Press Release

The Illinois Humanities Council is Accepting Applications For Free History and Literature Classes in Spanish

College-level courses for low-income Spanish-speaking students will be offered in Pilsen

CHICAGO – The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) is pleased to announce that it is accepting applications for the Spanish Language Odyssey Project, sponsored by the IHC with support from the University of Chicago and National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and Gads Hill Center in Pilsen. This course offers an intensive college-level introduction to Mexican history and literature for low-income adult Spanish speakers, all expenses paid (including tuition, books, CTA fare, and on-site childcare).

Classes will run from October 13 through December 8th on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Gads Hill Center in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago, 1919 West Cullerton Street. For more information about attending the course, please call course coordinator Miguel deLoza at (773) 834-1987.

Founded on the theory that engagement with the humanities can offer a way out of poverty, the Odyssey Project offers course participants instruction in humanistic disciplines. The Odyssey Project is in its fifth year here in Chicago.

“As we begin our fifth year of offering such high-quality education to men and women who otherwise would not be able to afford it, the Illinois Humanities Council is thrilled to expand the Odyssey Project to Spanish-speaking adults in Chicago,” explains Angel Ysaguirre, Director of Programs at the IHC.

Classes meet two evenings a week over a 9-week period at the host site located in Pilsen. Syllabi and reading lists are roughly equivalent to those a student might encounter in a first-year humanities survey course at a first-rate university. Tuition is free; books, childcare, and transportation vouchers are also provided. UNAM will grant a certificate of achievement to any student who completes the course.

  • Curriculum

    There are two discrete sections: Mexican History and Literature.
  • Students

    Low-income Spanish speakers who want to study, age 18 and older. Students should be able to read Spanish and should have finished elementary school (Primaria= 6th grade).
  • Faculty


    Dr. Mario Santana is Associate Professor of Spanish, Department of Romance Languages, University of Chicago. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University (New York).

    Mexican History:

    Dr. Emilio Kourí is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Katz Center for Mexican Studies at the University of Chicago. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

For more information about the Odyssey Project, call the IHC at (312) 422-5580 or visit and click on “Programs.”


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