In 1970, CLAG was the first organization of specialists in the Association of American Geographers to establish its own independent structure and membership. This move prompted a succession of AAG specialty groups to be established, including a Latin America Specialty Group.
The Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers was organized to foster geographic education and research on Latin America. It publishes a Newsletter and the Journal of Latin American Geography, as well as operating an electronic listserv for members, CLAGnet.
CLAG invites the participation of geographers from any region of the world who are interested in Latin America. It also welcomes social and natural scientists from allied disciplines as well as scholars in the humanities at its meetings and in its publications. Each year CLAG makes several awards to distinguished Latin Americanist geographers and others, as well as several student field study awards. Membership in CLAG automatically includes a subscription to the Journal of Latin American Geography.