Purpose: The aims of this study were to delineate the epidemiology of gastric adenocarcinoma in Central America and contrast it with Hispanic-Latino populations in the USA. Methods: Published literature and Central America Ministry of Health databases were used as primary data sources, including national, population-based, and hospital-based registries. US data was obtained from the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Epidemiology End Results Program (SEER) registry. Incident gastric adenocarcinoma cases were analyzed for available data between 1985 and 2011, including demographic variables and pathology information. Results: In Central America, 19,741 incident gastric adenocarcinomas were identified. Two thirds of the cases were male, 20.5 % were under age 55, and 58.5 %were from rural areas. In the SEER database (n = 7871), 57.8 % were male and 28.9 % were under age 55. Among the US Hispanics born in Central America with gastric cancer (n = 1210), 50.3 % of cases were male and 38.1 % were under age 55. Non-cardia gastric cancer was more common in Central America (83.3 %), among US Hispanics (80.2 %), and Hispanics born in Central America (86.3 %). Cancers of the antrum were more common in Central America (73.6 %), whereas cancers of the corpus were slightly more common among US Hispanics (54.0 %). Adenocarcinoma of the diffuse subtype was relatively common, both in Central America (35.7 %) and US Hispanics (69.5 %), although Lauren classification was reported in only 50 % of cases. Conclusions: A significant burden of gastric adenocarcinoma is observed in Central America based upon limited available data. Differences are noted between Central America and US Hispanics. Strengthening population-based registries is needed for improved cancer control in Central America, which may have implications for the growing US Hispanic population.