Welcome to Vamos a Leer! There are multiple facets to what we do here, as you can read about in greater detail in the links below, but first let us tell you who we are and a little bit about how we got started.
Vamos a Leer was created by the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico.
When we began Vamos a Leer, we had no idea it would turn into the blog you are reading now. Initially, we envisioned a monthly book group created to support educators who wanted to bring more Latin American content into their classrooms. While we continue to hold those wonderful meetings with local educators, we soon realized we wanted to do more than just meet once a month. We wanted to create and compile resources that teachers could access anywhere at any time, and to provide the space for national or even international dialogue. Most importantly, we wanted to encourage educators to use great literature to create globally literate students, to engage in authentic discussions of culture, and to think about social justice issues. In order to do all that, we created this blog as both an accompaniment to our book group and as an independent resource.
We know educators are busy and often over-burdened and don’t have the time to sift through and search for resources. We wanted to help. Our blog is an attempt to do ‘the leg-work’ for teachers—we compile lesson plans, research materials, resources, links to helpful blogs or author websites, and even write educator’s guides to accompany each book featured in our book group. We also wanted to provide a space for a conversation through comments and discussions on our posts. Feel free to comment or ask questions on any of the posts. We check the blog regularly and will get back to you!!
If you like what you see, be sure to sign-up to follow our blog via email! You would be amazed at how much a growing number of followers helps us in getting our resources out to interested educators and community members!
Jasmine Morse, Blogger I am a graduate student in the Latin American Studies department focusing on history and society. I work as a graduate assistant for the K-12 Outreach Program at the Latin American and Iberian Institute of UNM. My experience as an educator includes years of teaching English as a second/foreign language both in the United States and abroad. Most recently I have worked with a group of incarcerated Latino men in Washington State developing a program which allows them the opportunity to complete primary and secondary education. I am excited to be part of the K-12 Outreach Program as it incorporates many of my greatest interests.
Whitney Wagner, Blogger Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, my interest in Latin America was sparked by my linguistically and culturally immersive primary school education at The International School. At Pitzer College, I dual majored in Spanish and International and Intercultural Studies and spent time working on immigrant’s rights issues with the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice and the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center in the Inland Empire of California. I have spent the last year as an AmeriCorps member serving as an after-school educator and community liaison for Metropolitan Family Service in Portland. I am ecstatic to be a part of the LAII K-12 Education Outreach team. Reading is one of life’s greatest joys, and am passionate about reading as a tool for intercultural understanding and engagement.
Katrina Dillon, Blogger-in-Chief I am an education consultant with k-12 outreach at the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico. I recently finished my PhD in Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies and am now back in the elementary school classroom. I also have experience teaching at the preschool, middle school, and university levels.
Carolina Bucheli, Blogger My name is Carolina Bucheli and I am currently in my second semester of my MA in Latin American Studies. I am a Teaching Assistant for the Spanish and Portuguese department and a Graduate Assistant for the Latin American and Iberian Institute, where I will be assisting with this blog.I am originally from Quito, Ecuador, and I came to the US in 2015 for my undergraduate program.
Alin Yuriko Badillo Carrillo, Blogger I am a second year Master’s Student in the Latin American Studies program at the University of New Mexico. I am the Vice President of the Student Organization for Latin American Studies (SOLAS) at UNM, and I work with k-12 outreach programs at the UNM Latin American & Iberian Institute, where I get to contribute to bringing a different perception to this blog. I am a first in my family to graduate from high school, college, and now as a Master’s student. I am very excited to share my perspectives and I look forward to hear your thoughts.
Santi Carrasco García, Blogger ¡Hola a todos! I am originally from Madrid (Spain), and I am doing an MA in Latin American Studies at the University of New Mexico, focusing on Geography and Environment, as well as Communication and Journalism. I am deeply attracted by the Arts, specifically Cinema and Literature. As per my professional background in Education, I have taught English in my home country, and I am currently a Spanish instructor at UNM.
