This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Mission Statement

The Central American Studies Program has a trifold mission: to empower the large and growing Central American community in the U.S. by promoting academic excellence, community involvement and cultural diversity; to open spaces of global citizenship and dialogue between academia and society that contribute to the construction of a Central American transnational identity; and to promote an understanding and appreciation of the diverse Central American cultures, ethnicities, experiences and worldviews from an interdisciplinary global perspective.

Academic Advisement

All program faculty members are advisors: Linda Alvarez, Douglas Carranza Mena, Beatriz Cortez, Gisela Lanzas and Joseph Wiltberger. Call (818) 677-2736 for information on advisement office hours or for an appointment.

Clubs and Societies

The Central American United Student Association (CAUSA) strives for the growing Central American community in the U.S. to succeed in the world of higher education and to prepare an influential vanguard of future leaders who will impact the changing global, political and economic arenas. CAUSA’s objective also is to raise and promote awareness of the Central American community at CSUN and in the Los Angeles area. As a result, the Central American Studies Program works in collaboration with CAUSA in the organization of events and community programs. CAUSA maintains a collaborative partnership with other sister organizations on and off campus, works on student recruitment and community support, and plays a significant role in the formation of student leadership.

Research Institute

The Central American Research and Policy Institute (CARPI) was established in 2001 for the purpose of developing research, policy and knowledge supporting the socioeconomic, cultural and civic development of the transnational Central American community in the U.S. and Central America. Policy development and academic research include issues of common concern such as immigration, civil society, economic development and cultural identity of Central Americans. The research sponsored by CARPI is:

  1. Undertaken by faculty mentors, experts in the discipline and trained students.
  2. Focused on concrete issues in the lives of the community.
  3. Aimed at helping the community understand itself and the challenges and changes it faces.
  4. The basis for viable proposals for community advancement in the future.

CARPI brings faculty, students and community together as partners and participants in creating and disseminating the knowledge that will enable the Central American community to live up to its tremendous potential.


Director: Douglas Carranza Mena
Staff: Maria Castillo
Jerome Richfield (JR) 254
(818) 677-2736