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LLANO GRANDE CENTER FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT. The Llano Grande Center for Research and Development is a nonprofit education organization based in Elsa, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley. Though formally convened in 1997 through an Annenberg Foundation school reform grant, the work began in the early 1990s as a college preparation program based out of Edcouch Elsa High School. Brothers Francisco and Miguel Guajardo founded the organization.

Between 1992 and 1997 teachers and students initiated an ambitious college prep program that placed dozens of local students in Ivy League and other prestigious universities. In 1997 the Center enhanced its college placement work with initiatives on youth leadership, community development, and participatory action research. By using an assets-based approach the Center has launched a Spanish language immersion institute, a center for digital storytelling, and leadership development workshops for teachers, school administrators, and nonprofit workers throughout the country. In its short history the Center has distinguished itself as a national leader in the education of Latino students and as an important voice on issues of rural education and rural community development. Llano Grande won the 2005 National Council of La Raza's Capital Award as the leading nonprofit organization in the United States that services Latino communities and has been featured in national media outlets such as People Magazine and Parade. A number of students that have attended Ivy League schools have returned to the Rio Grande Valley after graduation as educational, cultural, and business leaders, thereby helping and inspiring other students.


Llano Grande Center for Research and Development (, accessed May 6, 2008. Rosemary Zibart, "When the Community Teaches," Parade Magazine, (April 2002).

Francisco Guajardo


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Francisco Guajardo, "LLANO GRANDE CENTER FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed April 02, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.