Center for Latin American & Latino Studies

  • Emergent Challenges for Latin American Economies
  • Reconfiguration of Elites and Power in Central America
  • Religion and Democratic Contestation in Latin America
  • CONACULTA Partnership
  • Latino Entrepreneurs in the DC Metro Area
  • Cuba Initiative
  • Religion and Violence in Latin America
  • Latin Pulse
  • Latin American Visuals


The Center for Latin American & Latino Studies, established in January 2010, is a campus-wide initiative advancing and disseminating state-of-the-art research. Our faculty affiliates and partners are at the forefront of efforts to understand economic development, democratic governance, cultural diversity and change, peace and diplomacy, health, education and environmental well-being. CLALS generates high quality, timely analysis on these and other issues in partnership with researchers and practitioners from AU and beyond.

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CLALS Cuba Exhibit

Esther Gentile / Latin American Visuals Online Repository / Creative Commons













As part of its ongoing Cuba Initiative, CLALS has launched an online, curated exhibition of photographs from Cuba, in partnership with American University’s Bender Library. The collection is available to the public for free downloading and circulation, and is intended to be a resource for authors, educators, students, web designers and others engaged in analyses of contemporary Cuban affairs. If you would like to contribute photographs to the collection, please contact Jacquelyn Dolezal at

News Archive

CLALS in the News

An International Business Times article features comments by Research Fellow Fulton Armstrong on the U.S. easing of travel and business restrictions. "To Armstrong, the key to improving relations between the two countries lies in getting the two governments out of the way."


AU News

CLALS LLM en espanol

The Washington College of Law will launch the country's first Spanish LL.M. taught in a hybrid format.  The new program, LL.M. en Derechos Humanos y Derecho Humanitario - aimed at native speakers who would otherwise lack access to an American legal education - welcomes its first cohort in Spring 2016.  The program follows the same online and residential hybrid curriculum as WCL's recently launched LL.M. in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, taught in English.


Grant Highlights

The Christopher Reynolds Foundation has renewed its support for the Center's Cuba Initiative, which focuses on U.S.-Cuban relations, economic reform, and health.

The Ford Foundation has awarded funds to CLALS to supply pro bono lawyers and other advocates with the accurate, up-to-date evidence needed to effectively represent unaccompanied minors from Central America as they navigate the U.S. immigration system.

CLALS has received a $670,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice to carry out research to assess the transnational criminal capacity of the MS-13 gang in the U.S. and El Salvador.

The Henry Luce Foundation has provided renewed support to CLALS to conduct the two-year project Religion and Democratic Contestation in Latin America.