Founded in 1991, ACLAS opened its doors as a response to the request from several U.S. universities and European organizations that Ecuador have a first class center dedicated to the study and research of Latin American culture, language and civilization.

Subsequently, ACLAS extended its services to other related areas; Spanish as a second language and English as a second language. As the number of education programs at ACLAS grew so did the types of faculty and students that were interested in studying their discipline in Ecuador.

Due to this interest ACLAS has grown to include many different types and lengths of study abroad programs which often include Spanish language content, service learning opportunities and significant exposure to the culture and people of Ecuador.