An official website of the United States government

New Grant Winning Institutions between Mexico and the United States
June 26, 2019

100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund Announces New Grant Winning Institutions between Mexico & US

Participants in the Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund
Participants in the Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund

June 26, 2019: Mexico City: The U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, and Partners of the Americas announce new grant winners in the latest Innovation Fund grant competition.


The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is the U.S. Department of State’s signature education initiative in the Western Hemisphere region for leveraging commitments from public and private sectors, regional governments, and higher education networks to expand academic mobility, strengthen regional education cooperation, and enhance workforce development in the Americas.


The Innovation Fund inspires U.S. universities and colleges to team up with higher education institutions in Latin America to create partnerships to provide students with access to new exchange and training programs. Innovation Fund partnerships provide students with more opportunities to work in teams, gain skills, solve real-world problems, and become better prepared for today’s workforce.


Since January 2014, the Innovation Fund has awarded 211 grants to 385 teams of higher education institutions in 25 countries and 43 U.S. States. Mexico is the leading country in this hemispheric-wide initiative to form dynamic partnerships with U.S. colleges and universities to provide students with access to academic exchange programs in both countries. To date, 19 Mexican states and 24 U.S. states benefit from Innovation Fund partnerships.


The grant-winning teams in the first Mary Street Jenkins-sponsored Innovation Fund competition will support eight (8) new partnerships between sixteen (16) universities and colleges in the United States with higher education institutions in Mexico. These Innovation Fund partnerships will provide access to groundbreaking exchange and training programs for students in both countries in the fields of Social Sciences, Humanities, Archaeology, Anthropology, Technology, and Education.


“Educational exchanges and academic mobility remain a fundamental element of our bilateral relationship, as best expressed in our co-funding of programs such as Fulbright-Garcia Robles grants and Jovenes en Acción.  What makes 100,000 Strong in the Americas work so well here is the dedication of U.S. and Mexican institutions to work together for the benefit of students and faculty in both countries and the investment by private sector donors like the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation to give them the resources to succeed,” said Charge de Affaires John Creamer.


Roberto Jenkins De Landa, representing the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation Board of Directors, stated, “Our family has dedicated itself for generations to the mission of my grandfather, Don Guillermo Oscar Jenkins, to continue working for the benefit of Mexico, particularly through support for education. We are proud to have joined in the public-private effort initiated by the U.S. Government to make possible international educational experiences for U.S. and Mexican students through support for the Innovation Fund.  We consider it critically important to continue these programs that bring together our great nations. Our commitment is unwavering.”


Innovation Fund grants are usually $25,000 each — with additional resources on average of 1.8 times from grant-winning teams— to implement new and sustainable exchange and training programs for students between the United States and Latin America.


New Innovation Fund Grant Winning teams sponsored by the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation are:

Georgia Gwinnett College, Georgia, United States

Universidad Iberoamericana Mexico City, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico

GGC-IBERO Mobility and Networking Project: Mexico-US Migration

from a Cultural-Anthropological Perspective


This new mobility and networking project between Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) and Universidad Iberoamericana (IBERO) aims to recruit students from underrepresented groups. GGC students will take intensive Spanish courses and participate in cultural activities that increase their understanding of Mexican customs and culture. IBERO students will reciprocate the exchange, engaging in U.S. student life and participating in various extracurricular activities, including a visit to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights to get a glimpse of the fight for civil rights and freedom. In addition, students will visit with migrant families to learn about life as a U.S. immigrant.


Salem State University, Massachusetts, United States

Universidad de Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico

A Study Abroad Bilateral Exchange of Future Educators

from Salem State University, MA and Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico

Salem State University (Salem State) and Universidad de Guanajuato (UGTO) partnered to link the School of Education at Salem State and the Language Department at UGTO with a focus on culturally responsive teaching and bilateral mobility. This program will lead to an extensive understanding of the culture and education systems of both countries and be a transformative educational experience for participants. Students from each university will participate in observations, hands-on teaching, reflective writing tied to coursework and evaluation, and seminars on education.


State University of New York (SUNY) Broome Community College, New York, United States

Universidad de CelayaCelaya, Guanajuato, Mexico


A Study Abroad Model Focusing on Storytelling and Heritage

This faculty-led program between two long-standing partner institutions, SUNY Broome Community College (SUNY Broome) and Universidad de Celaya (Celaya), will be the first study abroad program at SUNY Broome to offer bilateral homestay experiences for its students. In the program, SUNY Broome students will travel to Guanajuato City and San Miguel de Allende. Students will present their shared research to K-12 schools affiliated with Celaya. Ceyala students will expand their understanding of academic English and local American heritage by visiting various cultural sites, such as Little Italy, the Farmer’s Museum, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Fenimore Museum. Together, students from both institutions will prepare a presentation and small exhibit to highlight their stories, which will be featured at the Bundy Museum of History and Art.


