University of Miami

Christian Palma / AP via Miami Herald

Mexico was in the news a lot last week. It hailed a new trade agreement with the U.S. and Canada to replace NAFTA – and President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador and President Trump even spoke by phone about ways to improve Mexico’s economic development in order to reduce illegal immigration.

“We estimate joint investments of more than $30 billion toward that effort,” López Obrador said then in Mexico City. It was a major break from the animosity that’s existed between Mexico and the U.S. since Trump was elected two years ago after running a campaign that insulted Mexico – and Mexicans – at about every stop.

So this feels like a big moment for Mexico, which is economically and politically the most important country in Latin America for the U.S. Yet in this part of the U.S. – Florida and especially South Florida – we’re so focused on Cuba and South America that we rarely think about Mexico.

The University of Miami thinks that has to change.

Dieu Nalio Chery / AP

Folks on Haiti’s north coast are still shaken after Saturday night’s strong earthquake there killed at least a dozen people and injured almost 200. The quake was produced by a Caribbean fault line that’s been relatively quiet for centuries.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

The president of the University of Miami is hoping to significantly increase the institution’s endowment — and its national and international stature — ahead of its centennial celebration in 2025.

President Julio Frenk calls the private university’s newly adopted strategic plan a “roadmap to our new century.”

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to become a university not just of Miami, not just of this country, but also of the world,” Frenk said during a state of the university speech on Monday night.

Courtesy Guerda Nicolas

Haiti’s misfortunes – extreme poverty, political crises, natural disasters – are more than just material. They’ve also led to mental health issues. And until recently those were rarely adequately addressed in Haiti. That’s changed – and Guerda Nicolas is a big reason why.

Nicolas is a professor of psychology at the University of Miami’s School of Education and Human Development, and the American Psychological Association just awarded her its international humanitarian award for her work promoting mental health services in Haiti.

COURTESY OF JAMARAH AMANI

When Jamarah Amani sent her daughter to a one-week STEM summer camp at the University of Miami, she expected her 12-year old to come home excited to share all of the cool things she was learning about science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Instead, on the second day of camp, Mahoro Amani told her mom that she was called the n-word and a derogatory term for lesbian by a white camp participant.

“She didn't come home and tell me, ‘This is what I learned in camp today.’ She came home and said,  ‘I was called a n----r to my face.”

University of Miami

Scholarship on Cuba at the University of Miami has been the subject of controversy lately. But at least one part of UM’s Cuban studies is getting a fresh start on Monday.

Riane Roldan / WLRN NEWS

They call themselves the coral whisperers: a global band of scientists working together to save the world's coral reefs.

Peter Haden / WLRN.org

Florida Congresswoman Lois Frankel recently toured the U.S. southern border, talking to undocumented parents and children separated by President Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy.

During a forum this month at the Guatemalan-Maya Center in Lake Worth, Frankel, a Democrat from West Palm Beach, heard how that border policy has begun to touch the Florida peninsula. Frankel interviewed a woman from Guatemala whose cousin was one of the migrants stopped at the border this year and separated from her child – a 10-year-old boy.

Courtesy of Kevin Kenner

University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and the U.S. Chopin Foundation are partnering to organize the first ever Frost Chopin Festival and Academy.

The Frost festival will give 20 pianists a chance to to immerse themselves in the work and legacy of composer Frederic Chopin. Most of the participants are from across the U.S. and some international.

Pianists were selected to  participate in masterclasses with Chopin experts and the week-long event will include public performances and lectures on Chopin's music and personal life.

Adrianne Gonzalez / WLRN News

In a Miami-Dade courtroom, Judge Spencer Eig heard arguments Thursday both for and against a controversial development planned on an environmentally rare Pine Rocklands habitat in South Miami-Dade, near Zoo Miami.

Catharine Skipp / University of Miami Law School

A historic anti-corruption wave is sweeping across much of Latin America. Its hero is a federal judge in Brazil named Sergio Moro - and he got a hero’s welcome on Thursday in the so-called capital of Latin America: Miami.

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN.org

It’s now been more than six months since Hurricanes Irma and Maria demolished the Caribbean. Former President Bill Clinton brought his foundation to Miami on Tuesday to propose ways to rebuild Florida’s island neighbors stronger.

Category 5 Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused $106 billion damage when they roared through the Caribbean last September in just two weeks. Small islands like Dominica and Barbuda were decimated; larger islands like Cuba and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico need years to recover.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Venezuelans are fleeing to places like South Florida because of their country’s humanitarian crisis, but also because of its human rights crisis. On Thursday the University of Miami was a focal point of the outcry over the socialist regime’s abuses.

More and more, the international community is waking up to the worsening human rights situation in Venezuela. This week, the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights called for an inquiry into reports of hundreds of killings of civilians by state security forces.

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