Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Tulane alumnus elected president of Costa Rica

April 10th, 2014

This story originally appeared in Tulane’s New Wave.

By: Mary Sparacello
msparace@tulane.edu

A Tulane University alumnus was elected president of Costa Rica in a landslide victory on Sunday (April 6). Luis Guillermo Solís received his master's degree in Latin American studies in 1981 and, before his election, was a political science professor at the University of Costa Rica.

"His election is historic," says Ludovico Feoli, director of the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research at Tulane.

Solís is the first third-party candidate to become president of the country. A member of the Citizen Action Party, Solís soundly defeated his opponent, a member of the country's ruling party. His challenger planned to drop out of the race because Solís had pulled ahead in the polls after a tight finish in the first round of the election. Law required his name stay on the ballot for the runoff. Despite this, Solís mobilized voters to the polls and drew a strong mandate.

"It's a remarkable story," Feoli says. Solís "enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a diplomat but never before held elected political office. He is articulate and likeable and connected with voters disenfranchised by the two ruling parties, both mired in corruption scandals."

Solís, who will start his four-year term in May, comes to power at a challenging time for the country, says Feoli. His party is a minority in Congress, income inequality is increasing and a high fiscal deficit is looming. Solís campaigned on a vow to fight that inequality and improve governance.

He has a strong connection to Tulane. Numerous Tulane students have taken Central American Politics from Solís at CIAPA, the Tulane-run campus in San José, Costa Rica.

Thomas Reese, executive director of the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane, said future CIAPA students will be fortunate to have a close friend of Tulane heading the Costa Rican government.

"It's a great honor to have one of our own reach such a level of distinction," Reese says.

Mary Sparacello is a communications specialist in the Office of Development Communications.

Photo: Luis Guillermo Solís celebrates with his supporters in San José, Costa Rica. Solís has a strong connection to Tulane. His Tulane master’s degree thesis, titled “The Dynasty of the Colonizers,” examined regional politics in Costa Rica. (Associated Press photo by Moises Castillo)

For the original story, click here.

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Congreso internacional de literatura y cultura centroamericanas (CILCA XXIII)

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Tulane University, Loyola University New Orleans, y Purdue University Calumet tienen el gusto de invitar al CONGRESO DE LITERATURA y CULTURA CENTROAMERICANAS (CILCA XXIII) que se llevará a cabo en la ciudad de New Orleans, Louisiana, del 11 al 13 de marzo del 2015 en el campus de Tulane University y Loyola University New Orleans.

Desde el primer congreso realizado en Nicaragua 1993, CILCA se ha caracterizado por ser un espacio de intercambio intelectual y de amistad para académicas/os, escritoras/es y lectoras/es. El congreso se ha efectuado en todos los países centroamericanos y por primera vez en su historia, CILCA se realizará en los Estados Unidos. La ciudad escogida es Nueva Orleáns, puerta de entrada hacia el Caribe y los países de América Central. El intercambio cultural entre Nueva Orleáns y América Central ha sido intenso por muchísimos años, y la ciudad alberga una de las comunidades de origen hondureño más grandes de los Estados Unidos. Tulane University tiene estrechos lazos con la región a través del Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the Latin American Library, y the Middle American Research Institute. Loyola University New Orleans se ha distinguido por el trabajo con las comunidades hispanas que realizan varias de sus unidades académicas, incluyendo the Law School y el Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

La organización de CILCA XXIII la realizan la Dra. Maureen Shea y el Dr. Uriel Quesada, expertos en literatura y cultura centroamericanas, con el apoyo del Dr. Jorge Román Lagunas, creador y promotor de CILCA.

La convocatoria será publicada en agosto 2014.

Tulane University, Loyola University New Orleans, and Purdue University Calumet invite you to the Congress on Literature and Culture of Central America (CILCA XXIII) which will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana March 11-13 2015 on the campuses of Tulane and Loyola New Orleans.

From the first conference, held in Nicaragua in 1993, CILCA has been a space for intellectual exchange and friendship for academics and writers. The conference has been held in all of the Central American countries and for the first time in its history will be held in the United States. New Orleans, the gateway to the Caribbean and Central America, has been chosen as the location. New Orleans and Central America have a longstanding cultural exchange and New Orleans has one of the largest Honduran communities in the United States. Tulane has long connections with the region through the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the Latin American Library, and the Middle American Research Institute. Loyola New Orleans works closely with hispanic communities particularly through the Law school and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

CILCA XXIII is organized by Drs. Maureen Shea and Uriel Quesada, experts on the literature and culture of Central America, with the support of Dr. Jorge Román Lagunas, creator of CILCA.

Call for papers coming in August 2014.