Lorraine Archibald, Blogger I am a Master’s student at the University of New Mexico’s Latin American and Iberian Institute. I work as a graduate assistant for the LAII K-12 Outreach Program. My areas of interest include immigration, indigenous advocacy, and borderland communities. I am honored to contribute to this blog and help support educators who wish to incorporate lessons on Latin America into their classrooms.
Colleen Chávez, Blogger I am in the dual degree Latin American Studies and Community and Regional Planning program. I am very excited to join the blogging community as serve as the Reading Roundup contributor.
Adrian Cruz, Contributor I am an undergraduate office assistant at the University of New Mexico’s Latin American and Iberian Institute. I am planning to graduate with a major in political science and a minor in history. I perform regular office duties and occasionally contribute to the fantastic Vamos a Leer blog.
Alice Donahue, Blogger I am a first year Master’s student in Latin American Studies at UNM. I will be studying Spanish Literature and Human Rights, while working with the K-12 outreach department on maintaining this wonderful blog! Some of my hobbies and interests include organic farming, cooking, swimming, hiking, photography and art. I also love traveling and learning about foreign languages and cultures.
Valeria García, Contributor ¡Hola y mucho gusto a todos! I am a fourth year Master’s student in Latin American Studies at the University of New Mexico, and I am a third year law student at UNM as well. I work mainly with translating K-12 curriculum materials for Vamos a Leer, as well as collaborating with other initiatives that the Latin American and Iberian Institute takes on with k-12 programs. My focuses for my Masters is on human rights discourse and domestic violence/child abuse in Latin America, and I hope to practice criminal defense for indigent communities in New Mexico. I’m very excited to contribute to this amazing blog!
Adam Flores, Blogger I am a graduate assistant for the K-12 Outreach Program at the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico. I am a law student and a Master’s student in Latin American Studies.
Kalyn Finnell, Blogger I am a dual degree Master’s student at the University of New Mexico, studying Latin American Studies and Community & Regional Planning. As part of my Master’s thesis I am currently working with a community in Cusco, Peru, where I have spent time living and studying the Quechua language. When I’m not blogging or studying, I’m working as the President of the Student Organization for Latin American Studies (SOLAS) at UNM. I am excited to be engaged in the k-12 community, and to help support the teaching of Latin America in the classroom.
Charla Henley, Blogger I am a Master’s candidate in Latin American Studies at the University of New Mexico. I work as a graduate assistant in Community Education (outreach) programs at the Latin American Iberian Institute. I am the new author of the World Wide Web page and I am extremely excited to be a part of this blogging community!
Hania Mariën, Blogger Saludos de Oregon! I am a senior anthropology major and Spanish minor at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. I recently returned from a year abroad split between Nicaragua and Belgium, and am eager to share my passion for learning about the world through books. I continue to work at a bilingual elementary school and am interested in learning about international comparative and transcultural educational approaches.
Ailesha Ringer, Blogger I am a Master’s student at the University of New Mexico’s Latin American and Iberian Institute concentrating in Political Science and Communication/Journalism. I was lucky enough to be awarded a graduate assistantship with an amazing group of people dedicated to furthering the understanding of our Latin American neighbors and helping our New Mexico community grow and learn together. I’m looking forward to participating in that dialogue.
Neoshia Roemer, Blogger I am a graduate assistant working in the areas of community involvement, K-12 outreach, and conference planning at the University of New Mexico’s Latin American and Iberian Institute. I am very interested in social issues within Latin America (past and present). I am currently working towards a Master’s in Latin American Studies with concentrations in history and human rights as well as a degree in law with an emphasis in international law.
Jacob Sandler, Contributor I research Isthmus Zapotec poetry and other cultural products from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region in southern Mexico. Currently I am studying Anthropology and Economics through the Latin American & Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico. I grew up in Trenton, NJ and Philly.
Logan Shea, Blogger Small town kid turned literature student turned Peace Corps Volunteer turned Latin American Studies student. Always a student.