The mission of the Center for Latin American and Border Studies is to foster excellence in Latin American academics at New Mexico State University. The Center accomplishes this mission by pursuing the following broad objectives:
- Stimulate scholarship on Latin America
- Encourage excellence in academic programs related to Latin America
- Provide outreach to the public and to public schools on Latin America
- Encourage grant writing relevant to Latin America
- Serve as a clearinghouse for activities related to Latin America on the NMSU campus
- CLABS serves the entire NMSU community and is governed by an executive committee.
- Language and Curriculum Developments – The Center for Latin American and Border Studies currently supports the Latin American studies supplementary major at NMSU and runs both, a Spanish and Portuguese Table to support language instruction .
- Faculty Development -The center offers travel grants to support faculty research in Latin America. The Center has also created opportunities for collaboration between NMSU faculty members and their counterparts at UNM, UTEP, UACJ, UACH and Colef. An M.O.U. to promote research and teaching was recently signed with the Latin American and Iberian Istitute (UNM) and the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies (UTEP).
- Student Development – The Center provides support for SALAS, the Student Association for Latin American Studies and the advising of students interested in or participating in the Latin American Studies supplementary major.
- Community Education – The Center hosts a yearly speaker series in English and/or Spanish on various Latin American and Border Studies topics.
- Publications – The center supported the publication of a literature series by the members of Dr. José Manuel Garcia’s Spanish literature workshop.
- Nason House -Mrs. Charles H. W. Nason generously established an endowment fund and provided the furnishings and renovation costs for establishing the Center for Latin American and Border Studies in the building now known as the Nason House. Previously, the building was the residence of NMSU’s presidents. It is a historic building designed by the Trost architecture firm. The endowment provides funds for scholarships and other projects. For more information on the Willoughby L. Nason scholarship, see Resources under Student Opportunities. Mrs. Nason also donated the family library to the Center in memory of her husband and son, Willoughby Nason.
- Nason Collection – The Nason family collection, housed on site at the Center, consists of over 1,600 volumes and serials with a special emphasis on Mexico and Central America. The collection has a number of unique and rare items, including books that deal with the early explorations of Central America and a collection of rare archaeological items from Meso-America. In 1992, Mrs. Nason’s daughter, Alexandra Nason-Hall, donated several dozen books on art and art history to NMSU which have also been placed at Nason House. The Nason collection is open to scholars and students during the Center’s hours of operation, 12-4, Mo-Fri.