The Latin American Studies program has been designed to respond to national and international demands for global citizens who are aware of cultural differences, know how to respond to the challenges of more diverse populations, and who value, respect, and learn from diverse cultures, show competency in different languages and demonstrate openness, inclusiveness, cultural competence, and ability to interact with different groups of people.


The mission of the Latin American Studies program is to provide Villanova students with an innovative interdisciplinary curriculum that will allow them to explore and study in depth Latin American and Caribbean societies through innovative courses across social sciences and humanities disciplines.  

Graduates in Latin American Studies will be able to:

  • Identify some of the main cultural, political, historical, and social, and racial complexities of Latin American societies.
  • Compare perspectives, methodologies, and theories from multiple disciplines to understand the diversity of Latin America.
  • Develop "global learning" skills by studying abroad and participating in community engaged internships.
  • Communicate effectively and conduct basic research in Spanish.

The Latin American Studies Program (LAS) is dedicated to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion through its academic curriculum, the different backgrounds of our faculty and students, and service-learning initiatives. As faculty members of LAS, we foster an inclusive, respectful, and intellectually stimulating academic environment that embraces our individual differences. These differences among individuals and groups of people come together with concepts of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, disability, political opinions, and ideologies.

To prepare our students for interacting in a global and multicultural world, our program embraces Villanova's commitment to the respect and tolerance of differing perspectives, ideas, and beliefs in our community. As educators, we commit ourselves to cultivating the conditions for meaningful cross-cultural dialogues by encouraging intercultural social interactions and the recognition of the variety of cultures, languages, and peoples from Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Latinx communities in the United States.

In the Latin American Studies program, we are committed to:

  • Supporting diversity through the study and our teaching of the works and intellectual contributions produced by underrepresented groups and minorities.
  • Fostering a safe and respectful learning environment and preparing students to be culturally aware.
  • Creating an intersectionality framework in our courses to promote social justice.
  • Building networks with local organizations to work together in the eradication of all forms of racism and discrimination against communities of color, minorities, and migrants.

Program Director
Raúl Diego Rivera Hernández, PhD 
Associate Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures