Latin America encompasses two continents, extending from the American Southwest and the tropical islands of the Caribbean to the southern tip of South America. Its rich and diverse cultures have their roots in Native American, European, and African civilizations. Latin America today reflects both the past, one that is often marked by political upheaval and economic dependency, and the future, one that is represented by its multicultural peoples and a search for relevant social, economic, and political models.
While Latin America has suffered from dictatorships and foreign exploitation, it has also struggled for political and economic freedom. Latin American democracies rule the political landscape in the present time. It is home to exciting and innovative trends and ideas in literature, arts, music, and philosophy.
Villanova’s Catholic Augustinian heritage and mission has had a special relationship with the peoples of Latin America. The Augustinians were among the first religious leaders to arrive in the New World. In the twentieth century, the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova established the Universidad de Villanueva in Havana, Cuba, and continues to participate in an active mission at Chulucanas in Peru.