Latin American Garden

The Latin American Ethnobotanical Garden


The CLAS Latin American Garden is a living laboratory featuring many of Latin America’s most culturally significant plant species. Reflecting CLAS’ particular strengths in Mexico, Central America, Brazil, the Andes, and the Black Atlantic regions, the garden serves as a unique teaching tool that brings students, faculty, staff and the Nashville community together to explore the relationships between people and the plants of Latin America. It provides a starting point for discussions of Latin American cultures, history,  global expansion, politics, economics, diet, health, biochemistry, and pharmacology. The garden is a microcosm of these issues and a way of grounding coursework and discussions on a variety of topics in the Arts & Sciences, as well as in Nursing, Medicine, Peabody College, and K-16 outreach.


The Latin American Garden was designed in coordination with Vanderbilt’s Landscape Architect Robert Waits, horticulturalist Laura Barker, and Grounds Manager Danny McKissack. The majority of the plants in the Latin American Garden were generously donated by the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute at the University of Georgia from their ethnobotanical garden that was established by anthropologists Brent and Elois Ann Berlin nearly 20 years ago. Matthew Blair at Tennessee State University donated the amaranth, and funding from the U.S. Department of Education, as well as gifts to CLAS, supported the purchase of annual plants, as well as supplies for maintaining the garden.


Visit the Garden

School Field Trips to the Garden

Garden Video Tour: Medicinal Plants

Past Workshops at the Garden




For inquiries regarding the garden, contact CLAS Executive Director Avery Dickins de Girón.