NALACS began to operate under this name in 1996. Nalacs is a membership organization and was formed by a group of academics with different disciplinary backgrounds doing research on Latin America and the Caribbean. Originally, Nalacs was an association by and for academics, but it has broadened to include individuals working on the region within additional professional fields, such as journalism and development practice.
Its members include senior researchers, PhD candidates and students, as well as journalists and NGO staff. Nalacs also has a network function, connecting Latin Americanists and Caribbeanists in the Netherlands to each other and to colleagues in surrounding countries. A Nalacs membership includes a subscription to the European Review of Latin American Studies.
Nalacs organizes lectures, seminars and conferences on social, political and cultural developments in Latin America and the Caribbean, often in cooperation with other Dutch institutions. Nalacs events focus on urgent or otherwise topical issues and offer a forum to experts based in the Netherlands and abroad.