LASA will hold its first completely virtual International Congress

March 19, 2020

Dear members and participants of LASA2020:

We profoundly regret the difficult situation that COVID-19 has caused all around the world and we would like to send our warmest thoughts of support and solidarity to all those who have been affected.

The Latin American Studies Association (LASA) is facing and learning, as an organization, to manage the global public crisis generated by this pandemic. LASA is responding to this crisis by opening a new dialog format. The current health situation demands new answers and that we positively redress adverse situations. This is a unique opportunity to try new formats and create scenarios allowing us to preserve our ties and provide new opportunities for people to meet and rethink the societies we live in, in a collective, empathetic, and supportive manner.  

Thus, it will not be possible to celebrate our LASA2020 Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, as all the people who worked so hard in the preparation of this event would have wanted. Nevertheless, the Congress will take place virtually on the same dates, May 13 to 16. For this purpose, the LASA team is working to create a friendly and sustainable technological environment to allow large participation. Anyone registered for the Congress will be able to see, listen to, and participate in –depending on their role– all sessions during the duration of the Congress through a link that LASA will provide in advance. 

We hope that you will join us during this new challenge and participate virtually, taking advantage of what new technologies offer to make our debates and discussions accessible to a larger number of participants, in other words, democratizing participation in the LASA Congress. In this way, the Congress opening ceremony as well as some presidential panels will be accessible for free, so anyone who has never attended a LASA Congress and wishes to participate can do so. Virtual panels will allow interaction between participants and attendees in a similar way to an in-person panel.

Additionally, being aware of our members’ financial concerns, LASA offers 5 different options of proceeding:

1. Present virtually and keep my current registration (in solidarity with LASA).

2. Present virtually, keep my registration and refund a percentage of the registration fee (TBD). 

3. Refund the total amount of my registration (I will not present or attend virtually).

4. Transfer my registration to the next Congress (I will not present or attend virtually but would like to participate in LASA2021. I understand my paper/panel will have to be evaluated).

5. Donate to LASA (I will not present or attend virtually, however, I would like to contribute to one of the LASA funds).

Soon you will receive another communication where you can choose your preferred option and new registration fee, which will be less than the in-person registration.

We hope that the membership will be excited about the new possibilities (amid the huge difficulties of the moment) and will not only participate in this Congress but contribute to its success. 

We can only achieve this with your participation!

About LASA

The Latin American Studies Association (LASA) is the largest professional association in the world for individuals and institutions engaged in the study of Latin America. With over 13,000 members, over 60% of whom reside outside the United States, LASA is the one association that brings together experts on Latin America from all disciplines and diverse occupational endeavors, across the globe. LASA's mission is to foster intellectual discussion, research, and teaching on Latin America, the Caribbean, and its people throughout the Americas, promote the interests of its diverse membership, and encourage civic engagement through network building and public debate.

If you wish to interview a LASA Executive Council member, you can contact the LASA communications office at (412) 648-7929 or send an email to