Latin American Studies

A toolbox for changing the world

Be a conscious global citizen.

Latin America is no longer a geographically contained idea. It’s a vibrant presence around the world—bringing gifts, opportunities, and challenges to everyone, everywhere. At Macalester, you’ll come to understand this multi-dimensional phenomenon, viewing Latin America from anthropological, historical, literary, cultural, geographical, artistic, sociological, political, and economic perspectives.

Do you know, for example, about the environmental crisis in Brazil or Central America? Did you know that demand for quinoa and avocados in the U.S. have displaced thousands in Latin American countries and threatened the survival of the monarch butterfly? You’ll learn more about the Latin American diasporas, why people migrate, and the incredibly complex impact of that multidirectional process on people, cultures, countries, and resources across the globe.

Why Macalester? Rich experiences, on and off campus.

The Latinx and Latin American community in the Twin Cities is humming with life, giving you real opportunities to engage with people from all over Latin America and of Latin American ancestry, live and breathe the culture, taste the food. At Macalester, you’ll conduct your own deep research in the Twin Cities and/or in Latin America, and complete a mind-stretching and life-changing study away experience. And, you’ll leave with knowledge and skills that you can leverage into a meaningful career. Macalester LAS majors go on to graduate school and transnational companies and NGOs; they become activists, immigration lawyers, professors and teachers, and more engaged and conscious world citizens.

Life after Macalester

Latin American Studies in the cities


Number of internships within 8 miles of campus, including the Consulate of Mexico in St. Paul

Access to local alumni who can help you plan your future

Multiple locations like Casa de Esperanza and Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio where you can volunteer your time and practice your language skills

Join our community

  • Fall open house—We welcome new students the way we know best: with Latin American food and hospitality.
  • Brazilian harvest fest—Like the famous festival that takes place in Brazil in June (Festas Juninas), with conversations about tradition, and great food (of course!)
  • Graduates’ forum—Macalester alumni talk about their own journey through the LAS program and beyond.
  • Biennial LAS Symposium led by our students in collaboration with LAS faculty— Learn about timely issues in Latin America with global repercussions from the perspective of scholars, activists and artists.
  • Portuguese and Spanish conversation clubs—Spend time with others who share your passion for the romance languages with the most speakers in Latin American and immerse in the culture.
  • A calendar of speakers—Go beyond the soundbites to find out what’s really happening around the world. Hear from activists, immigration experts and more.