Health research in Latin America faces serious shortcomings, especially considering the region's dire needs. Multicenter collaboration can be a valuable tool to promote scientific development. In 1985, investigators of four Latin American epidemiologic research centers created the Latin American Network for Perinatal Research. The analysis of the difficulties we had to face in order to implement the first joint study illustrates the obstacles people involved in multicenter projects have to overcome. The conclusion is that in spite of the difficulties, multicenter work is feasible and to be recommended. Results of this kind of studies reach a great external validity and are applicable to broad population sectors.