Danilo Limoeiro

M.Phil in Latin American Studies 2009-2011

Leaving Brazil’s marvellous weather and having to bear Oxford’s cloudy sky during two years was not good at all (and, I must say, British food didn’t help...). However, after working for five years in the Brazilian Federal Government as a policy advisor, I tremendously enjoyed Oxford’s unique learning experience. The Latin American Centre provided me with very good lectures and, above all, great supervision to do my essays and research. Although the Mphil is a multidisciplinary programme, LAC was flexible enough to allow me to go deeper in what I was more interested about – the political economy of development and inequality in Latin America. Today I am back to my policy advisor career in Brazil and I am sure the Mphil programme enabled me to have more to say in my job now. And it also left me very tempted to do a career change towards academia...

Christophe Pereira da Silva Chinchilla

M.Phil in Latin American Studies 2007-2009

First degree: Political Sciences, IEP d'Aix-en-Provence, France.

As a student in comparative politics in France, and focusing maninly on Latin American issues, I was constantly studying Oxford scholars' publications. The very high intellectual quality of the LAC's research staff, combined with Oxford's reputation encouraged me to apply for the MSc in Latin American Studies. After a couple of months here, I decided that one year was not enough and transferred to the two-years MPhil course.  I don't think there are many places where a student can get as much as you would here at Oxford. Bibliographical resources are unlimited, scholars are outstanding, and the College life allows you to constantly meet interesting people from the most varied backgrounds. The course gave me a full perspective on Latin America's most significant debates and flexibility to tailor my research according to my own interests. I was also awarded a generous travel grant to undertake my fieldwork in Brazil, greatly benefiting my research 

Evelyn Villarreal F.

MPhil in Latin American Studies, St. Antony's College, University of Oxford.

Evelyn Villarreal is a political researcher. She works mainly in Central America and Costa Rica, and currently is working in the State Of  the Nation Research Program.

Since 2007, as a research coordinator of the Central American Region Report, she oversees six countries and approximately 60 researchers.  Also, she is a private consultant and concentrates on accountability, transparency, corruption and participation.

She teaches Methodology courses in a public university in Costa Rica.

Daniela Villacrés

PhD Candidate in Sociology, Brown University (Expected 2010) Research focus: international migration, development, civil society and democracy.

Oxford University (2004)

 MPhil Latin American Studies - Research focus: Latin American History and Development Anthropology

Emory University (2002)

BA English Literature and Journalism

Sandra Aguilar Rodríguez

PhD (c) in Women's Studies, University of Manchester (viva April 2009) MPhil in Latin American Studies, University of Oxford – St Antony's  College

I am a pre-doctoral/postdoctoral research fellow in the Latin American Studies Program and the History Department at Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, USA. My doctoral thesis is entitled "Cooking Modernity: Food, Gender, and Class in 1940s and 1950s Mexico City and Guanajuato." It analyses modernity and gender in Mexico through welfare, food, and class. Using this point of view, I situate women and the kitchen at the centre of Mexico's post-revolutionary modernisation process. I am particularly concerned with how discourses of modernity manifested themselves in food practices at home, and how women negotiated and challenged state-sponsored nutrition programs. I have published articles in The Americas and the Colombian Revista de Estudios Sociales.

Thomas Pegram

I chose to study the MPhil in Latin American Studies following an undergraduate degree in politics with law and a year spent working with a development NGO in the foothills of the Andes.  The degree offered the freedom to combine my theoretical interest in democratization and human rights with a regional specialism in Latin America.  A stimulating and multi-disciplinary programme of study was enhanced by the collegiate atmosphere among students and faculty at the centre.  My research and fieldwork on the human rights ombudsman in Peru benefited from collaboration with faculty and, in particular, a network of in-country academic expertise.  Upon graduation in 2006, I transferred to the DPhil in Politics at Nuffield College with a research focus on national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in democratizing political systems, with a particular interest in their political accountability function.  I am currently the NHRI fellow of the Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School.

Rolando Ochoa

I came to the LAC having studied a B.A. in Political Science and Public Administration in Mexico, where I also worked as a researcher and teacher before starting an MPhil in Latin American Studies. I graduated in 2006 and moved on to a DPhil in Sociology, also at Oxford, which I hope to complete in 2010.

The general topics I am interested in are: crime (specifically kidnapping), the rule of law, the Mexican justice system and its challenges and the mechanisms people use to protect themselves from crime when their government fails to do so. Recently I have also been involved in research projects in Mexico, mostly on crime and justice system analysis and reform, as well as with the everyday academic activities of my Department.  My time at the LAC was very enjoyable, I learned a lot and I was very well supervised

Mónica Pachón

Before coming to Oxford, I did my undergraduate degree in Political Science at Los Andes University, in Bogotá, Colombia. I was convinced that I wanted to be a professor, and needed further instruction to be able to develop a solid historical background to pursue my career.  I was accepted for the MPhil in Latin American Studies in 2000 and studied with Mr. Malcolm Deas, a Professor well known for his contributions in Colombian political history. During my two years, I studied politics and history with special emphasis on the history of the Andean countries.  My thesis, which examined the behaviour of Congress and the role of parties in Colombia, became the starting point for my area of expertise.  In 2008 I then earned my PhD in Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. I am currently an Assistant Professor at Los Andes University, in the Department of Political Science.

I owe so much to my stay at Oxford: discovering new literature, working with admirable professors, long lasting friendships, and the best guidance to start a research career.  The combination of history and political science helped me develop intuition for an independent research agenda, which I am still pursuing to this day.

Nereyda Esparza

MPhil in Latin American Studies 2009-2011

First degree: Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, USA

I grew up on the Mexican-American border where I lived, travelled and studied between two countries.  From a very early age I became familiar with issues of the developing world and I knew I wanted to study these issues at large in the Latin American region.  In college I pursued a multidisciplinary degree in economics, history, politics took opportunities to live and travel in England, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.  Smith, a women’s college in New England, shaped my scholarly perceptions and my current research interests.

At Oxford my MPhil thesis is based on state poverty alleviation programs that target women in Latin America.  I will be researching how the ‘feminisation of poverty’ thesis is interpreted at the policy level and how it benefits (or detriments) female beneficiaries.  This summer I will be doing fieldwork in Mexico D.F. to investigate Progresa/Oportunidades with a grant from the Santander group. 


Monica Tapia A.

I previously studied International Relations at El Colegio de México and an MSc. in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries at the London School of Economics.

I really enjoyed studying the MPhil. in Latin American Studies (2000) for the close relations I built with other LAC students and professors. The tutorial and examination system allowed me to build a very personal curriculum in what I called Latin American Comparative Social Policy. I did my dissertation on Brazil local government and social policy. Oxford was a privileged place to study Brazilian history and politics, Portuguese language and establishing contacts for interviews and key people.

I returned to Mexico to work in the federal government for a few years. Since 2003, I found and head a capacity building organization, called Alternativas y Capacidades (www.alternativasociales.org). We focused on advocacy capacity building for civil society organizations, improving relations between organizations and government for better policy-making and strengthening Mexican philanthropy for social change.  One of our most recent publications is a Handbook for Public Policy Advocacy, designed in a very didactic and informative way for citizens and organizations.

One of my former students and employee, Gisela Robles, is completing her DPhil in Oxford and Annie Sylvan, another former LAC student, recently finished an internship in our organization. We are happy to receive anyone interested in working on or studying about civil society in Mexico.


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