In the introduction it is presented a brief history of the evolution of physics and its professional organizations in Latin
America, how optics is introduced in these countries, the development of the optical community and of its meetings.
The evolution of the optical meetings in which Latin Americans take part and the participation of each country are
described. A clear increase in the number of communications presented in these meetings is observed.
It is shown that Latin American people contribute many more communications than Iberian people to these kinds of
meetings. A study is made of the proportion of co-worked communications presented at these meetings showing the
variations in the quantity of these collaborative works from Latin Americans, from Latin Americans and people from the
Iberian Peninsula and from people outsides these regions. A study is also presented about the amount of papers published
between 1974 and 2004 by people working in the Latin American countries and also in Spain and Portugal, showing the
participation of each country. In particular it is shown that Latin Americans publish only a little more than Iberian people.
Finally, answers are given to some questions about the present situation of optical research in Latin America.
Néstor G. Gaggioli,
"Optics in Latin America: an update until 2004", Proc. SPIE 6024, ICO20: Optical Devices and Instruments, 602405 (9 December 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.666806; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.666806