Dennis Chavez NM LDZ
Application Deadline Extended
Apply Now! Space is available until program reaches 150 students.
Collaboration between the University of New Mexico and National Hispanic Institute started in the organization’s early years. NHI launched youth leadership programs in Austin, Texas and debuted its first statewide initiative in 1983. An invitation from the University of New Mexico in 1988 changed the course of history.
The Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session became the centerfold, nationally recognized program of the National Hispanic Institute. It quickly expanded across the country, coast to coast and internationally. Soon, it became known as simply “The LDZ Experience”. To date, NHI counts 30,000 alum in 150 LDZ Sessions.
Through the special funding from the New Mexico Legislature, introduced by State Senator Michael Padilla, the University of New Mexico will partner with the National Hispanic Institute to host the 2023 Dionisio “Dennis” Chavez New Mexico LDZ. Over 150 top students will engage in a weeklong experience on the UNM campus and a Youth Legislative Session in Santa Fe.
The program will highlight the legacy of the late Dionisio “Dennis” Chavez who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1931-1935 and in the United States Senate from 1935-1962. Chavez was the first Hispanic person elected to a full term in the Senate and the first senator to be born in New Mexico.
Founded in 1889 as New Mexico’s flagship institution, The University of New Mexico now occupies nearly 800 acres near old Route 66 in the heart of Albuquerque, a metropolitan area of more than 900,000 people. From the magnificent mesas to the west, past the banks of the historic Rio Grande to the Sandia Mountains to the east, Albuquerque is a blend of culture and cuisine, styles and stories, people, pursuits and panoramas.
Offering a distinctive campus environment with a Pueblo Revival architectural theme, the campus buildings echo nearby Pueblo Indian villages. The nationally recognized campus arboretum and the popular duck pond offer an outstanding botanical experience in the midst of one of New Mexico's great public open spaces.
About Albuquerque and New Mexico
Recognized as one of the one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country, Albuquerque’s ethnic tapestry is reflected in its architecture, artwork, cultural centers and cuisine. Countless customs and traditions are a vibrant part of daily life in the city, making Albuquerque the cultural capital of the Southwest.
New Mexico’s largest city, the Albuquerque Metro area has over 908,200 residents and is growing at a steady pace of 1 to 2 percent a year. The area’s five-year growth rate is projected at 7.2 percent compared with the national rate of 4.0 percent. Even as a larger city, Albuquerque can’t help but retain its neighborhood feel.
Live and learn in a historic city on an expansive mesa a mile above sea level. A city that’s simultaneously cosmopolitan and soulful, urban and rural, and brimming with light and possibilities. This is Albuquerque. A friendly place just around the corner from ordinary, on land bisected by historic Route 66 and the great Rio Grande river, a stone’s throw from the monumental Sandia Mountains. Named for their sunset crimson hue—“sandia” is the Spanish word for “watermelon”—they appear to leap out of the landscape to the east, and serve as an awe-inspiring example of the kind of wild, natural beauty that wraps around everything here and rushes off in every direction throughout the state. You’ll see.
Features of NMLDZ
Flying? NHI will later provide a link to add your travel itinerary so that we can send a representative to meet you at the airport and guide you to the appropriate ride-share/taxi service to get to the campus. On the final day, NHI will also assist students with planning and getting to the airport on time with rideshare assistance.
In our 43 year journey of the National Hispanic Institute, we meet community people who perceive the world from a distinct point of view. They see the promise of human potential and investment, the value of culture and the benefits that arise from common community purpose. In the midst of these communities, there are young minds who become the artists of the future, relying on imagination to envision the future while protecting that which is considered vital and sacred to their identity. These are the community’s future influencers and change makers who are called to have purpose in a constantly evolving world of tomorrow.
After successfully completing the program, LDZers often reflect on the experience as a space where they felt free to express themselves, their ideas, and honed their skills. They felt culturally embraced, understood, and valued. At the LDZ, they began to see themselves as playing a leadership role wherever life would take them, whether at home, in school, in a career, or in service to others. Most of all, they felt special in knowing that leadership is a life-long calling in which they will have a special role to play with NHI.