UMass Boston

The Robert Hildreth Latin America Internship Award

This opportunity is made possible by a gift from Robert and Diane Hildreth, members of the UMass Boston Board of Visitors.

Sponsored by the Gastón Institute, the Hildreth Award provides approximately $3,500 for travel and research in Latin American or Caribbean countries. Current agreements include Facultad Latinoamericana De Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) in Ecuador, University of Quintana Roo and Sistema de Universidades Estatales de Oaxaca (SUNEO) in Mexico, Fundación Vínculos in Bogotá, Colombia. Please contact us if you are interested in another country, to find out if we have institutional relationships.


  • Eligible Applicants must:
    •    be undergraduate students, enrolled full-time with a current GPA of 3.0 or higher (copy of transcript required)
    •    have a valid US Passport at time of travel.
    •    speak/read Spanish language enough to meet research goals
    •    provide a reference letter from a faculty member
    •    be able to travel during Summer 2022
    •    present research findings at a Speaker Series in either Fall 2022 or Spring 2023
  • Applicants must submit a 2-3-page proposal that includes:
    •    Description of the research project and how the research relates to students’ personal, academic, or community interests
    •    Detailed budget (Hildreth Award Budget Template) and timeline of research activities
    •    Description of sponsoring organization or institution abroad.
  • Preference will be given to:
    •    Students that have never traveled to Latin America or the Caribbean 
    •    Students with experience in faculty-supervised research projects
    •    Students with experience in internship programs, community service, and academic symposiums
    •    Participants in academic enrichment programs or Latino Leadership Opportunity Program (LLOP) alumni.

Please send your proposals and/or questions to the Institute by email.

Deadline: TBA.


Previous fellows:


Beatriz Louzado


Beatriz Louzado is an alumnae of UMass Boston. She graduated in June 2022 with a Bachelor of Science, double majored in biology and psychology. She was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and have lived most of  her life in Worcester MA. Ever since she can remember she has loved how the human body and mind work as one and have so much adoration for the developing mind. In working as a resident assistant, volunteering at soup kitchens, and working at various internships, she developed skills and create relationships to help the pursue of a career as a psychiatrist. She intends on continuing to help as many under-privileged people and struggling communities as possibly can. Whether that be through clinical work, kind words, or through song as she loves to sing.

Brief Project Description

"Every day for the month of June, I had the opportunity to partner with the Faculdade de Medicina do ABC, FMABC School of Medicine, and dive into the wonders of medicine in one of the world's most populous cities, São Paulo, Brazil. Going into the project, I hoped to learn more about medicine in different fields from different people living in a third world country. As the project ended, I realized so much more than expected. In such a humbling experience, I got the chance to sit in on clinical appointments, hear stories of homeless citizens who found their way with the help of rehabilitation centers, spoke with doctors of different fields, and even witnessed births and neonatal care. The FMABC network ranges from emergency care to psychosocial care to occupational therapy and so much more. All free to the public, designed to help those who cannot afford healthcare and treatment for even the smallest of wounds. This immersive experience allowed me to put myself in the shoes of people of diverse backgrounds and struggles, helping me connect with patients in a much deeper sense then I would be able to in a regular check-up. FMABC welcomed me with open arms and with that I will forever take what they showed me and taught me throughout not only my professional career but for the rest of my life."


Luidgi Lalanne


Congratulations Luidgi Lalanne, undergraduate student from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, awarded with the Robert Hildreth Latin America Internship Award 2019 to do research in Puerto Rico. His project is titled "Resolution to Colonial Echos: Afro-Latinidad Puertorriqueña on Colorism." Luidgi will travel in the Summer of 2019.


Ashley Torres 


BA in Women's and Gender Studies and a minor in English. She became a part of Strong Women Strong Girl and received an Above and Beyond Mentor award. In 2016 she was elected to be a part of Beacon Voyager for Service: Borders and Immigration, a weeklong trip to Tijuana, Mexico. Her LLOP project explored how diverse Latinas at UMass Boston experience these intersectional domains, particularly complexities of gender, cultural backgrounds, race and nationality/migration status. She received The Robert Hildreth Award in 2017, giving her the opportunity to conduct an exploratory research project in Buenaventura, Colombia, where she worked with Afro Colombian women and girls with the project "Understanding Feminist Youth Development in Buenaventura, Colombia: Case Study of three NGOs."  She is also an outreach worker and transitional facilitator at Wayside Youth and Family networks dealing with HIV/STI prevention.  

