Latino/Latin American Studies

The Latino/Latin American Studies minor consists of 20 credits of interdisciplinary coursework.  This study of the Americas is appropriate for all students, especially those  majoring in History, Hispanic Studies, Political Science, Theology, and Global Business. 


LLAS Event Series Fall 2015

Guatemela: Challenge and Promise


Wednesday, September 30, Art Lecture Hall, SJU
ABRAZOS - A Journey in Search of One's Identity
ABRAZOS tells the story of the transformational journey of a group of U.S. citizen children who travel 3,000 miles, from Minnesota to Guatemala, to  meet their grandparents for the first time. After being separated for nearly two decades, these families are able to share stories, strengthen traditions and begin to reconstruct their cultural identity.
Luis Argueta is a Guatemalan-American director and producer and recent recipient of the prestigious Orden del Quetzal award.

Monday, November 2, Quad 264, SJU
Maya Literary Resurgence in Guatemala: Francisco Morales Santos y Luis de Lión 
What role have Maya writers and their literatures played in the affirmation of indigenous cultural identity and the struggle for indigenous rights and self-determination in Guatemala since the 1960s?  Emilio del Valle Escalante will answer this question by offering a critical discussion of the poetry of Kaqchikel Maya authors Francisco Morales Santos and Luis de Lión.

Emilio del Valle Ecalante (Maya K'iche') is originally from Guatemala. He is an Associate Professor of Spanish at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His teaching and research focuses on indigenous literatures and social movements, Central American literatures and cultures, Indigenous, post-colonial and subaltern studies theory in the Latin American context. 

Monday, November 16, Quad 264, SJU
Health is the Greatest Wealth: Bendito Fruto del Vientre
Despite improvements in several public health indicators in the last two decades, Guatemalans still experience numerous health-related problems such as communicable diseases, chronic under-nutrition, and maternal mortality, especially in rural areas and among indigenous populations. Katherine Nystrom will discuss the roots of these health issues as context for describing the work of WINGS/ALAS, an organization committed to strengthening Guatemalan families through promoting access to reproductive health services and education. 
Katherine Nystrom is a CSB Alum with a Masters in Public Health from Emory University. During her graduate studies, she did program evaluation fieldwork in the Alta Verapaz region of Guatemala studying the effectiveness of WINGS' outreach and education programming. She is currently a program evaluator at the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor. 


LLAS 270 Reading Circle 
Students who plan to attend all events may register for "LLAS 270: Readings in Latino/Latin American Studies."  This can be taken for either one or zero credits, pass/fail.  Requirements are:  attend all events and write a short (3-4 pages) reflective essay.  Registrants for LLAS 270 will receive 1 academic credit.  Students may also choose to register for 0 credits which does not require an essay.  Interested students should contact  Dr. Brian Larkin, Director of the Latino/Latin American Studies program, at  Students should specify whether they wish to register for 1 or 0 credit.                        





For video links to previous guest lectures, go to: LLAS Digital Commons


Overview of Program

Program Highlights

  • The program offers a variety of courses, some focusing on particular national groups or specific academic disciplines, and others organized around comparative topics or issues
  • The purpose is to encourage in-depth study as well as to provide guidance for a general inquiry into the problem of cultural difference and its social and political implications, within both the Americas and the Caribbean