Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies ProgramAcademics

About the Department

Vibrant, Interconnected, and Experiential

Gustavus' Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies (LALACS) Program immerses students in the rich cultures and histories of the Americas. In this program, you carve your own path across our entire campus based on your interests. Explore the depth of Afro-Caribbean rhythms in an immersive course offered in Dance. Experience Argentine folk in an overview of Latin American Music. Research how climate change is affecting Bolivia's diverse ecosystems in Biology. Wherever your passions lie, your education as a LALACS student centers on customized, experiential learning. You will gain professional experience through a required internship and language classes, as well as through options such as volunteering or studying in another country. You will also take humanities, arts, and social sciences courses. The LALACS Program attracts engaging and fascinating students who learn and grow together. Through LALACS, you will become a global citizen, working and living in our diverse international community.

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Shape Your Unique Experience

As a LALACS student at Gustavus, you will be part of an active community both on and off campus. Saint Peter and the State of Minnesota have a substantial Latinx population with whom you can build relationships. The beautiful Gustavus Adolphus campus is a perfect place to build close-knit relationships with proximity to big-city cultural and career-related opportunities. You're minutes away from the medium-sized city of Mankato and an hour from the dynamic Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Faculty advising helps you tailor experiences academically and off campus to match your interests and deepen your learning.

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Discover your path:
Majors, Minors, and Related Programs

Gustavus' LALACS major and minor are tailored to you! Faculty guides you during internships, independent study, study abroad, and the senior capstone process to ensure your experiences match your passions. In pursuit of your degree, you will become proficient in Spanish or French, with intriguing and relevant course offerings from 17 departments and programs across campus.

Our curriculum also extends beyond many other Latin American studies, Afro-Latin studies, or Latinx studies programs. We explore historical and cultural ties to the peoples of the Iberian Peninsula and United States. Your studies will culminate with an independent research project or internship. In addition, courses easily integrate with other degrees to better prepare for your dream career. That's why many students choose to complete two majors or add a minor such as Business and Economics, English, French, Geography, History, Nursing, Political Science, Psychological Sciences, Public Health, Religion, Sociology & Anthropology, Spanish, Theatre & Dance, and many more!

Opportunities in Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies

A Powerful Community of Change-Makers

The LALACS Program has an energetic community atmosphere and hosts lectures, educational and social events, and leadership experiences each year. Take advantage of numerous off-campus opportunities such as the Minneapolis Latino Film Festival, the Old Town Mankato Day of the Dead, an array of service learning opportunities in the Saint Peter area, and short- or long-term study abroad.

Explore Opportunities in LALACS

  • Study Away — Many students choose to study in Latin America or the Caribbean. Studying in another country allows you to deepen your understanding of the region, enhance your language proficiency, and develop a global perspective.
  • Research — As part of your senior capstone class, you will complete a major research project with the support of LALACS faculty. If you want to take it further, faculty will provide guidance about additional student conferences and research venues such as the North Central Council of Latin Americanists.
  • Experiential Learning and Community Engagement — There is an emphasis on connecting students with the Hispanic/Latinx community off campus to foster cultural understanding and build valuable professional skills. Additionally, some LALACS courses require community-based learning responsibilities.
  • Student Clubs and Leadership — The LALACS Program supports student clubs such as the Organization of Latin American Students, Spanish Honorary Society, the PanAfrican Student Organization, and the International Cultures Club. LALACS also encourages students to pursue other leadership positions across campus.
  • LALACS Events — The LALACS Program organizes a diverse range of events throughout the year, providing opportunities for students to learn, build friendships, enhance event-planning and organizational skills, and just have fun.
  • Internship or Independent Study — LALACS students are required to complete an internship or independent study. This empowers you to construct meaningful connections between your academic studies and career-oriented opportunities, gaining crucial skills that may prove necessary in your professional journey.
  • Career Paths — Gustavus LALACS graduates enjoy careers in research, study-abroad education, non-profit organizations, English language teaching (domestically and abroad), and others. Some students pursue graduate school in various disciplines, including Latin American Studies, advocacy, and public policy.


LALACS students and faculty are curious, diverse, innovative learners. They love to dive into the complexities and cultures of communities around the world and are committed to social justice. Learn more about how they are involved in fields across the globe, from mental health equity to queer literature and feminist art.

Meet our Faculty

Carlos Mejia Suarez

Carlos Mejia Suarez

Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Spanish, LALACS, Comparative Literature, Peace Studies, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

“My classroom revolves around the idea of communicating with each other, sharing ideas, and building on them according to negotiation of meaning and value systems.” What are your areas of research and teaching expertise? Latin American literature, Colombian contemporary novel, Peace Justice and Conflict Studies, Masculinity in Latin American cultural production, Creative Writing in Spanish […]

Read more about Carlos Mejia Suarez

Keep in Touch with the Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies Program

When you join the Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies Program at Gustavus, you are part of a vibrant, interconnected learning community. We're seeking motivated students who are ready to engage in experiential learning and relationship-building both on and off campus as they pursue a meaningful career path. Learn more about joining us today.

Contact Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies

Phone: 507-933-7391

Confer-Vickner, 231B
800 West College Avenue
Saint Peter, MN 56082