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Mexico's Indigenous Languages and Cultures

Mexico City, Puebla & Tlaxcala

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Seminar Overview: "Mexico’s Indigenous Languages and Cultures"

​To support community colleges and minority-serving institutions, CAORC offers fully-funded overseas seminars that help faculty and administrators gain the requisite first-hand experience needed to develop and improve international courses, curricula, and teaching materials.

This seminar, administered by CAORC in collaboration with its member center in Mexico, the Americas Research Network (ARENET), funds participation in a two-week seminar in Mexico that will include stays in Mexico City, Puebla, and Tlaxcala. The ethnic and cultural diversity of the contemporary United States has many of its roots in the deep historical traditions of Latin America. The dynamic processes that are multiplying the interconnections between Mexico and the U.S. are due, in large measure, to the resilience of Mexico’s Indigenous peoples. The Indigenous population of Mexico is one of the world’s largest, and Indigenous migrants from diverse linguistic and cultural traditions have come to the U.S. for decades, with their numbers continuing to increase.


This seminar based in Mexico City, Tlaxcala, and Puebla will provide concrete exposure to the geographic and cultural diversity of Mexico and its historical ties to the U.S. Participants will gain first-hand experience of Mexico’s Indigenous communities and will meet local scholars, artists, and activists. The seminar will also explore the rich collections held in Mexico’s museums, libraries, and archaeological sites. 


Participants will experience the wide diversity of Mexico’s Indigenous history, society, and culture and its relevance for the future of the United States. Round-trip travel, accommodations, in-country transportation, and meals will be provided for the seminar.


Seminar dates: May 21 - June 4, 2023

Meet the ARENET Seminar Team

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Omar Aguilar Sánchez is tee savi (mixteco) and Doctor by the University of Leiden. He is an archeologist and  recipient  of the Alfonso Caso Prize in 2016 and 2021. In 2019, he won the National Youth Prize in the “Academic Achievement” category. He is a specialist in the historical-cultural heritage of the Ñuu Savi, mainly in the Mixtec Codices and the link between these pictorial manuscripts and the living heritage and the Mixtec language from a decolonial perspective. He has been a member of national and international congresses and has published several articles. He developed the  App “Códices Mixtecos”, and is  co-founder of “Colectivo Nchivi Ñuu Savi”. He is a founding member and research professor at the Universidad Autónoma Comunal de Oaxaca. In 2022, he joined the National System of Researchers (SNI).

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Herlinda Marquez is Nahuatl from Tenango Zacatlán in Puebla. She is a registered nurse and her research focuses on indigenous health and traditional healing practices. 


The program is open to full-time or part-time faculty and administrators at U.S. community colleges or minority-serving institutions.* The program is open to faculty in all fields and encourages applicants from a diverse array of academic departments. Applicants must be U.S. citizens at the time of application and must also have a valid passport or have already submitted an application for a new passport. 

Note: Applicants may apply to only one of the current CAORC Faculty Development Seminar opportunities being offered.

Note: Previously awarded CAORC seminar participants must wait three years before applying again.

*A useful directory of MSIs can be found at the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions.

Program Expectations

​At the conclusion of the program, participants will be required to:

  • Develop a 1-pg concept note of short and long-term goals to increase teaching and awareness about Mexico and/or Latin America in their classes and college community.

  • Develop new or improved course materials about Mexico that can be shared as Open Educational Resources on CAORC’s website and social media to enhance U.S. teaching on Latin America.

  • Contribute a short blog article, written for a popular audience, that expresses something about how the seminar improved your knowledge or understanding of Mexico.

Application Process

Applications can be accessed via CAORC's SM Apply application portal. You must sign up for an account to access the seminar application. This will allow you to save and return to your application before submitting. Please save your login/password information for future applications.

​In addition to providing basic personal and professional information, applicants are required to respond to the following essay questions (up to 500 words each):

  1. Please describe your professional and/or academic interest in participating in the faculty development seminar to Mexico. How will your professional and personal experiences, qualifications, and perspectives allow you to make the most of the seminar opportunity?

  2. Please describe how participation in this seminar is essential for your own professional development, i.e., improving your teaching, research, and/or administrative activities. How will you benefit professionally and personally from participating in the seminar?

  3. Please describe how participation in this seminar will directly impact your teaching, curriculum, and/or research. What specific projects, courses, or activities do you envision resulting from the seminar? More broadly, how might the experience positively impact your students, colleagues, institution, and/or community?

  4. Please discuss an occasion or time when you were confronted with attitudes, perspectives, values, or behaviors different from your own. How did you respond and what did you learn about yourself and your attitudes from the experience?

​In addition, applicants are required to:

  • ​Upload a current cv/resume (less than 3 pages in length)

  • Request a letter of support from a department chair, academic division head, or academic dean at your college or institution. You will be able to send a link to your recommender via the online grant portal, SM Apply, by entering their contact details, which will trigger the system into sending an automated email. Your recommender will then be able to upload their letter. Recommendation letters will be confidential in the system. ​In their letter, the recommender should address the following questions/points:

    1. Please tell us why you support the applicant’s participation in the CAORC faculty development seminar. From your perspective, how will they benefit professionally from the program?

    2. Please describe the applicant’s engagement with your institution’s internationalization efforts and how their participation in the seminar might benefit students, colleagues, and the broader campus community.

    3. Please discuss the applicant’s collegiality, teamwork, and professionalism. How have they demonstrated the ability to cooperate, work, and share with others to achieve goals and positive outcomes?

  • It is advisable to enter your recommender's contact details into the recommendation letter section of the application as soon as possible (and click 'mark as complete') so that they have sufficient time to complete and upload their letter. The applicant is responsible for checking in with their recommender to ensure the letter is submitted by the recommender deadline. CAORC is not able to reach out to recommenders on behalf of the applicant. 

Opening date for applications: July 12, 2022

Application deadline: September 13, 2022 at 5:00pm ET

Recommendation letter deadline: September 20, 2022 at 5:00pm ET

Notification of award decisions: Early November

​If you have questions, please email:

Funding for this program is provided to CAORC through a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

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