The first private university in Central America, the Universidad Centroamericana in Managua, Nicaragua was founded in 1960 by the Society of Jesus. The UCA-Managua offers 16 undergraduate majors, three masters programs, and has a law school. The UCA-Managua has over 9,000 students.
Mission: We are a private, autonomous, and public service university, founded by the Society of Jesus, inspired by Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy; our university contributes to the construction of a just, critical, inclusive society committed to the common good through the linking of training, research and social outreach with quality and in alliance with various national and international actors committed to "the care of our common home."
The Universidad Rafael Landívar was founded in Guatemala City in 1961 and its satellite campus in Quetzaltenango was established in 1963. There are over 33,000 students in the URL main campus and eight satellite campuses. At the URL in Quetzaltenango, there are 8,000 students who study 30 undergraduate degrees.
Mission: The Universidad Rafael Landívar is an independent, non-profit, Guatemalan higher education institution of Christian inspiration, Catholic vision and Jesuit tradition.
The university, in its search for the truth through its research, teaching and social outreach, is committed to contributing to integral and sustainable development, transforming the person and society to be more humane, just, inclusive, and free.
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The Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas” in San Salvador, El Salvador was founded in 1965 by the Society of Jesus. The UCA-El Salvador’s commitment to inclusion and social outreach has entailed many sacrifices: on November 16, 1989, six Jesuit priests—including the UCA president Fr. Ellacuría—and two lay women were assassinated by the Salvadoran Army during El Salvador’s brutal civil war. Today, the UCA-El Salvador offers 24 undergraduate majors, 18 masters programs, and has a law school. The UCA-El Salvador has over 5,000 students.
Mission: The Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas” is a university of Christian and martyrial inspiration at the service of the Salvadoran and Central American people to promote social transformation from the university, through research, teaching and social outreach.
The UCA trains competent professionals committed to social justice; contributes to the creation of new modes of human behavior and social coexistence based on justice and solidarity with the poor, the defense of human rights and the common good; and promotes responsible research and innovation.
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Serena Cosgrove, Yolanda Castro, Co-founder of K´inal Antzsetik, and Karin Columba, OEH (May 2022)
We are currently developing partnerships in Chiapas with One Equal Heart and the organizations they support given the shared cultural synergies between Central America and the Indigenous Maya communities of southern Mexico as well as OEH’s commitment to the inclusion of Indigenous women.
Serena Cosgrove, PhD
Central America Initiative Faculty Coordinator