As early as 1915, Latin American course offerings at Carolina were coordinated in a special curriculum, and the continued growth of interest in Latin America resulted in the creation of an institute that has grown into today’s Institute for the Study of the Americas. The institute is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge of the Latin American experience in the Western Hemisphere, building upon longstanding and distinguished traditions of scholarly interest in the diverse regions within Latin America, including Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. The institute was thus one of the first educational centers in the United States dedicated exclusively to the study of Latin America. The institute collaborates with Duke University as part of the Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
Programs and outreach include:
- Undergraduate major in Latin American studies
- Graduate certificate in Latin American studies
- Language training and curriculum development in the languages of the region, including Portuguese, Spanish, Yucatec Maya and Haitian Creole
- Latino Migration Project, a collaboration with the Center for Global Initiatives that aims to understand the impact of the expanding Latin American presence in North Carolina
- Cuba Program, which seeks to expand knowledge of Cuba, past and present, with particular emphasis on short-term visits by scholars and artists from Cuba
- K-12 and community college outreach, which trains, develops and makes accessible educational resources