UTPA to host Pan American Days April 14-17, 2008
Posted: 04/01/2008
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The University of Texas-Pan American will welcome speakers, performers, the University community and public to celebrate Pan American Days 2008 from April 14-17. Pan American Days, our university's namesake, celebrates our affinity with all of the Americas as well as our location on the U.S.-Mexico border. This annual event also commemorates the founding of the Pan American Union, predecessor of the Organization of American States, which was created to promote international cooperation, share information, and further economic, social, juridical and cultural relations among its members.

Hosted by the Office of International Programs, Pan American Days offers the University community and the public a wide range of academic and cultural activities related to Americans of all ages and nationalities from 24 nations. Its goal is to promote and strengthen bonds of friendship and understanding that unite these countries. International speakers, panel discussions, art exhibits, cultural performances and films are among highlights of Pan American Days. The Samba Vida Drum and Dance Group will bring "Carnaval Brasileiro" to the University on April 14 at 6 p.m. in the Library Auditorium.

Exhibits will be showcased throughout the week including "Bestiario & Nahuales II Printmakers' Portfolio" in the University Gallery and a Border Wall Exhibit in the University Library Lobby. Featured films include "Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad," which will be shown April 16 at 4:30 in HSHE 1.114 and, "Bordertown" (starring Jennifer Lopez), which will be shown April 15 at 8 p.m. in the Library Auditorium. This film will be preceded by a keynote presentation by co-producer of the film, Barbara Martinez Jitner, who will speak at 7 p.m. about "Femicide at Our U.S. Border: To Be a Woman in Juarez is a Death Sentence."

Other featured events include "Border Forum: The Wall and Other Issues," comprised of Mexican and Texas mayors, federal, state and local representatives. The forum will be held on April 15 at 10:35 a.m. in the Student Union Theater and will also be Webcasted to various other universities. Rosa Helia Villa de Mebius will present "Itinerario de una PasiĆ³n: Unknown Facts about the Life of My Grandfather, General Pancho Villa" on April 16 at 7 p.m. in the Library Auditorium.

Throughout the week UTPA professors and students will participate at various locations on campus in special presentations and panel discussions on topics that reflect "Pan American" perspectives in their individual disciplines.

The first-ever Pan American Recruitment Fair will take place on April 17 as part of Pan American Days. This fair will allow high school students to learn about UTPA degree programs, financial aid, advising, testing and organizations on campus. The fair will include food, games, music and entertainment for everyone.

All events and activities are free and open to the public. For more information or a complete schedule for Pan American Days, contact the Office of International Programs at 956/381-3572 or via e-mail at or visit the Web site