College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies and Spanish

Faculty Mentor

Serena Cosgrove

Faculty Editor

Serena Cosgrove

Student Editor

Ella Campbell


This paper explores the historical roots and contemporary manifestations of Belize and Panamá’s exclusion from the Central American “imagined community”—that is, the definition of which countries comprise “Central America.” While there are seven countries that geographically exist in the region, not all seven are always classified as belonging to Central America due to factors such as differences in histories, racial distribution, and cultural expressions, among others. The aim of this article is to more fully explore and analyze the many reasons behind these exclusions and to propose a reconsideration of the narrative, thereby creating the possibility of an expanded and more inclusive “Central America.”