Because of the geographic location and unique cultural history of New Mexico, UNM has emphasized Latin American Studies since the early 1930s. In 1979, the Latin American & Iberian Institute (LAII) was founded to coordinate Latin American programs on campus. Designated a National Resource Center (NRC) by the U.S. Department of Education, the LAII offers academic degrees, supports research, provides development opportunities for faculty, and coordinates an outreach program that reaches diverse constituents.
The LAII is committed to expanding awareness, knowledge, and understanding of Latin America and Iberia among diverse constituents. In particular, the LAII works to create a stimulating and supportive environment for K-12 educators so that they can produce, enhance, and expand knowledge of Latin America within their classrooms. To this end we work with educators across grade levels and subject areas, providing them with resources to support their teaching about Latin America.