Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies concentrators and majors engage with the Latin American and Caribbean cultures and take command of the language through a variety of opportunities. 

Academic Internships

Academic internships dealing with Latin American issues or serving Latinx populations may be used to fulfill requirements of the Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies concentration.

Bilingual Journal

"fósforo," a bilingual journal of literature, art and ideas, addresses poetry, narrative, drama, and essay, as well as photography, painting, and visual arts, which reflect an interest in Spanish and the range of Hispanic and Latino cultures. Submissions are accepted in both Spanish and English from all members of the campus community, including students, faculty and staff.

Visit the "fósforo" website.

Cocurricular Programming

Students are encouraged to expand their interest in Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies through a regular series of cocurricular programming, including:

  • Special events, forums and colloquia
  • Film series, art exhibits and other special showings

Community-Based Learning

Students are encouraged to engage in Community-Based Learning opportunities which allows them to connect learning in the classroom with civic engagement.

Community-based learning community partners in Worcester include Latino Education Institute/Club E, Centro's Latino Elders Program, and Ascentria's Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program (which works with many unaccompanied youths who have come to the U.S. from Central America).

Many other community partners work with a high proportion of Latinx, but might not emphasize that population as their primary focus in the same way Centro and LEI do. 

Partial List of Community-Based Learning Courses


SPAN 301    

Spanish Composition & Conversation

SPAN 304    

Aspects of Spanish-American Culture

SPAN 302    

Composition for Bilingual Speakers

SPAN 305    

Intro to Textual Analysis

SPAN 312    

Filming in Spanish

SPAN 414    

Second Language Acquisition & Spanish

SPAN 415

Bilingualism in the Spanish-Speaking World

International Immersion Programs

The Chaplains’ Office organizes and coordinates immersion programs to Haiti and Nicaragua. The trips are faith-based, and participants try their best to be in solidarity with the people of each country to gain a sense of their values and their faith, to experience gracious hospitality, and to witness first-hand the poverty that so many in our world live with each day.

Learn more about the international immersion programs.

Student Groups

Students interested in Latin America, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies are oftentimes involved in several Holy Cross student organizations.

The Caribbean African Student Assembly (CASA) shares African and Caribbean culture with the Holy Cross community, and, through special events and performances, brings the culture to life.     

The Latin American Student Organization (LASO) serves as the support system for those students who consider themselves Latinx and educates the entire Holy Cross community about the diverse and complex cultures that constitute the Latinx people. LASO hosts an annual National Hispanic Heritage Month festival featuring Latin American cuisine, performances and activities.

The Holy Cross chapter of the national Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MECHA) seeks to promote Chicano unity and empowerment through political action.

Study Abroad

Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies students can enhance their learning experience by spending time abroad. Students live with families, take courses, complete an Independent Cultural Immersion Project (ICIP), and improve their Spanish through a complementary language program. Students are invited to meet with faculty to discuss study abroad possibilities and find the program that best suits their academic needs and interests.

There are many opportunities for immersion in the Latin American culture and languages spoken in the region.

Yearlong and semester plus options are available for sites in Latin America. In some cases, students can study abroad their sophomore and senior years, in addition to the traditional junior-year abroad program. Up to three courses can be applied towards the Latin American, Latinx, and the Caribbean Studies concentration or major at Holy Cross from study abroad programs.

Study Abroad program opportunities include:


Students have the opportunity to do independent research and to present their research in the annual Academic Conference. Students in the Latin American, Latinx, and the Caribbean Studies program have received summer research funding to conduct research linked to the Worcester Oral History Project and on immigration enforcement laws in Worcester, as well as Ignite funding for research in Peru about domestic violence.

Volunteer Opportunities

Approximately 20 percent of Hispanics and Latinos make up the population in Worcester. Therefore, there are many local community involvement opportunities. Below is a partial list of volunteer opportunities.

