In this introduction we consider generation and change in Central America as part of the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of this journal. We reflect on meanings of generation, starting with Salvador Allende's 1972 declaration: “To be young and not revolutionary may even be a biological contradiction.” Karl Mannheim's theorization of generation as a cohort sharing formative experiences in particular historical moments, often requiring “wholly new minds,” becomes crucial in our understanding of the concept. To follow Mannheim's claim, we trace histories of Central American political generations in the past half-century. While our collection uncovers many moments of generational difference and tension—particularly in Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador—we also find that conflicts can be opportunities for dialogue, for forms of mutual engagement, as cases in Costa Rica and Guatemala demonstrate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-531
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • América Central
  • Central America
  • generación
  • generation
  • juventud
  • politics
  • política
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology


Dive into the research topics of 'Generations and Change in Central America: An Introduction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this