CLAS: Center for Latin American Studies

News and Highlights

UM's Center for Latin American Studies Recognized for Work on Haiti

March 7, 2011

The Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation made an award to the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) in recognition of the Center's ongoing efforts to contribute to Haiti's reconstruction.

A January 2010 earthquake resulted in thousands of deaths and widespread devastation. More than a million people were displaced. Since this tragedy, CLAS has called upon students, faculty and staff from a broad range of areas in the university to work together and create concrete projects to help rebuild and strengthen the country.

In response to a call from the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation to develop a plan for a model settlement of permanent housing in Haiti, CLAS coordinated an interdisciplinary team of experts who put together a project for community development that combined sustainable building practices, identification of water and natural resources, soil stabilization and enrichment, and innovative forms of housing ownership, village governance and energy production, as well as school and employment opportunities.

As part of its commitment to the Caribbean region and based on its capacity to serve as a "node" that builds links between separate components of the university, CLAS pursues an array of activities and projects oriented to contribute to the creation of sustainable development in Haiti.