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About Us

The Center for Latin American Studies strives to maintain and elaborate on the expertise of its faculty and staff; train the future Latin Americanists of the region; provide timely, accessible, and accurate knowledge on the historical and contemporary issues of Latin America to the region’s public; disseminate objective data and foster open debate and discussion on U.S./Latin American policies; and to provide accessible materials and training for teachers of all grade levels on Latin America.

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The goals of the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) are to:

  1. Offer front-line and innovative teaching and training to our student body in area-specific, indigenous and transnational and diasporic thinking and research in Latin American and the Caribbean
  2. Cultivate greater understanding of Latin American and Caribbean history, cultures, languages, and societies
  3. Curate a scholarly profile featuring the scholarship and intellectual exchanges that contribute to social, political, and economic advancements in regions in association with California and a bi-natonal focus on the Mexico/U.S. border
  4. Provide accessible materials and training for local businesses and teachers of all grade levels on Latin America


Mission Statement

The Center for Latin American Studies mission grounds our programs and defines our relationship to the larger community.

The Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at San Diego State University strives to produce both traditional disciplinary knowledge and learn from indigenous knowledge systems through engagement with the cultures, histories, politics, geography, arts, economies and languages of Latin America. The CLAS programs focus on education, research, and exchange and expand on the expertise of its faculty and staff who are leading disciplinary specialists in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our faculty and staff train students in research methods and theory in Latin American and facilitate experiential learning through field schools, study abroad, and internships in Latin America along with colloquia series, visiting scholars and trans-border curricula. The Center prioritize in-field research experience and community engagement in order to strengthen collaborative relationships with Latin American universities, governmental institutions, non-governmental organizations, and local community movements. The unique location of the university on the Mexico/U.S. border positions the CLAS as a leading hub for scholarly activity on issues pertaining to border and transnational flows of people and ideas more generally, as well as understanding the particularities of the Mexico/U.S. border as a window into hemispheric movements and change. The Center proudly serves the San Diego State University community as well as diverse publics throughout the greater transborder region.