The Unaccompanied Minors Program at Ascentria Care Alliance provides foster home care and supportive case management services to refugee children and teens who have been separated from their families and fled their homelands alone because of war and persecution. Holy Cross students help the adolescents with their homework and serve as mentors and role models. Many of the children are Spanish-speaking.

14 East Worcester Street
Suite 300
Worcester, MA 01604
Contact Person: Rebecca Petty 

Centro Las Americas, envisions a system that weaves together formal services and informal resources that genuinely supports families and their sense of community.

The Hector Reyes House offers continuum of culturally-informed services for Latino males that focus on recovery from substance use. The overall goal of the program is to help each individual develop skills that will support long-term recovery. The Hector Reyes House is a new model of residential substance abuse treatment. It provides services for 25 Latino men. This program offers in-house medical treatment, along with intensive cognitive behavioral therapy. It addresses nationally recognized health care disparities, alleviates a shortage of treatment options for Latinos, offers training and employment options designed to promote recovery, and reduces the odds of relapse. There are currently NO such programs in the region.

27 Vernon Street, Worcester

Innovative Services for Latino Adolescents (ISLA), a program within the Latino Education Institute at Worcester State University, is an academic after school program for third, fourth, fifth and sixth grade students. This program focuses on the development and enhancement of early English literacy skills. ISLA provides time for homework help, academic enrichment, and mentorship. Students also participate in arts and crafts, field trips, and other recreational activities throughout the year. This program works to dovetail the school day curriculum by adding additional support and instruction.

486 Chandler Street
Worcester, MA 01602
Contact Person: Christine Foley, After School Program Coordinator, cfoley5@worcester.edu
508-798-6507 Ext. 104

The Latino Education Institute (LEI) at Worcester State University seeks to improve academic achievement and the general well-being of Latino individuals and families in the Worcester area. Two programs that Holy Cross students have been involved in through LEI are:

Innovative Services for Latino Achievers (ISLA) focuses on academic success, leadership skills and well-being, and prepares students for the transition from elementary to middle school.

Latina Achievers in Search of Success (LASOS) engages sixth grade Latina girls and their mothers in an educational after school program which focuses on self-exploration, personal development, cultural enrichment, early college awareness and career exploration. The program meets one evening per week for two hours.

537 Chandler Street
Worcester, MA 01602

The mission of the Dr. James A. Caradonio New Citizens Center is to provide a warm welcome to Worcester Public School students who arrive from other counties with significant academic gaps. Our school focus is to teach English language learners not only the English language, but also academic and school-based cultural skills, which will promote successful future academic and social endeavors in their home schools.

1407A Main Street
Worcester, MA 01603

The Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center (RIAC), formerly known as the Somali Women and Children’s Association, was founded in 1993. We are a community-based, non-profit, grassroots human service agency that provides comprehensive services to refugees, asylees, and immigrants as well as the larger community. Our services include refugee resettlement, asylee case management, counseling, outreach and education, and other social services.

340 Main Street, Suite 802, Worcester

The Cultural Coalition’s mission is to “draw on Worcester’s rich and diverse cultural assets to foster economic revitalization and create a strong cultural identity for the City of Worcester.”

City of Worcester
Executive Office of Economic Development
455 Main Street, 4th Floor
Worcester, MA 01608
Contact Person: Erin Williams, Cultural Development Director, williamse@worcesterma.gov
508-799-1400 ext. 265

Washington Semester Program

Students have the opportunity to further their learning by participating in the Washington Semester Program.

Holy Cross students have interned in the following institutions during their semester in Washington, D.C.

  • Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
  • Council on Hemispheric Affairs
  • State Department - numerous bureaus
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Immigration and Refugee Services of America
  • Department of Commerce – International Trade Administration
  • World Bank – Latin American and the Caribbean Division
  • Office of US Trade Representative
  • Amnesty International
  • Human Rights Watch
  • US Chamber of Commerce – International Division - Latin America
  • The Organization of American States (OAS)
  • Latin America Working Group
  • US AID