U.S.-Mexico At A Glance
Education and Culture
The Mexico-U.S. Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange (COMEXUS) oversees the Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholarship Program. Established by a bilateral treaty in 1990,"Fulbright-Garcia Robles" is the flagship program in U.S.- Mexico academic exchanges. Both countries directly contribute a combined total of over $3.5 million a year to the program. In 2008, over 300 Mexicans and Americans participated in COMEXUS exchange programs at leading Mexican and American universities.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supports the Training, Internships, Exchanges and Scholarships (TIES) program to promote partnerships and linkages between U.S. and Mexican universities to address development issues, such as access to micro-finance, watershed management and border health. Currently there are 64 university partnerships in the TIES program. USAID also funds one- and two-year technical training programs in the U.S. for disadvantaged rural indigenous teachers and for Mexican youth, respectively. Teachers and youth return to their communities to implement skills gained and lead community projects
The U.S. State Department provides funding for the Institute of International Education (IIE) to administer 13 EducationUSA advising centers that provide guidance to students throughout Mexico for greater access to tertiary education in the United States. IIE also administers 7 outreach offices which focus on advising to indigenous and marginalized communities as well as the Regional Educational Advising Coordinator which supports EducationUSA centers in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. IIE offers exams, hosts an internship program and manages scholarships on behalf of public and private donors. Nearly 15,000 Mexican students are enrolled in higher education institutions in the United States.
An Office of English Language Programs of the U.S. State Department, based in Mexico City, provides extensive training programs in English language teaching to Mexican teacher trainers and classroom teachers at all educational levels - primary, secondary and tertiary - throughout Mexico. The program focuses on training Mexican English teachers in public school systems. The Regional English Language Officer (RELO) serves six countries in Central America in addition to Mexico: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama.
The Cultural Affairs Office of the Public Affairs Section offers a broad range of cultural, exchange, and academic programs that expand and deepen mutual understanding and foster closer ties between the U.S. and Mexico on issues of common interest.
The U.S. Speakers Program brings over 100 U.S. experts per year from a variety of fields to Mexico to share their U.S. experiences with Mexican audiences and promote an exchange of viewpoints on subjects of mutual interest, including countering drug abuse and trafficking in persons, judicial reform, access to information, economic reform, human rights, and other issues. Programs include conferences, roundtables, lectures and other public events often organized in cooperation with Mexican academic, cultural, and professional institutions. Speaker events are held throughout Mexico.
The Embassy's International Visitor Leadership Program sends an average of 50 current or potential leaders in government, politics, education, and other fields from Mexico to the U.S. each year to meet and confer with their counterparts and to experience the U.S. firsthand. Among Mexico's prominent participants are Mexican President Felipe Calderon and First Lady Margarita Zavala. Through the Voluntary Visitor Program, the U.S. State Department funds domestic travel for Mexican professionals to visit the U.S. on specific topics of bilateral interest.
The Embassy offers an extensive range of Academic Programs that foster bi-national ties to Mexico's educational and youth communities throughout Mexico. Through the Study of U.S. Institutes, National Youth Science Camp, and other programs, the Embassy gives diverse youth groups the opportunity to learn about the U.S. and bring lessons in leadership and cross-cultural awareness back to their communities. In June 2009, the Association of Mexican Alumni was formed to reach out to the nearly 7,000 Mexican former participants in U.S. Government-sponsored programs. Members are invited to join State Alumni, the global online community by and for alumni.
The Embassy maintains a strong bi-lateral Performing and Visual Arts Program through facilitative assistance and small grant funding. Embassy co-sponsorship helps bring American performers each year to major arts festivals in Mexico, including the Festival Cervantino and the Morelia Film Festival. In November 2009, the Embassy will support the International Book Fair in Guadalajara, where the City of Los Angeles will be the Guest of Honor.
The Benjamin Franklin Library is the oldest public-access library supported by the United States government abroad. With a lending library of 25,000 volumes; a large selection of American periodicals; and state- of-the-art Internet and electronic research facilities, the Benjamin Franklin Library continues to be a major source of information on contemporary American society.