Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Central America

In political terms, Central America consists of seven independent nations: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. With the exception of Costa Rica and Panama, where national borders coincide with geographical and human frontiers, political boundaries are artificial and were marked out in defiance of both the lay of the land and the cultural groupings of the region’s peoples.

Geographically, Central America can be divided into four broad zones: Petén-Belize; the Caribbean coasts of Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua; the Pacific volcanic region; and Costa Rica-Panama. The geographic and biological diversity of Central America- with its cool highlands and steaming lowlands, its incredible variety of microclimates and environments, its seemingly infinite types of flora and fauna, and its mineral wealth- has been a major factor in setting the course of the cultural history of Central America.

For many years, Central Americans have been peoples in motion. Migrants who have moved from rural areas into the cities have often been driven from lands they once owned. Recent turmoil in Central America created another group of people on the move-refugees from the fighting in their own countries or from the persecution by extremists of the political left and right. Central America still feels the effects of civil war and violence. Armies, guerrillas, and terrorists of the political left and right have exacted a high toll on human lives and property.

Central American economics, always fragile, have in recent years been plagued by a combination of vexing problems. Foreign debt, inflation, currency devaluations, recession, and, in some instances, outside interference have had deleterious effects on the standard of living in all the countries. Civil war, insurgency, corruption and mismanagement, and population growth have added fuel to the crisis-not only in the region’s economies but also in their societies. Nature, too, has played an important contributory role in the region’s economic and social malaise. Hurricane Mitch, which struck Central America in 1998, killed thousands, destroyed crops and property, and disrupted the infrastructure of roads and bridges in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

Excerpt from Paul B. Goodwin’s Global Studies: Latin America, 13th Ed. (17-22)

Central America + People View All
Suyapa Inglés
SCLAS Assistant Director of Administration
Ludovico Feoli
Permanent Researcher and CEO, CIAPA, Executive Director - Center for Inter-American Policy and Research at Tulane University
Thomas F. Reese
SCLAS Executive Director. Professor - Art History

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Virtual Reception Welcoming our 2019-2020 Post-Doctoral Fellows

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The Center for Inter-American Policy and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies cordially invite you to a virtual reception welcoming our 2019-2020 Post-Doctoral Fellows. For more information, please contact sfialkof@tulane.edu.

Hip Hop and Brazil's X-Ray: 30 years of Racionais MC's

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Language: introduction in Portuguese Questions and comments welcome in Portuguese, English, or Spanish

Conversation with:
Sílvia Lorenso, Associate Professor and Director, Middlebury School in Brazil Jaqueline Santos, PhD, Anthropology. Universidade de Campinas

Watch the music video Negro Drama and Entrevista Mano Brown before the discussion.

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Citizens and Politics: The Changing Nature of Parties, Participation, and Linkages

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Please join us at 2pm on Friday, October 23 for the second lecture in our Fall series Citizens and Politics. Dr. Ernesto Calvo (University of Maryland) will speak on Trust, Partisanship and Perceptions of COVID-19 Risk in Latin America.

The Materiality of Insurgency in the Colonial Andes

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The Stone Center recently agreed to co-sponsor Dr. Ananda Cohen-Aponte’s upcoming talk, “The Materiality of Insurgency in the Colonial Andres” which is scheduled for Thursday, October 29 at 5:00 PM via Zoom. The talk is part of the year-long “Representation and Resistance: Scholarship Centering Race in Western Art” lecture series organized by the Newcomb Art Department and co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Program and is also the 2020 Terry K. Simmons Lecture in Art History for this year.

Details can also be found here on the lecture series website:
https://liberalarts.tulane.edu/departments/newcomb-art/representation-and-resistance-scholarship-centering-race-western-art

Film discussion: "O Pai, O" - Carnaval and the intersectionality of oppressions in Salvador/Bahia

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Language: introduction in Portuguese Questions and comments welcome in Portuguese, English, or Spanish

Facilitators: Sílvia Lorenso, Associate Professor and Director, Middlebury School in Brazil Guimário Nascimento, History Teacher, Colégio Nossa Senhora Soledad, Salvador Tatiane Cerqueira, Mestre and PhD student at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, UFSC

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*Warning: Some scenes in the film contain graphic violence and sex.

Office of Study Abroad

Summer in Cuba Information Session

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Learn more about the Cuban and Caribbean Institute‘€™s flagship study abroad program. Summer in Cuba is open to Tulane and non-Tulane undergraduate students from all years and majors. Plus, public Health majors have a unique opportunity to earn credits abroad with the Public Health in Cuba track.