Since the 1930s the interest of researchers in the field of Ibero-American studies has focused on the presence of the Czechs and Czech Jesuits in Latin America (V. Kybal, O. Odložilík, Z. Kalista, etc.). The discipline of Ibero-American studies was oficially estabilished with the founding of the Center for Ibero-American Studies (SIAS – Czech acronym) in 1967, thus opening up the spectrum of subjects and topics studied.
The Centre was founded by historian Josef Polišenský and philologist Oldřich Bělič. The possibilities of research for the first generation of the Center’s students were highly influenced by the political regime of the 1960s. A broader study both in the theoretical sphere and in research was possible only after 1989.