University of Alabama, Alabama, United States

Universidad de las Américas PueblaCholula, Puebla, Mexico


Anthropology of Rural Agricultural Communities (ARAC) Exchange Program

The ARAC exchange program between the University of Alabama (UA) and Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP) will provide opportunities for students and faculty of both universities to travel abroad in order to explore critical issues facing rural agricultural communities. The goal of this program is to implement a new study abroad program that will increase awareness, knowledge, and critical engagement of a diverse population with issues faced by rural agricultural communities in the U.S. and Mexico. UA students will examine samples of indigenous-developed agricultural strategies of rural communities, while UDLAP students will focus on Pre-Hispanic agriculture and farming environments around the Moundville Archaeological Site in Alabama.


University of Arkansas, Arkansas, United States

Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de PueblaPuebla, Puebla, Mexico


Building North-South Mobility in the Americas through Team-based Programs in Service Learning: A Proposal to Expand Exchange and Educational Cooperation between University of Arkansas (UA) and Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP)


The University of Arkansas (UArk) and Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP) will extend their bi-directional commitment to ensuring participation of student groups underrepresented in study abroad programs. UArk will carry out a bi-national project to expand the curriculum and sustainability of both programs. A principal objective of this program includes a new short-term summer program for UPAEP students with service-learning components of community engagement. An additional initiative will be “student teams” component that is central to achieving north-south student mobility, educational cooperation, and institutional capacity at both universities.


University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois, United States

Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico


Global Public Health Training and Information Exchange: An Inclusive, Bi-directional Approach


This program represents a joint effort between the Global Health Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health and the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública. The goal is to increase the racial/ethnic and economic diversity of graduate public health students. Students in the program will be matched with a project site based on their interests and qualifications and will be required to participate in two cultural activities in both Cuernavaca and Chicago, which will be approved and facilitated by both institutions, in addition to accessing supplemental Spanish language training.


University of New Mexico, New Mexico, United States

Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Puebla, Puebla, Mexico


U.S.-Mexico Indigenous Planning Summer Institute (USM-IPSI)


The University of New Mexico (UNM) and Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP) are collaborating on mutually-beneficial activities, which are intended to build and align partnerships. This program will be broken down into three parts consisting of UNM students hosting BUAP students, a two-day gathering of strategic planning sessions, and BUAP students hosting UNM students for an intensive one-week, community project-based learning studio. Students will gain knowledge about indigenous planning, traditional ecology, sustainability, architecture, the built environment, and anthropological issues in indigenous places.


University of Northern Iowa, Iowa, United States

Universidad Marista de Mérida-Yucatán, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico


Language, Cross-Culture and Anthropology Study Abroad Program


The aim of the Language Immersion and Cultural Anthropology program is to provide a learning exchange experience between the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) and Universidad Marista de Mérida (Marista). This program includes elements of language study, cultural orientation, and specialized courses which focus on the social sciences, including cultural and biological anthropology. UNI students will enroll in an anthropology course, in addition to a Spanish course, and conduct research, followed by presentations. Marista students will enroll in a Culture and Intensive English Program at UNI, where they will participate in diverse activities in order to spark interest in learning about U.S. culture.





The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is the public-private sector collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassies, Partners of the Americas, NAFSA: Association for International Educators, regional governments, companies, and foundations working with academic networks to stimulate and support new higher education institutional partnerships between the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere.


Since 2014, the Innovation Fund has become the trusted flexible mechanism to support this hemispheric-wide education initiative to build connectivity, enhance institutional capacity, increase student exchange and training opportunities, and strengthen regional education cooperation throughout the Americas.


As of June 2019, the Innovation Fund has awarded 211 grants to 385 teams of universities and colleges in 25 countries and in 43 U.S. states. Currently, over 2,100 higher education institutions have joined the Innovation Network — with 1,200 universities and colleges in the United States.


JOIN and LEARN more: www.100kstrongamericas.org // Follow: #100KStrongAmericas

The mission of Partners of the Americas is to connect people and organizations across borders to serve and to change lives through lasting partnerships. These partnerships create opportunity, foster understanding, and solve real-life problems. Inspired by President Kennedy and founded in 1964, under the Alliance for Progress, Partners is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, DC. Learn more at www.partners.net or via Twitter @partnersamerica.

Since 1954, the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation has promoted the growth and prosperity of Mexico by improving the quality of life of its people by spreading hope. The Foundation was founded by Guillermo Oscar Jenkins and his wife, Mary Street Jenkins, who moved to Mexico from the United States in 1901. The Jenkins family built the first nursery for working mothers at the Corona factory and schools at Atencingo sugar refinery and continued to give back to their community by supporting culture, education, health, and sports over 65 years. Today, the impact of the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation is clear. Young people have benefited from thousands of scholarships, schools, and sports centers, and the quality of life in the State of Puebla in Mexico has improved thanks to development of rural clinics and hospitals supported by the Jenkins Family foundation.