The Games are overseen by the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization (CACSO) (the organization also goes by the acronym "ODECABE", from its full Spanish name: Organización Deportiva Centroamericana y del Caribe). They are designed to provide a step between sub-CACG-region Games held the first year following a Summer Olympics (e.g. Central American Games) and the Continental Championships, the Pan American Games, held the year before the Summer Olympics.
The CACGs are the oldest continuing regional games in the world, and only the Olympics have run longer. Mexico, Cuba and Guatemala were the three countries present at the first games, which were then called the Central American Games. In 1935 their name was changed to Central American and Caribbean Games to reflect expanding participation. Thirty one nations took part in the 1993 games in Puerto Rico and the 1998 games in Venezuela. The 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games ended on July 30, 2006.
A "Central American Games" does exist today, Juegos Centroamericanos, involving just Central American countries.