Skip to main content

Center for Latin American & Latino Studies

  • Emergent Challenges for Latin American Economies
  • Reconfiguration of Elites and Power in Central America
  • Religion and Democratic Contestation in Latin America
  • CONACULTA Partnership
  • Latino Entrepreneurs in the DC Metro Area
  • Cuba Initiative


The Center for Latin American & Latino Studies, established in January 2010, is a campus-wide initiative advancing and disseminating state-of-the-art research. Our faculty affiliates and partners are at the forefront of efforts to understand economic development, democratic governance, cultural diversity and change, peace and diplomacy, health, education and environmental well-being. CLALS generates high quality, timely analysis on these and other issues in partnership with researchers and practitioners from AU and beyond.

Donate to CLALS


Follow Us on Facebook & Twitter


Working Paper 9 Let us care for Everyone's Home

CLALS Releases Working Paper on the Catholic Church's Role in Keeping Gold Mining out of El Salvador

El Salvador’s refusal to allow industrial gold mining within its borders sets it apart from most other Latin American countries. Since 2007, three successive presidents from opposing parties have maintained a de facto moratorium that prevents all mining firms from accessing El Salvador’s gold deposits. Yet opposition to industrial gold mining has not always been the majority position in El Salvador. Our ninth working paper explores the Church’s influence on the Salvadoran government’s decision to suspend all metals mining, examining the theological and practical motivations for the Church’s stance on mining. It is a product of our Luce Foundation-funded project on Religion and Democratic Contestation in Latin America.

News Archive

CLALS in the News

Matthew Taylor

CLALS Faculty Affiliate and SIS Associate Professor Matthew Taylor has joined the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), an independent, nonpartisan membership organization and think tank, as an adjunct senior fellow for Latin America Studies in the David Rockefeller Studies Program. He is directing a roundtable meeting series on Latin America, as well as conducting research related to corruption and the rule of law. See here for more.


AU News

CLALS Carnegie Reclassification

AU has been reclassified by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, moving up to “Doctoral: Higher Research Activity” from “Doctoral: Moderate Research Activity.” The reclassification is the result of strategic decisions at AU to expand the number of doctoral programs, as well as the increase in externally-funded research productivity. This places AU in the company of institutions such as Dartmouth College and the College of William and Mary. For more information see here.


Grant Highlights

AU's Office of the Provost has awarded CLALS a Faculty Research Support Grant to launch a pilot study of the school integration experiences of resettled migrant youth in the DC-metro area.

The Henry Luce Foundation has provided $425,000 in renewed support for CLALS to conduct a two-year project on religion and climate change in cross-regional perspective.

The Christopher Reynolds Foundation has renewed its support for the Center's Cuba Initiative, which focuses on U.S.-Cuban relations, economic reform, and health.

The Ford Foundation has awarded funds to CLALS to supply pro bono lawyers and other advocates with the accurate, up-to-date evidence needed to effectively represent unaccompanied minors from Central America as they navigate the U.S. immigration system.

CLALS has received a $670,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice to carry out research to assess the transnational criminal capacity of the MS-13 gang in the U.S. and El Salvador.