Central American Studies

Central American Research and Policy Institute (CARPI)

The Central American Research and Policy Institute (CARPI) was established in the Fall 2001.

The March

CARPI is the result of diligent efforts by CSUN students, CAS faculty, and Central American community organizations for the purpose of developing research, policy and knowledge supporting the socioeconomic, cultural and civic development of the transnational Central American community.

In addition, CARPI works towards the establishment of an ongoing relationship with other entities in the United States and Central America.

Policy development and academic research includes issues of common concern such as immigration, civil society, economic development, and cultural identity of Central Americans.

The research sponsored by CARPI is community oriented, hands-on, applied research that 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 to 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.

The Central American Community in Los Angeles is one of the three largest in the United States. Although its roots in California go back more than 130 years, the 1980s witnessed a dramatic demographic grown and increasing visibility of Central Americans in the United States.

CARPI Goals

  • To generate and disseminate research information, analysis, and social perspective on issues affecting Central Americans.
  • To work towards developing students' research, methodological and analytical skills and to directly involve them in documenting and analyzing their history and experience.
  • To actively promote and encourage interdisciplinary investigations and social policy articulation.
  • To suggest alternative policies aimed at improving the quality of life, civic participation and educational development of Central Americans in general and the Central American students at CSUN in particular.