Latin America, home to more than half a billion people, is a diverse group of countries and regions. It spans two continents and two hemispheres. Its people and cultures derive from every part of the globe: from pre-Hispanic, American origins, others from Africa, Europe and Asia. Latin America’s importance to Australia is growing, with business interaction, educational exchange, tourism and cultural contact increasing rapidly. ANCLAS promotes research and teaching in Latin American Studies, particularly in the fields of the social sciences and humanities and economics.