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Global Harvard: Mexico

Harvard is increasingly entwined with Mexico, a nation of 122 million with more University graduates than any other Latin American nation except Brazil. In Mexico City, faculty and students study commuter traffic, low-income housing, air quality, and access to health care. Elsewhere in the country, Harvard projects relate to other subjects, including public art, rural medical care, Mayan ruins, freshwater contaminants, nutrition, and cross-border frictions.

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Air quality in Mexico City is influenced by the bowl-like valley it sits within, surrounded by pollution-trapping mountains like those in this 47-story view (photo 1). The city's heavy traffic accounts for most of the air pollution in this megacity of 22 million residents (photo 2). Yet it also has the largest bike-share program  (photo 3) in Latin America — one of a myriad of attempts to improve the city’s environment and quality of life.

Coming up for air

Mexico City, Harvard alliance to study health changes after two decades of major environmental upgrades

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Maria Dolores León Torres (left), at home with her family in the La Vista neighborhood of Chapala, Mexico. She and her son Juan de Dios, age 4 (center), were part of a Harvard study investigating suspected contamination in fish from Lake Chapala. “We haven’t ever gotten ill,” she said. Photos by Ned Brown/Harvard Staff

The mystery of the lake

Harvard researchers probed whether fish in Mexican area were contaminated — and were harming mothers, children

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