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Mission Statement

The Department of Central American Studies has a trifold mission: to empower the large and growing Central American community in the United States 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

The Department of Central American Studies supports and helps students select the program and courses that best satisfy their needs and interests. Contact Department Chair Douglas Carranza or Associate Chair Beatriz Cortez at (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 United States 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 Department of Central American Studies 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.

Central American Research and Policy Institute (CARPI)

Director: Professor Freya Rojo
(818) 677-3071

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 United States 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.


Department of Central American Studies
Chair: Douglas Carranza Mena
Jerome Richfield Hall (JR) 254
(818) 677-2736