The Smithsonian Latino Center is pleased to present the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum in Second Life, a pan-institution digital initiative aligned with the overall digital vision of the Smithsonian which highlights the vast and rich collections, research & scholarship, exhibitions and educational activities of the Smithsonian Institution as they relate to U.S. Latinos and Latin America.

Well known as the world's largest museum complex and research organization, the Smithsonian Institution is composed of 19 museums, 9 research centers, and the National Zoological Park. In addition, through its nationally recognized Smithsonian Affiliates, it now counts with 156 affiliate organizations across the nation.

Through the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum, which utilizes the latest media and communication technologies as an avatar-based 3-D virtual learning environment, the Smithsonian Institution seeks to have an innovative gateway to provide access to information and resources and to facilitate the increase and diffusion of knowledge to local and global online audiences about Latino/Hispanic history, heritage and American experience in the social and cultural mosaic that is the United States.

In these first stages of development, the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum features the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage’s Música del Pueblo: A Smithsonian Virtual Exhibition; the National Museum of Natural History, Department of Anthropology’s Smithsonian Olmec Legacy; The Smithsonian Latino Center’s own Latino Virtual Gallery; and Latino and Latin American art and archival materials currently in the permanent collections of the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum and Its Renwick Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of American History, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Air and Space Museum, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

We invite you to join us in this adventure to explore Smithsonian world-class collections, superb scholarship and exciting programs and exhibitions through the lens of Second Life, a multi-user avatar-based 3D (learning) virtual world environment.

Melissa Carrillo
Director of the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum

Olga U. Herrera
Scholar/Researcher and Senior Latino Virtual Museum Curator