Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

West Indies

The West Indies is an archipelago that extends in an arc from near southern Florida to the coast of Venezuela. The West Indies archipelago, which includes thousands of tiny islands, forms a breakwater 3,200-km (2,000-mi) long against the Atlantic Ocean, separating it from the Caribbean Sea.

The West Indies archipelago is known by a variety of names. The earliest name, and the one most frequently used, is West Indies. European explorer Christopher Columbus gave the region that name in error when he arrived in 1492. He assumed that the islands were near the coast of India.

With the passage of time, other names came into use. Spain and France called the islands the Antilles, named after the mythological Atlantic island of Antilia, or Antilla. The larger islands (Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico) came to be known as the Greater Antilles, while the remaining smaller islands were called the Lesser Antilles. The Lesser Antilles were also further divided into the Windward Islands and Leeward Islands, names referring to the position of the islands relative to the trade winds that blow steadily from the northeast.

Geographically a part of the Americas, the islands of the West Indies have close cultural and historical ties with Europe, Africa, and Asia. No other region in the Americas exhibits such a diverse range of cultural patterns and social and political institutions. Beginning in the 15th century, European nations began to colonize the West Indies, bringing their culture, language, and social influences to the islands. The majority of the islands remained colonies for a longer period than any other part of the Americas. Most West Indian nations attained independence from the late 19th to the late 20th century.

MSN Encarta: West Indies
Photo by Tulane graduate student Shelby Lloyd, Department of Tropical Medicine

West Indies + People View All
Dave Davis
Professor Emeritus - Director, Institutional Research
Thomas A. Klingler
Professor - French & Italian

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Upcoming Events

Coronavirus in Latin America: Policy Effects on Human Rights in Northern Triangle

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Advanced registration required.

The third webinar in our series Coronavirus in Latin America, we explore the impact COVID-19 has had on human rights in Central America. With the spread of the virus throughout Central America, where food sovereignty and a decimated healthcare system are already a problem, how are governments, community groups and hospitals responding to the pandemic? Join us for an informal conversation with Noah Bullock, Executive Director and Osvaldo Lapuente Country Director of Cristosal a human rights organization working in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras with these and many other issues. The panel will be moderated by Stone Center for Latin American Studies PhD candidate, José Nico Cabrera Schneider.

Cristosal
Founded in 2000 as a partnership between Anglican churches in El Salvador and the United States, Cristosal has since 2010 expanded its reach and reputation as one of the leading human rights organizations in the Northern Triangle of Central America. In 2017, Cristosal was selected by USAID to implement a regional project focused on forced migration which expanded Cristosal’s organizational reach into Guatemala and Honduras.

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Kaqchikel Langauge Table

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Join Kaqchikel professors, native speakers, and fellow students from across the country for an hour of language practice and networking.

For more information see the attached flyer:
Kaqchikel_Language_Table_4-1596189342.pdf

Online Summer Book Group for K-12 Educators

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For pre-service, early career and veteran teachers who love reading and learning through literature who want to explore award-winning books for the middle and early high school classrooms. Join us as we read four books that explore stories of coming-of-age from multiple perspectives. Participants will receive a copy of each book and participate in an open discussion with other K-12 educators. We will launch the book group with The Other Half of Happy. The group will meet online and explore the real story behind this award-winning book with the author Rebecca Balrcárcel. Join us this summer as we discover new stories and books for your classroom.

Register here for $15 (includes all 4 books).

All online Zoom meetings are at 7:00 PM CST.

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Sponsored by the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and AfterCLASS at Tulane University. For more information, please email crcrts@tulane.edu.

Central America, People and the Environment Educator Institute 2021

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This summer educator institute is the third institute in a series being offered by Tulane University, The University of Georgia and Vanderbilt University. This series of institutes is designed to enhance the presence of Central America in the K-12 classroom. Each year, participants engage with presenters, resources and other K-12 colleagues to explore diverse topics in Central America with a focus on people and the environment.

While at Tulane, the institute will explore the historic connections between the United States and Central America focusing on indigenous communities and environment while highlighting topics of social justice and environmental conservation. Join us to explore Central America and teaching strategies to implement into the classroom.

Additional details and registration will be available in the late fall 2020. For more information, please email dwolteri@tulane.edu or call 504.865.5164.