History of the Américas: Migraciones y Fronteras/ Migrations and Borders

March 30 to April 1, 2023
Tijuana, Mexico

The application deadline has passed. Interested teachers should contact clasoutreach [at] stanford.edu (clasoutreach[at]stanford[dot]edu) to inquire about late applications.

Image of bright lettering on the U.S.-Mexico border wall extending into a vibrant Pacific Ocean in the distance. Photo by Barbara Zandoval on Unsplash.

“At the end of 2021, the total number of people worldwide who were forced to flee their homes due to conflicts, violence, fear of persecution and human rights violations was 89.3 million.”

 - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Join the Center for Latin American Studies in Tijuana, Mexico, to explore first-hand the effects of immigration policy on asylum-seekers, refugees, and communities in U.S.-Mexico border towns. 

Designed to support the 2016 History-Social Science Framework for California Schools for grades K-12, this institute hosts educators in Tijuana, Mexico, to analyze the push-and-pull factors that have contributed to shifting migration patterns, how changes in globalization and U.S. immigration policy have changed border communities over time, what kind of opposition migrants face in border towns, and how these dynamic communities are responding.

Led by Stanford University lecturer Vivian Brates and CLAS Associate Director Elizabeth Sáenz-Ackermann, this program combines talks from migration experts and scholars from the San Diego-Tjuana region, and learn directly from activists and lawyers at the Tijuana-based legal services organization Al Otro Lado, which provides legal and humanitarian support to refugees, deportees, and other migrants from all over the world; and a look into the city’s thriving artistic and cultural identity.

Program Leads


Headshot of Vivian Brates

Vivian Brates is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she attended the University of Buenos Aires. She received an M. A. degree from Georgetown University in Latin American Studies, with a focus on Economic Development, and previously an M. A. degree from UC Santa Barbara in Spanish and Latin American Literature. She worked for several years as a Human Rights Observer and Election Monitor with the United Nations and the OAS in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Guatemala, as well as an advocate and lobbyist in Washington DC.

She has worked at Stanford since 2005 and has focused on developing meaningful partnerships with Spanish-speaking communities to offer students real-life experiences, raise awareness about other cultures (and their own), grow their global competencies, and develop identities as engaged citizens.

Her students have been working with the Immigration Institute of the Bay Area preparing immigrants for the US citizenship exam, the Dilley Pro Bono Project in Texas and Al Otro Lado in Tijuana, Mexico, helping asylum seekers articulate their fear of return claims, and more recently with Freedom for Immigrants and Detention Resistance, staffing hotlines for immigrants in ICE detention. She has also volunteered for the Prison University Project teaching Spanish at San Quentin Prison.

Headshot of Elizabeth Saez-Ackermann.

Elizabeth Sáenz-Ackermann is originally from Ciudad Juárez, México, where she attended the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez. She lived in the San Diego- Tijuana region for 15 years and received an M.A. in Latin American Studies from San Diego State University. Her research interest is on grassroots resistance movements in Latin America, particularly indigenous resistance and struggles. Elizabeth is adherent of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. She has accompanied the Zapatista movement since 1997 and attended several encuentros, including CompArtes, and ConCiencias, and the Escuelita Zapatista. 

Program Details


March 30 - April 1 , 2023 (hotel in San Diego provided on March 29)


Tijuana, Mexico


Designed for middle school and high school science and history-social science teachers. Community college instructors are also welcome. 

Continuing Education Units

2 quarter units (20 hours of instruction) through Stanford Continuing Studies

Registration fee: $350*

  • Limited funding from the U.S. Department of Education Title VI is available for participants with demonstrated financial aid need. Financial aid priority will be given to teachers working in schools designated Title 1 and/or 50% free and reduced lunch.
  • Registration fees cover lodging, breakfast and lunch, materials, ground transportation for institute activities (including from the hotel in San Diego to the hotel in Tijuana), and programming while in Tijuana.
  • Registration fees do not include participant travel to and from San Diego. This must be coordinated and paid by the participant.
  • Registration fees do not include dinners nor incidental costs such as passport fees, travel medical insurance, immunizations†, etc.

* Subsidized price as a result of U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center grant funding.
† Participants are responsible for ensuring they have the appropriate immunizations for the destination.

Application Process

Application Deadline

January 24, 2023

The application deadline has passed. Interested teachers should contact clasoutreach [at] stanford.edu (clasoutreach[at]stanford[dot]edu) to inquire about late applications.

Online application

  • Applicant profile information
  • Resume (upload)
  • A 300-500 word statement of interest (type in electronic form or upload)
    Applicant: The statement of interest should address why you are interested in the program, what makes you a good candidate, and how you plan to synthesize the knowledge and experience gained from this institute to maximize the benefits to your classroom, school, and district.

Letter of reference

  • Letter of reference should be written by a person in the position to evaluate the applicant, such as a principal, chair, advisor, or supervisor.
  • Letters should address the applicant’s ability to integrate observations, data collected, and readings into lessons; develop curriculum materials; train other teachers in the school district or at workshops and conferences; contribute to the group experience in regard to interpersonal and group-living skills; and/or engage with students.
  • Letters must include letterhead and a signature and be uploaded at the link provided.

Applications will be reviewed by a review committee appointed by the Center for Latin American Studies at Stanford University.  Applicants will be contacted in early February with a decision.

All qualified applicants will be considered in accordance with Stanford University's Nondiscrimination Policy.  

Supplemental Materials

Supplemental materials are due February 17, 2023, after being accepted to the institute, processed through the Center for Latin American Studies.

  • Copy of valid passport (with expiration date more than 6 months after the institute dates) or confirmation that passport application has been submitted (submitted electronically)  
  • Signed Stanford Materials Release Form (submitted electronically)
  • Signed Stanford International Travel Waiver (submitted electronically) 
  • Proof of international insurance (insuremytrip, "Comprehensive" coverage is required)
  • A non-refundable deposit of $100 (paid by credit card or check) 

Registration Fee balance of $250 is due March 6, 2023 (paid by credit card or check).

Deposit payments being made by check should be made out to Stanford University and mailed to

Center for Latin American Studies
c/o Molly Aufdermauer, Public Engagement Coordinator
582 Alvarado Row
Stanford, CA 94305-8545

Applicant is responsible for confirming receipt of all application materials.

Withdrawal/Cancellation Policies

Participant Withdrawal Policy

If, for any reason, an accepted participant chooses to withdraw from the institute, the participant must notify the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) by email to clasoutreach [at] stanford.edu (clasoutreach[at]stanford[dot]edu.) The program deposit is non-refundable. However, the participant may elect to use the cost of the deposit toward the fees of another CLAS teacher institute or workshop within a year. Program fees, exclusive of deposit, are refundable if CLAS receives the participant's written notification prior to the withdrawal deadline of March 10, 2023. If the participant withdraws from the institute after the withdrawal deadline, there are no refunds.

Institute Cancellation Policy

If the institute is canceled by CLAS for any reason, CLAS will be in touch with the participants directly regarding full refunds.

Program Contact

Molly Aufdermauer
Public Engagement Coordinator
Center for Latin American Studies
email: clasoutreach [at] stanford.edu (clasoutreach[at]stanford[dot]edu)
tel: 650-721-5530