HUMAN 230 Central American Perspectives • V1-5 Cr.


Provides a broad background to promote understanding of culture and civilization in Central America. Examines traditions and institutions, takes a historical, social, and cultural approach to analyzing contemporary Central American issues, and gives insights into contemporary life. Students learning activities include lecture-discussion-participation, analysis of readings and films, field trips, site visits and walking tours, exams, and individual and group research and reports.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Discuss Indigenous Cultures and their origins.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the general history and geography of Central America. Describe how and where the Mayan culture currently exists in Central America. Identify current cultural characteristics of the Mayan people.
  • Discuss Ethnic/Class Stratification.
  • Describe the socioeconomic classes, races and ethnicities present in Central America and how they relate to each other. Discuss how these racial/ethnic distinctions may contribute to class stratification, racial/ethnic stratification, and social unrest.
  • Discuss Gender Relations.
  • Be able to discuss women’s and men’s traditional roles in various Central America both historically and currently. Be able to describe how war has changed women’s roles.
  • Discuss Religion and its role in Central American history.
  • Discuss the religious history of the region. Identify the major religions and religious beliefs (indigenous animism, Mayan religion, Catholicism), and the changing religious landscape (i.e. increase in evangelical Christianity).
  • Describe the role of the Catholic Church in social unrest in some Central American countries.
  • Discuss the Environment of Central America.
  • Identify major agricultural products, major exports, major trading partners, climate, topography.
  • Describe how the environment affects the people and culture of Central America.
  • Discuss Globalization, Immigration, Development.
  • Discuss Americanization of the culture of Central America. Identify the major economic sectors in which Central Americans work. Discuss the current level of development in various Central American economies. Identify patterns of immigration/emigration in Central America and discuss how this is affecting Central American culture. Discuss the cultural and economic future of Central America.


  • Humanities