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TAMIU Students Off to Brazil for ‘Reading the Globe’ Study Program Posted: 12/18/19

TAMIU Students Off to Brazil for ‘Reading the Globe’ Study Program


Author Christina Rickardsson
Author Christina Rickardsson will meet TAMIU students in Brazil.  

If it’s New Year, it will be a new country for Texas A&M International University  (TAMIU) students who will travel to Brazil this New Year as part of TAMIU’s “Reading the Globe” Study Travel Program.

Competitively selected, the 15 freshmen students will be studying various dimensions of social inequality throughout their 15-day experience.  Classes and experiences will focus on Brazilian history, cultural interactions, public health and welfare systems and the importance of social assistance institutions.

While Brazil is South America’s powerhouse economy, social inequality and income disparity is widespread. It is the setting for this year’s “Reading the Globe” Common Read at TAMIU, author Christina Rickardsson’s haunting book, “Never Stop Walking.”  

Students selected for the singular study-travel opportunity are: Cynthia Aradillas, Rebecca Canales, Chelsea Fuentes, Cristina Garcia, Maritza Garcia, Edith Garza, Samantha Lara, Hannah Loring, Lourdes Marquez, Anaiz Martinez, Daniela Palacios, Mary Patricio, Juan Manuel Sanchez, Jorge De Los Santos and Aleyda Sarabia.

Considered a memoir of two selves, “Never Stop Walking”  traces the author’s journey from the favelas (ghettoes) and streets of Brazil, to her adoption by Swedish parents and her self-discovery and return to Brazil to reconnect with her culture and origins.  Rickardsson visited Laredo in October and will meet with TAMIU students during their Brazil trip.

First, an orientation session and traditional welcome dinner will be shared in  Belo Horizonte, before traveling on to Diamantina,  to meet Rickardsson and visit her birthplace.  Diamantina was the center of Brazil’s diamond mining success of the 18th and 19th Centuries.  It features Brazilian Baroque architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The group will fly on to São Paulo, the center of Latin American business, and home to multinational banks, companies, institutions and cultural centers.  Students will visit Cáritas, a network of some 15,000 mostly volunteer agents leading programs supporting education activities focused on the defense and protection of adolescents in vulnerable situations. 

TAMIU students will visit the Federal University of São Paulo for lectures and be part of a service opportunity with Projeto Quixote which utilizes art, education and health as an approach to bond with and help children and adolescents.  The students will also participate in a capoeira workshop. The Brazilian martial art combines elements of acrobatics, combat, dance and music and was brought to Brazil by African slaves.  

The group will travel on to Rio de Janeiro to further trace the influence of African slaves on Brazilian culture, including a visit to Mauá Pier, considered Rio’s “Little Africa.”  They will meet with guest lecturer Gabriel Santos, a young favela-based entrepreneur who has founded the Favela Connection to help demystify prejudices associated with these vibrant communities of culture.  Key to these activities is sharing the importance of percussion to the Brazilian cultural legends of samba and Carnaval.  A closing highlight of the Rio segment will be a visit to the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue perched atop Corcovado Mountain overlooking the sprawling city of Rio.

TAMIU’s Reading the Globe program, founded in 2008, has travelled the globe, including Cambodia, Chile, China, select countries in Eastern Europe, Ghana, India, Poland, Russia, South Africa and Turkey. 

Spearheaded by University College, it is part of a University-wide initiative aimed at engaging all members of the University and the surrounding community in a common academically oriented intellectual activity. Through the selection of an internationally focused book, opportunities for discourse on issues relevant to students and their social awareness come to life on both a local and global scale. 

Accompanying the students will be TAMIU faculty and staff members Dean Emerita and Senior Lecturer Dr. Conchita Hickey, Dr. Hayley Kazen, assistant professional, University College; Ana Clamont, communications specialist and Stephanie Martínez, student success coordinator. 

For more about Reading the Globe visit:

To read past blogs by students of their Reading the Globe experiences, go to:

If  interested in providing Reading the Globe Program support, visit:

Registration for the Spring Semester 2020 at TAMIU is underway now. Classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 21.

TAMIU offices close in a State-authorized holiday Monday, Dec. 23 - Thursday, Jan. 2.  

Offices and the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library will reopen Friday, Jan. 3 at 8 a.m. The final day of full campus operation is Friday, Dec. 20, from 8 a.m. to noon. 

Read additional information on TAMIU holiday schedule and Spring Registration.

For more information, please contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 326.2180, email or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

TAMIU is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and its 25th Anniversary at its north Laredo campus throughout 2019-2020.  A dedicated website shares the University’s transformation from a hybrid upper-level university to a full doctoral degree-granting University enrolling over 8,400 students with over 29,000 graduates worldwide. It includes a calendar of Anniversary events and more at


TAMIU Students Travel to Brazil

TAMIU Reading the Globe students traveling to Brazil as part of the program’s 15-day Study-Travel component are (sitting left to right), Chelsea Fuentes, Samantha Lara, Lourdes Marquez, Cynthia Aradillas and Daniela Palacios. Standing, (left to right) Maritza García, Mary Patricio, Aleyda Sarabia, Hannah Loring, Cristina García, Rebecca Canales, Anaiz Martínez, Edith Garza. Back row (left to right) Jorge De Los Santos and Juan Manuel Sánchez.


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