Since the 1980s, there has been a rapid growth of Latina/o populations in the Southeast and, in particular, North Carolina from other parts of the United States (i.e. California), Mexico, Central America, as well as places in South America like Colombia and Ecuador. With the help of her colleagues, Dr. Maria DeGuzmán developed a program that acknowledged and responded to these changing demographics in the state. Inaugurated on September 20, 2004, the Latina/o Studies Program (LSP) at UNC-Chapel Hill was the first program of its kind in the Southeast.

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