Many of the hemisphere’s research institutions are
focusing on the regional implications of the global
economic crisis. The Inter-American Development
Bank (IDB) produced two reports for its March
2009 meeting. Policy Trade-offs for Unprecedented
Times, a macroeconomic study, argues that Latin
America has withstood the
crisis but cautions that the
region is highly susceptible
if the U.S. economy fails
to recover quickly. A
complementary report, Social
and Labor Market Policies for
Tumultuous Times, calls for
more social coverage and fewer
bottlenecks that affect growth.
Inter-American Development Bank • Facultad
Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales •
A Helping Educational Hand
The annual report of the Facultad Latinoamericano
de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), a regional social
science organization with members in 17 countries,
explores how economics have affected the region’s
trend toward integration. Integration in Latin
America: Actions and Omissions; Conflicts and
Cooperation, written by FLACSO General Secretary
Francisco Rojas Aravena and
published earlier this year,
claims that integration can help
countries achieve their political,
economic, social, and cultural
goals. It also emphasizes the role
of government actors, civil society,
entrepreneurs, and intellectuals in
integrating the region.
Education is the key to getting ahead. That’s why Mexico’s Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME) teamed up with the University of
California to start a grants program aimed at providing educational opportunities for first-generation Hispanics in the United States.
Launched in 2005,
IME awards $900,000
annually in education
scholarships for immigrant students or in
stipends for the tutors
and advisors that teach
literacy workshops and
other basic education
courses. Thirty percent
of the IME funds can
be allocated toward
This is one way that
Mexico is supporting
the integration of its
estimated 12. 7 million
living in the United
States. Donations from
U. S. corporations and
individuals complement the IME awards.
Last year, these donations totaled $154,000.
So far, more than
20,000 people have benefited from IME grants.
One recent beneficiary is Alejandro Hernández Rojas,
a 31-year-old immigrant who lives in Houston, Texas.
After completing an IME-supported literacy program,
Hernández can now help his daughter with her
schoolwork. The result? “I know that she is proud
of me,” he says. The life of another Houston resident,
Feliciano Oliva Villanueva, 51, was changed by the
basic education courses sponsored by the program.
After 30 years as a temporary worker, Oliva now
proudly declares, “I feel self-sufficient.” Like Hernández and Oliva, for many immigrants, basic education
is an aspiration and a critical step toward their goals
of contributing more to society. With IME, achieving
this dream is now a greater possibility.
To find out more, visit www.imebecas.org.
Alejandro Hernández (above)
receives a diploma and
Feliciano Oliva (below)
IME: CONSULATE GENERAL OF MÉXICO, HOUSTON
On the topic of inequality, the Observatory on Racial
Discrimination published Racial Discrimination and
Human Rights in Colombia: A Report on the Situation
of the Rights of Afro-
Colombians in December
2008. The report reveals
example, 14 percent of
Afro-Colombians did not
eat at least one day per
week in 2005—and offers
ideas for promoting greater
All reports are available in Spanish and English and can be accessed
through links at americasquarterly.org/think-tanks-summer09.