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 entite NMSU community and is governed by an executive commitee. Click here CLABS by-laws.
- Language and Curriculum Developments – The Center for Latin American and Border Studies currently supports the Latin American studies supplementary major at NMSU. The Center also works with K-12 teachers in Las Cruces and New Mexico to help them incorporate materials on Latin America and Border issues into their curriculum.The Center for Latin American and Border Studies provides for advanced Portuguese instruction at the university. In the past, the Center has provided language courses in Quiche.
- Faculty Development – The Center offsets travel costs for faculty members traveling to professional and scholarly conferences related to Latin America. The Center has also created opportunities for collaboration between NMSU faculty members and their counterparts at UNM, UTEP, UACJ, UACH and Colef.Currently, along with NMSU’s Center for International and U.S.-Mexico Border Programs and Mexican partners, the Center is developing an NMSU-Sierra Tarahumara Project .
- 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. The Center has sponsored Mexican film series for students and interested faculty, has recruited Hispanic students interested in careers in international relations in cooperation with the Department of Government through a Woodrow Wilson Foundation grant, and has sponsored courses for NMSU students on Mexican culture.
- Community Education – The Center hosts a spring semester speaker series in English and/or Spanish on various Latin America topics. The free, on-line Border Studies Curriculum for junior high and high school students helps teachers introduce the border and Latin American into their classrooms. It contains 20 complete lesson plans about various facets of border life.
- Resource Development – The Center funds library acquisitions related to Latin America. It also provided partial funding to purchase a $15,000 special collection on Latin America.
- Publications – The Center for Latin American and Border Studies at New Mexico State University (NMSU), the Colegio de la Frontera Norte (Colef) and the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez (UACJ), under the auspices of the Hewlett Foundation, have undertaken the creation of the Paso del Norte: Integrating the Region publication series.
The goal of the series is to publish and distribute works of the highest quality that deal with topics related to the Las Cruces, NM; El Paso, TX; and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua border region and its inhabitants, covering the arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering.
- Other Projects -Trained Central American municipal and community leaders in public administration under AID grants. Helped coordinate campus activities related to Paraguay.
- 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 information. 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.