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Civic Leader Education & Advocacy Program

The Civic Leader Education & Advocacy Program (CLEAP), organized by Voces Unidas de las Montañas, a nonprofit organization based in Glenwood Springs, is a one-week leadership and advocacy program that takes place outside of the United States. 

The program creates opportunities for participants to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between the United States and the host country, immerse participants in the host country's current cultural, civic and political context and practice leadership and advocacy skills during the program. Priority is given to rural Latinas and Latinos in Colorado. 

In order to achieve its learning objectives, CLEAP uses a set of principles that includes adult learning theory because adults learn most effectively through hands-on experience and by observing the practical application of new skills or knowledge. Additionally, the program utilizes the Socratic method, which encourages questioning and critical thinking to promote the exploration of ideas and underlying assumptions. Lastly, CLEAP incorporates participatory action research, a qualitative research approach that involves collaboration between researchers and participants to gain insight into social issues and develop strategies for promoting social change.

2023 CLEAP Program - Mexico CityMexico

The 2023 CLEAP will be in Mexico City from July 3 to July 8. Twelve participants were invited to take part of the inaugural program. 


The relationship between Mexico and the United States is complex, given a long history of economic, political, and cultural ties. The two countries share a border that spans over 3,000 kilometers, and millions of people cross between them each year for work, study, and tourism. Mexican-Americans are the largest group of Latinos in the U.S., making the ties between Mexico and the United States even more important. Politically, Mexico and the United States both deal with important public policies and issues such as trade, immigration, economic development, climate change, and security, with dire and direct consequences to the entire American continent but especially to immigrants and their extended families. This program offers an opportunity to engage in conversations with local Mexican leaders, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and federal policymakers about current issues.


2024 CLEAP Program - Mexico CityMexico 

We are now taking names of interested candidates for our 2024 program trips to Mexico City. The ideal participant would self-identify as an immigrant in the U.S., have a passion for and an interest in current immigration policy and have demonstrated a track record of participation in their community. DACA leaders are welcome to apply. We are currently looking at offering two opportunities in 2024 -- June and November. 


The cost of the program is $500. Participants are also responsible for all travel costs (airfare and hotel) and visa requirements. Scholarships are available for those in need of assistance, including to support travel costs and attorney fees to apply for advance parole. 

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