The CERN-CLAF School:

The first school of high-energy physics organized jointly by CERN and CLAF (Centro latinoamericano de física), Rio de Janeiro was held in Itacuruçá, Brazil on 6-19 May and it hopefully marked the opening of a close collaboration between CERN and physicists in Latin America.

This new series of biennial schools is modelled on the school of physics organized jointly by CERN and JINR.
71 students attended the inaugural CERN-CLAF School, 56 of them coming from eight Latin-American countries (17 from Mexico, 16 from Brazil, 11 from Argentina and 12 from other countries), 13 from Europe and two from the US.
The 12 lecturers came from Europe, Latin America and the US. The lectures, which were in English, were complemented by daily discussion sessions led by seven physicists from Latin America. The students presented their work in an enthusiastic poster session

Scientific Programme:

Beyond the Standard Model E. Roulet, (Centro Atomico Bariloche)
Cosmology & Astrophysics A. Cohen (University of Boston, USA)
Data Analysis M. Delfino Reznicek (CERN)
Trigger/DAQ N. Ellis (CERN)
Cosmic Rays C. Escobar (Unicamp, Brazil)
Flavour Physics B. Gavela (Univ.Autonoma de Madrid, Spain)
Field Theory & Standard Model R. Kleiss (Nijmegen University, Netherlands)
Neutrinos P. Lipari (INFN, Italy)
QCD M. Mangano (CERN)
Heavy Ions J. Schukraft (CERN)
Instrumentation O. Ullaland (CERN)
Future Physics Prospects at CERN L. Maiani (CERN)

The discussion sessions were led by:

Gilvan Alves (CBPF, Brazil)
Guillermo Contreras (CINVESTAV Merida, Mexico)
Marco Aurelio Diaz (PUC, Chile)
Maria Teresa Dova (UNLP, Argentina)
Roberto Martinez (Univ. Nacional, Bogota)
Miguel Angel Perez (CINVESTAV, Mexico)
Rodolfo Sassot (UBA, Argentina)

The Latin-American students were centrally funded for all of their travel, board and lodging, while other students were funded by their home institutes. Financial support came from CERN, Spain, France, Portugal and Italy, in addition to Brazil, Mexico and CLAF.

The students were accommodated in twin and triple rooms with students from different countries and regions sharing the same room. This was an important factor contributing to the success of the school

A survey carried out at the end of the school revealed that:

* the school was an undisputed success;
* the level of the students was high, and all profited from the lectures, in spite of
minor language problems;
* the mixing of nationalities was important, and students were convinced that contact with other students and with lecturers of international reputation would be significant for their future careers as well as in building up an inter-regional network of young physicists;
* the contacts made at the school were also believed to be important in strengthening the collaboration between individuals and institutions inside Latin America;
* there was a unanimous wish for the school to be continued, and the Mexican physics community and authorities expressed their willingness to host the next event in 2003.

At the conclusion of the school, a meeting with representatives from CERN, several Latin-American countries (Argentina, Brazil and Mexico) and funding agencies discussed strategies for continued and possibly permanent support for the CERN-CLAF School and for strengthening the collaboration between Latin-American countries and CERN.