The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) was founded in 1966, as the first area studies center at NYU. Today it is one of the premier centers of its kind in the country. The Center’s national and international reputation derives from the strength of its approximately 130 research-active affiliated faculty Among them are presidents of national professional associations, members of the National Academy, finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, recipients of Guggenheims, NEH, ACLS, Ford, Rockefeller, MacArthur and other prestigious fellowships and honors.

Together with Columbia University’s Institute of Latin American Studies, CLACS is a federally designated Title VI National Resource Center (NRC), through which CLACS supports faculty and student research abroad as well as faculty working groups and three faculty-directed regional area studies initiatives: The Caribbean Initiative, the Andean Initiative, and the Brazil Initiative. As an NRC, CLACS hosts extensive public programming, from public lectures to film series and a range of events and workshops for K-12 teachers. In addition to NRC funding, CLACS receives funding from the Foreign Language and Area Studies program of the US Department of Education. Those funds allow us to grant academic-year and summer fellowships for students of critical foreign languages and areas, particularly Quechua and Portuguese.

The Center is highly regarded for its rigorous, interdisciplinary MA program, one of the oldest and most successful in the field. We have joint MA programs with Global Journalism, Museum Studies, Law, and Library Science. The Center’s Quechua language program, launched in Fall 2008, offers rigorous language training through the intermediate level, and has received media attention from local, national, and international news agencies in New York and Latin America. Our graduates have worked in top organizations in the field including the Americas Society, the Washington Office on Latin America, the Huffington Post, Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations; others have pursued PhDs and professional degrees at Yale, Duke, UCLA, UT Austin, and here at NYU.

Past and present CLACS students run the acclaimed news site Latin American News Dispatch (LAND). CLACS is also home to NACLA (the North American Congress on Latin America) whose quarterly Report is a longstanding voice in foreign policy analysis. Please follow the CLACS Blog and join our mailing list to receive information on CLACS events and programs: we welcome your participation. If you are a prospective student, please be in contact with us!


I often tell people that New York City is a great place to study Latin American and the Caribbean because it is the the island closest to the United States. The joke rests on the realities of our changing city, where a full 37% of the population is foreign born and a great many more are children of immigrants. Sharing a city with these 3.1 million "Newest New Yorkers," of whom fully half come from the Caribbean and Latin America, has sharpened our mission as a Title VI National Resource Center to promote, share, and produce knowledge about the region and its languages. 

Through extensive public programming and K-12, post-secondary, and community outreach programs, CLACS functions as a nexus between the university and wider communities of learning. We understand these newest New Yorkers both ass constituents with distinct needs for area studies expertise and also as powerful resources for learning about the region. As a recipient of Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) funds, the Center maintains a strong commitment to less commonly taught languages of the region, especially Quechua, and to understanding more full the social politics that surround language acquisition, lost, and recovery for native speakers and their communities. 

I invite you to join our network—as a student, scholar, interested public, or as a fellow New Yorker. Our doors are open.

Jill Lane
Director of CLACS at NYU

Omar Dauhajre, Assistant Director

About Omar
Omar A. Dauhajre is a Puerto Rican writer/editor, historian, and musician. Over the last decade, he has worked in the nonprofit sector in Boston and New York both in academia and in community organizations, where he has managed successful communications, social media, outreach, and development strategies. He was a founding and managing editor of Centro Voices, a magazine of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. Omar is also interested in community building through music and has hosted successful DJ residencies in Puerto Rico, Boston and New York. He holds a Master in Mass Communication from Florida International University, and a BA in History of the Americas from the University of Puerto Rico.

Contact information
Phone: 212-998-8683

Contact Omar for questions regarding
Graduation requirements

Bel Destefani, Program Administrator

About Bel
Bel Destefani is a writer and photographer. Her work has been published both online and in print on The Gothamist, Indiewire, Movieline,, and the Independent Weekly, as well as featured on the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s blog. Most recently one of her images was published in hitRECord’s book compilation, Little Red Riding Hood Redux. Before joining CLACS she worked as an Award Program Assistant for Creative Capital, Assistant Director of NYICFF and as a film archive assistant at NYU, as well as interned at the Museum of the Moving Image, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and the New York Film Festival. She received her MA in Cinema Studies from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and BA in English and Political Science from Duke University. She is originally from South Florida and perpetually gets cold at exactly 75 degrees, but loves the snow. Her other loves include Game of Thrones, Chilean cinema, and Vivian Maier.

Contact Information
Phone: 212-998-8687

Contact Bel for questions regarding
Fiscal Affairs
Courses at Columbia

Isabelle Hazel, Administrative Aide

About Isabelle
Isabelle Hazel is a recent graduate of George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs. An admirer of all things Haitian, Isabelle spent a large part of her undergraduate studies exploring the country’s history and post disaster response and recovery. While the Latin American and Caribbean region holds a special place in her heart, Isabelle has also spent some time living in Hong Kong learning about China’s political and economic development. However, she unofficially went to Asia in search of the perfect soup dumpling. Isabelle loves chatting endlessly about global affairs, and this has led her to jobs and internships at the American Foreign Service Association, Doctors Without Borders and the Council on Foreign Relations. She is excited to join the CLACS NYU team and to get to know some of the brilliant minds shaping the field!

Contact Information
Phone: 212-998-8685

Contact Isabelle for questions regarding
Minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

53 Washington Square South, 4W New York, NY 10012
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53 Washington Square South, 4W
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