change strengthen hurricanes. Oppenheimer adds: "Supporting reports from NOAA are ignored by climate skeptics, even while the Trump administration relies on NOAA to warn about incoming storms."

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LAPOP's highly anticipated 2016-2017 AmericasBarometer survey holds its regional release at FIU on Tuesday, Sept. 26 as LAPOP Director Elizabeth Zechmeister and Associate Director Noam Lupu join researchers and LACC colleagues to share key findings from the 28 countries surveyed. The launch focuses on democracy and governance across the region, with particular emphasis on the Andean region: Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. For the full program and to RSVP, please click on the title above.

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FIU's Washington D.C. campus hosts the launch of LACC's signature Hemisphere Magazine on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 9:00 AM. The 2017 issue, guest-edited by LACC Research Director Jose Miguel Cruz, examines the historical evolution of crime and insecurity, criminal justice systems, youth involvement and victimization of women. Contributors Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera and Eduardo Moncada join the conversation moderated by LACC Director Frank Mora. Click on title for more information and to RSVP.

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FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg welcomes Costa Rica's President Luis Guillermo Solís, former FIU faculty and research fellow, to honor him with the FIU Presidential Gold Medallion prior to Solis' participation in an open discussion about Costa Rica on Friday, 9/22. LACC Dir.Frank Mora moderates the conversation on the country's challenges and opportunities, citizen security, renewable energy resources, environmental and climate change, and infrastructure. Click on title for information and RSVP.

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October

Following interviews with over 1,000 gang members and former gang members, LACC Research Director Jose Miguel Cruz, PI, reported to InSight Crime that there are three exit strategies acceptable to gang leaders when members want to leave gang life. First, conversion to evangelical christianity; second, leaving the country; and third, becoming "calmado" —remaining in the gang but not participating in gang activities. Why are these exits accepted? Read the article by clicking on the title above.

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In celebration of October's International Creole Month, LACC joins leaders from FIU and the local community for 12 events celebrating Haitian Kreyòl."Preserving Kreyòl means preserving our culture," stated Prof. Nick Andre. "This month we keep that promise by offering a series of academic roundtables featuring members of the Haitian Creole Academy, and cultural activities designed to reinforce Haitian traditions and the Kreyòl experience." For schedule, experts and co-sponsors click on title.

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On Sunday, 10/08, LACC Director Frank Mora appeared on C-Span's Washington Journal to discuss the Trump Administration's recent expulsion of 20 Cuban Diplomats from the US —allegedly in response to the US recalling diplomats suffering illnesses from unknown sources. Moro stated that "There simply is not confirmation of what is behind the attacks on US diplomats. Any claims of knowledge are pure speculation." Click on the title above to watch the program.

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LACC MA alumnus and History PhD Joseph Holbrook has been named LACC's Director of Academic Affairs. As a long-time student at FIU and prominent adjunct professor of LACC's baseline courses since 2013, Holbrook is a well known mentor to students seeking BAs, MAs and specialization certificates in Latin American Studies and Caribbean Studies. Dr. Holbrook's door is always open at DM 350. You can see how he engages students by clicking on the title above!

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On 9/22, LACC was host to Costa Rica's President Luis Guillermo Solis along with co-hosts FIU, SIPA, and the Jack D. Gordon Institute. Throughout the day Solis met with faculty members, was awarded FIU's highest honor by Pres. Mark B. Rosenberg, took part in a public "conversation" moderated by LACC Director Frank Mora, and met with students for topical discussions. Solis, a former professor and researcher at LACC, welcomed the "homecoming". Click on the title for fotos of an exciting day!

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