Skip to Main Content

Central American Studies

Related Library Guides

Research Help

Need more research help? We're here for you.

chat icon  Chat with us online

email icon  Email us your quick questions 

person icon Connect with a subject specialist



In the U.S. context "Central American studies (CAS) is an interdisciplinary field that bridges ethnic studies and area studies. Because it does not fit neatly into disciplinary and institutional categories, CAS inhabits different spaces in each of the institutions where it has emerged..." (Baker and Hernández 2017: 86). Central American Studies also refers to the perspectives and study of issues affecting nations and communities of the Central American Isthmus.

This guide serves to orient researchers and students to resources on Central America and Central American Studies. Relevant collections at UCLA ( books, articles and primary resources), licensed resources from multiple disciplines are highlighted here.

Related library guides which provide additional information are also listed here.

What is Central American Studies?


The following articles introduce the field of Central American Studies in the United States.

Abrego, Leisy J. "#CentAmStudies from a Social Science Perspective." Latino Studies 15.1 (2017): 95-8.

Arias, Arturo. "What are Central American Studies?" Latino Studies 15.1 (2017): 99-103

Baker, Beth F., and Ester E. Hernández. "Defining Central American studies." Latino Studies 15.1 (2017): 86-90.DOI:10.1057/s41276-017-0055-1

Menjívar, Cecilia. "Studying Central Americans in Latino Studies." Latino Studies 15.1 (2017): 91-4.

General tips for searchers

Tips for searches

class="clearfix" id="s-lg-content-13620909">

Here are a few strategies to start with:

  1. If you are not sure of where to start, do a KEYWORD search for relevant terms or phrases (put the phrases in "quotation marks").
  2. Use AND, OR,  NOT   (Boolean searches) e.g. Guatemala AND migration
  3. Do a subject heading search in a catalog.
  4. Use ? to truncate a word, e.g., american? will retrieve american and americans.
  5. If you already have a relevant book or article in hand, use its bibliography to find other sources.

See also these Search techniques.