Evelyn Bonilla


With a BA in Anthropology and minors in both Spanish and Latino Studies, her LLOP research project focused on an exploratory study. During this study, we looked at ways in which we could cultivate Latinx student educational success at UMass Boston. Along with Maria Barrow and Ashley Torres, they conducted interviews based on Paulo Freire and PAR research methods. This LLOP project allowed her to view education from a different perspective and become more aware of minority groups who struggle to have educational success due to the education policies brought up by the university. She also received the Robert Hildreth Award in 2017, focusing on an exploratory research on "Cultivating Student Education among Afro-Colombians in Buenaventura, Colombia." She is currently mentoring for the CLA First! Program here at UMass Boston and interning at the Gastón Institute where she works on current research projects.


Norma Fuentes


Norma is the daughter of immigrant parents from El Salvador. She was born in Houston, Texas, and grew up in Somerville, MA. She is an undergraduate majoring in Anthropology. At the Gastón Institute she participated in carrying out community-based projects, including Por Ahí Dicen, and Todos Juntos con Seguro. She is deeply engaged in working with the immigrant community of Waltham, MA, on issues of public health, education, and other civil and human rights. She is a recipient of The Robert Hildreth Latin American Internship Award and traveled to Colombia in 2016 to conduct her undergraduate global research project, "Youth Visual Ethnography in Colombia."  This was a participatory action research project, conducted in partnership with Corporación Vínculos (CorpVin), a non-governmental community organization in Bogotá, Colombia, to explore how youth experienced the post-conflict transition. 

Stephanie Valerio


Stephanie majored in mathematics and minored in psychology (BS 2016). Her project focused on a photo-voice project to display the experiences with community violence and promoting a culture of peace from the point of view of young adults in Bogota and Barranquilla. Receiving the Hildreth scholarship gave her the opportunity to witness first hand the revolutionary ideas of Paulo Freire in Latin American. Through her work with the Gastón Institute and volunteership with Corporación Vínculos (CorpVin), Stephanie developed a strong interest in working with the community and students, learning the importance of considering and collaborating with the goals and objectives of each individual. Stephanie is currently in the Teach Next Year — a one year accelerated masters in secondary education that partners with Boston Public Schools.


Allan Ordoñez


Allan is a rising senior at UMass Boston majoring in Biology. In the summer of 2015 was awarded the Robert Hildreth Travel Internship and he was able to conduct an exploratory research project, "Social perception of Cancer in 3 Mayan Mexican communities"  focused on researching the ways in how indigenous and how oncological doctors treated cancer. Allan did an internship at the Dana-Farber Institute and at Harvard Institute of Medicine, where he was researching about a potential drug that can serve as a radiation enhancer towards cancer cells while protecting the normal cells from radiation. In addition he is currently the community relations director for the Hispanic Television program Boston al día.

C. Armando Vizcardo


Armando majored in economics with minors in psychology and sociology (BA, 2017). The Robert Hildreth Latin America Internship Award gave him the opportunity to conduct his own exploratory research, “Micro-Entrepreneurship Strategies of Maya Migrants", where he assessed the experiences of Maya migrants who establish micro-enterprises in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico, documenting their entrepreneurial strategies and migration story. In addition, he had the chance to explore and experience the culture of Chetumal, as well as lead English roundtable discussions with college freshman students from the University of Quintana Roo. With this award, he was able to get hands-on experience managing his own project, while simultaneously advancing his interests in community development, research and public policy. He is currently working as the project assistant in the Office of Community Partnerships (OCP) at UMass Boston. Prior to joining OCP, Armando worked with the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, the Children’s League of Massachusetts, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. 



Andrea Ornelas


Andrea graduated from UMass Boston, May 2015 with a BA in Italian Literature and minor in Economics. As a Robert Hildreth Recipient, her project was focused on, "The Effects of Globalization on Maya Women in Quintana Roo". Last November she received an award as one of 30 under 30 most influential Latinos of Boston. Andrea is currently working for a Greenberg Traurig Law Firm as an International Immigration Coordinator and she works closely for the Latin American Association on Latino youth leadership programs in Atlanta, GA. She is a public narrative coach for ARC Leadership that travels nation wide teaching workshops leadership tools such as, Public Narrative and Community Organizing.


The Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy

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