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Asian American Studies Subject Guide — Asian Diasporas in the Americas

Asians in the Americas

Image of La Havana's Chinatown, Cuba.This page provides tools to find primary and secondary sources on the diverse group called "Asians" in Latin America. The guide offers tips on how to search and where to search for articles, books, DVDs, etc. on your topic.

► It is important to understand that the term Asian is a label that attempts to describe a wide variety of people that migrated from the Asian continent which includes a wide variety of countries such as India, China, Indonesia, Philippines, etc.

► Another terms used for part of this region is the Far East which applies to the countries of China, Korea, and Japan.

► In contrast to Hispanic American/Latinos, there is not common cultural or linguistic connection to unite the different groups known as Asians. People in India are different from people in China. People in China, Japan and Korea do not speak the same language, etc. so keep that in mind when selecting your topic.

Photo info: Image of La Havana's Chinatown, Cuba (Marisol Ramos 2005)

Using Databases

Regardless if you are using the the Library's General Search option in the main webpage or the many Databases by subjects that we own, using the right keyword is the key for getting good results. Here are some tips for searching "Asians" in the Americas:


  • Besides using the word "Asian," use variations both in English and Spanish of the groups that comprise the universe of "Asians," e.g. Chinese/Chino; Japanese/Japonés; Indian and/or South Asian/Indios de la India; Korean/Coreano, etc. Other possible terms: Coolies/Culi/Indentured Labor + [Asian Group], e.g. Chinese Coolies or Indian Indentured Labor
  • In the case of Japanese people, identify which generation you want to work with and try the following terms to search for them: Issei (original from Japan), Nisei (second generation), Nikkei (Japanese Diaspora), etc.
  • Combine an ethnic term with a region term, e.g. Chinese and Mexico, Japanese and Brazil
  • Find other terms from the readings provide by your professor for other terminology and try different synonyms to make sure you are finding all possible sources.

Selected Databases

Recommended Databases and Handbooks to find "Asians" in the Americas:

  • You can search any of the databases listed in the "Find Articles using Databases" page
  • For more Spanish language databases check the resources below:

Newspapers' databases (Primary Sources):

  • Use the keywords discussed in this page to find Spanish articles about Asians in Latin American countries!

Tips for Finding Books and Articles about Asians in Latin America

The same tips listed for databases are useful to find books or films. For example, if looking for books in your topic, if you use only the word "Chinese" in your search, it produces over 8,000 results in the Library's General Search, but if you add the keyword "Peru" (Chinese Peru) it narrows the results to (a more manageable) 27.


  • If you can read Spanish, consider using Spanish language keywords to expand your search
  • Be mindful that research on current events may yield few academic books or articles, but many newspapers articles

Diaspora Groups' Articles, Blogs and Reports Online