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OUR MISSION

To educate students and the university community about Latino/Latin American matters with our courses and event programming.

To support internationalization, diversity, and interdisciplinary efforts on campus and in the community.

To promote an increase the size of the Latino/a and Latin American student body, faculty and staff.

To serve and educate West Michigan communities. The LAS Program enhances GVSUs relations with the regional Latino community.


Knowledge of the Latin America and the Caribbean regions is an essential part of a liberal education today.  US economic, political, and cultural relations with countries from Mexico and the Caribbean to Central and South America continue to grow in importance.  People of Latin American and Caribbean heritage, the Latino/a community, now constitute the largest ethnic group in the US.  

Latin American Studies welcomes students from Languages, Humanities, Social Sciences, Business, the Health Sciences, Hard Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Engineering, Design, and the Arts.  Why?  Because Latin America is building some of the most dynamic cities, fastest-growing economies, cutting-edge production of music and film, intriguing political movements, and programs of environmental sustainability, to name a few reasons.  Both professionals and scholars enjoy exploring, traveling, and trying to understand life and the world within the framework of this most vibrant region of the globe.  If you are interested in Latin America, take a minor in Latin American Studies.  It will enthrall you.  It will push you to learn new languages.  It will give you the edge to get a job.

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What is Latin America?

  • A region of twenty different nations and territories in the Americas where people speak mostly Spanish and Portuguese as well as a host of different native and creole languages.
  • A region of intense ethnic and cultural fusion of African, European, and Native American origins.  
  • A region where most African-descended peoples of the Americas live.
  • A region with some of the largest industrial economies of the world.  
  • A region of impressive biological diversity and ecological richness.  

What is Latin American Studies?

  • The interdisciplinary exploration of the economies, histories, literatures, cultural productions, politics, societies, and ecologies of Latin America.

Contact Us:

Andrew Schlewitz
Interim LAS Program Coordinator

Grand Valley State University
112 Lake Ontario Hall
Telephone: (616) 331-8158
Email: schlewitz@gvsu.edu

David Stark
LAS Program Coordinator
(on sabbatical)
Grand Valley State University
D-1-216 Mackinac Hall
Telephone: (616) 331-3174
Email: starkd@gvsu.edu

Brooks College