Guadalupe (Lupita) Avilés

Indigeneity in the Americas

Photo: Guadalupe (Lupita) Avilés

Lupita’s interest in Latin American studies developed because of her ties to her Mexican heritage and culture. Born in the U.S to Mexican parents, Lupita has always felt a passion for Mexican and Latine culture and history. As a child visiting Mexico, she would remember seeing the immense diversity of peoples, cultures, and languages. These memories led her to study and receive her Bachelor’s in Spanish with a minor in Studio art at Ripon College, Wisconsin. During her undergraduate, she became interested in Mexico's Mesoamerican history and cultures, taking courses such as Maya Hieroglyphs and Symbols and Spanish Conquest and its Aftermaths. During this time, she also completed a summer research program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on the “foreign” language teaching of Spanish varieties. Fascinated by the power language has on people’s identity, Lupita specified her focus on indigenous language in Latin America, specifically Nahuatl. Reading several publications from the University of New Mexico Press during her undergraduate, she was drawn to the MALAS program at UNM. The program’s interdisciplinary approach allows Lupita to explore all her interests, from visual art to history and language, through the lens of indigenous studies. She is excited to work and learn alongside a community of people who also have a passion for Latin America.