Santiago Andres Garcia

Santiago Garcia
Santiago Andres Garcia, Rio Hondo College

Project Summary

The Mesoamerican Clay-Figurine Project and its members have produced open-access articles in the Association of Mexican American Educators (AMAE) Journal, the Journal of Latinos and Education, Genealogy, and recently, a chapter in the transdisciplinary college reader In Search of Our Brown Selves published by Kendall Hunt. When not in the classroom, Santiago is in partnership with his fellow educators, training new teachers and collaborating with students. As a 2022 HuMetricsHSS Community Fellow, Santiago plans to expand the Mesoamerican Clay-Figurine Project with the release of a newly designed website, and the re-launching of public engagement amid COVID-19 reparations.


Santiago Andres Garcia is a Gloria E. Anzaldúa Scholar, and an ACLS/Mellon Fellow. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Humanities at Rio Hondo and Cerritos Colleges. In 2014, he started the Mesoamerican Clay-Figurine Project (, a long-term pedagogical project, and learning partnership that examines the linkages between good health and learning among Native American students of Mesoamerican ancestry living in the greater Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley region of California. Through clay-work, self-reflective writing, and storytelling, students dive into deep understandings of the human body, Native food, and family medicine. At the center of the project, lies the small-scale, clay-figurine, which students get to pound, sculpt, and destroy. In 2015, the project earned recognition by the American Studies Association for its impact on students of diverse backgrounds of which included veterans of war, and students with learning disabilities. In 2019, the American Council of Learned Societies supplied the project with a $40,000 grant to help fund classroom capacity building, community engagement, and public research.