For:     Cambio Center

301 Gentry Hall, University of Missouri-Columbia

Columbia, MO 65211


Contact: Domingo Martínez, Cambio Center Coordinator, 573-882-4746.




Cambio Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony


Columbia, MO—Latinos are quickly changing the face of Missouri and until now the extent of their impact has gone virtually unresearched. This October twenty-sixth the University of Missouri-Columbia will unveil its latest research think-tank, the Cambio Center, which will be the premiere statewide pioneer research center to investigate how Latinos in Missouri are drastically affecting the state’s overall landscape.


Latino migration to Missouri has contributed to the largest demographic shift in the state in more than 50 years. The population of Latinos has more than doubled within the past ten years. According to Domingo Martínez, coordinator of the Cambio Center, “There is preliminary evidence to support the possibility that wherever large numbers of Latinos settle in Missouri, they significantly contribute to the revival of local economies. The Latino settlement is no longer a case of migrant workers. They are settling as our newest Missourians.”


The Center will address several issues critical to Missouri. Foremost, the center will fulfill the federal land grant system’s mission to repay the state by providing research for the public benefit. Second, the center will address the lack of academic programs related to research on Latinos. Presently, no Latino or Latin American studies programs exist in Missouri even though, domestically, Latinos are creating the largest demographic changes. In addition, according to Martínez, “Mexico has become the second largest trading partner of Missouri.” The Cambio Center will contribute pioneer scholarship to fill the void. In doing so, the center will provide research stability to the already highly successful three-day annual conference, Cambio de Colores, a conference that has pooled public and private multi-state resources to share state-of-the-art research and outreach practices on Latinos. The center will incorporate charter fellows from nine MU colleges, plus MU Extension.


“In the past, immigrants tended to settle in Hispanic enclaves….today Hispanic immigrants are dispersing much more rapidly as they move throughout small and large US and Latin American communities. Consequently, societal changes are occurring at a much more rapid pace as the newcomers and members of the sending and receiving countries and communities interact,” as stated in the proposal for research to establish the Cambio Center. 


The Cambio Center ribbon cutting ceremony is by invitation only and will take place at 2:30pm, Tuesday, October 26 in 301 Gentry Hall at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Members of the media are invited to attend.