A minor in Latin American Studies enhances the education of students in business, science, and the liberal arts, especially those students working on a Spanish major with teacher licensure or a Spanish minor. Not only does this minor teach students more about the history, culture, language, and society throughout a very important region of the world, Latin America, but this study will prepare students to work and live in the countries of a region that continue to increase in importance. The minor itself requires an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Latin America, providing a broad understanding of the complexity of the region.
This program not only enhances the quality of the understanding about the Spanish speaking countries but also the recognition and the study of other peoples throughout the hemisphere such as Portuguese/French/English/Creole-based cultures in the Caribbean and the Portuguese inland Brazil. Along the same line, the LASP sheds light on the exploration of non Spanish-oriented cultures such as the various indigenous and Black communities whose thinking differs from the Western thought. Many of these peoples still maintain their own culture and language, and as a Latin American Studies Program we need to recognize and respect this complexity.
University's Latin American Studies minor is the perfect complement to a
variety of majors. As a Spanish major with a TESOL minor, I have always been
interested in the cultures of Latin America. Taking several of the LASP classes
really enhanced my understanding of the countries where Spanish is spoken. One
semester I took Colonial Latin American Literature as well as History of Modern
Latin America. That same semester, I traveled to Mexico City over spring break
and visited museums and important historical landmarks. It was so exciting to
see Diego Rivera's murals in the national palace that depicted the
Spanish/indigenous encounter that I had recently studied! Getting the LASP
minor at Lee helped me better understand the history and culture of Latin America
so that when I visit, study, or participate in mission work there, I have a
greater insight into the worldviews and points of views of its people.