*CIR provides a range of programs to local teachers and students. All of these programs use interactive learning and dialogue. Some have associated costs which are paid for from the Winkler Fund. Your contribution is most welcome and is used to sustain these learning activities. The events are meant to actively engage CIR resources to benefit students. These are some of the ways CIR impacts students in Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico.

Study Tour of Turkey

This program, funded by the Turkish Cultural Foundation and administered nationally by the World Affairs Council, is in three parts. The first is a workshop for teachers on Turkey—its history, geography, and culture. The second part is a 14 day study tour of Turkey starting in Istanbul. The third part is the Portrait of Turkey luncheon during which local teachers show and explain their Turkish curriculum projects. Obviously this has a strong appeal where teachers can travel and learn about a U.S. strategic partner in the Middle-East. CIR appreciates our benefactor, the Turkish Cultural Foundation, which makes this program possible through a grant valued at approximately $25,000.

Local teachers who have traveled to Turkey as part of this program:

  • 2010: 5
  • 2011: 3
  • 2012: 3

Number of students impacted by this program since 2010: Approximately 1200

Fall Student Summit

A student summit is held every fall at Monte Del Sol or Santa Fe Community College. Seven to nine schools typically respond to our invitation, sending six to eight students per school. CIR provides a pizza lunch, a topic and speakers, who give briefings and pose questions for small-group discussion. The model evokes that of an international summit attended by world leaders, and students emerge with multiple points of view. Sometimes speakers are CIR members with expertise in a particular area, but recently we engaged a former Ambassador and the current First Secretary from the Korean Embassy from the Korean Economic Institute in Washington, D.C.

Number of students who participated in the Fall Student Summit:

  • 2009: 59 students and 5 teachers from 6 area high schools and 2 colleges
  • 2010: 68 students and 6 teachers from 7 area high schools and 2 colleges
  • 2011: More than 100 students from 9 high schools


    CIR Summit Sets Record


    The Council on International Relations (CIR) wishes to recognize the local high schools that sent student delegations to the recent CIR Korean Summit. The high schools responded enthusiastically and the attendance exceeded 100 students and teachers which smashed all previous records.


    The schools that participated were Santa Fe High, Santa Fe Prep, Monte del Sol, St. John’s College, Santa Fe Community College, Desert Academy, the Santa Fe Waldorf School, the Master’s Program, and the entire AP class from Santa Fe Indian School.  The topic was Korea and the Council invited three VIPs from the World Affairs Councils of America in Washington, D.C.


    Ambassador Jack Pritchard said that “the Santa Fe Summit was a very fulfilling experience”, and State Department Officer Dan Tickvart said “the students were animated and well informed”.  First Secretary Wongcha La said “the Santa Fe event was awesome!”  We appreciate the interest expressed by our local schools in learning about international affairs. –  Jeff Case PhD., Student/Faculty Chair, CIR Board Member

Monetary Grants to Schools

Direct grants are made to area high schools for books, equipment, events, or contributions to humanitarian efforts. For example, the Waldorf School used its funds for wall maps. Capitol High School made library acquisitions. St. Michael’s High School used their funds to send books to its sister school in Santa Fe/Granada, Spain. The Desert Academy is considering assisting an orphanage in the Dominican Republic.

Lecture Participation

Students and teachers are regularly invited to attend lectures free of charge as part of the International Lecture Series. These are highly stimulating talks and provide excellent background information on international topics. Lectures are usually held at The Forum on the campus of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

Number who have attended these lectures free of charge:

  • 2009: 25 students
  • 2010: 28 students
  • 2011: 28 students

World Affairs Luncheon Participation

Students mix and mingle prior to a lecture, lunch and stimulating conversation with CIR members. In addition to what they learn from the lecture, students use their social skills, learn about potential international career paths and hear about personal experiences in overseas work environments. After the lecture, students participate in table discussions, often returning to their schools to give reports on the discussion. Student interest  in these luncheons is very high.

Number of students who have attended these lunches free of charge: 

  • 2009: 32
  • 2010: 41
  • 2011: 46

Meetings with visitors participating in the International Visitor Program

Students who have met with international visitors typically respond that these meetings are among the most memorable activities of the year. Meetings have been arranged with students at the Santa Fe Girls School, United World College, Santa Fe Prep, the Waldorf School,  Capitol High School, Santa Fe Community College, and the Institute for American Indian Arts.


Students have obtained valuable international experience through internships at the CIR office, where they interact with international visitors and support CIR programs.

Since 2009, 6 student interns have been part of the CIR team.

School Visitations

United World College is a unique community of about 200 students, of which about 50% come from schools overseas. The International Baccalaureate is the backbone of the curriculum, and the college also uses outward bound training and the Bartos Institute, which is widely known for excellence in conflict resolution. The college is located in Montezuma, NM, about 70 miles from Santa Fe in a mountain “castle” with stunning views. CIR members accompany Santa Fe students to the college each year to better understand the educational community and curriculum. Tours are conducted by students enrolled at United World College.

Tour participants:

  • 2009: 25 CIR members accompanied 9 students
  • 2010: 26 CIR members accompanied 8 students
  • 2011: 21 CIR members accompanied 10 students

Foreign Affairs Journal

The Foreign Affairs Journal is a publication from the Council on Foreign Relations. Our goal is to put in the classroom a high quality, non-biased journal for use by teachers and students. The journal is targeted at college level students, but we find a good acceptance by advanced high school students. The Journal gives excellent promotional literature for specialized universities.

Passport Program

CIR works in conjunction with the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market to provide a unique way to introduce young people to international artisans and the countries from which they come. On the market’s Family Day, a passport similar to the one used by all international travelers is handed out to youngsters visiting the market. With passport in hand, youngsters approach artisans from over 150 countries to get a country stamp to paste in their “passport”. These stamps encourage interaction with market artisans and new curiosity about many of the countries represented at the market.

CIR has sponsored the market’s Passport Program every year since 2009, providing approximately 1,000 passports each year to participating children.

CIR Speaker List

CIR members are accomplished people with interesting backgrounds and experiences they are happy to share. Teachers and administrators are provided with a list of CIR members willing to speak to classrooms of students. Topics range from the emergence of Turkey as a strategic influence to the burgeoning arts and culture scene in Cuba or political implications of violence on the Mexican border.


All of these opportunities are provided to designated students through the Student and Faculty Committee.  Expenses are paid for by Member contributions to the Gordon Winkler Student Memorial Fund.  For more information about how you can support student participation, please contact the CIR office.