CoHemis was founded in November of 1991 in a conference sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. It had the participation of delegates from national science and technology organizations from the United States, Canada, and twelve countries from Latin American and the Caribbean. The assembly produced a unanimous declaration creating CoHemis, naming an advisory council to help mold its organization, and endorsing the Mayagüez Campus of the University of Puerto Rico as its site. Since then, other countries have joined the declaration, and their national councils of science and technology have named delegates to the Center.
After NSF funding was finished, the University of Puerto Rico has continued funding CoHemis, together with the collaboration of cooperating institutions, allowing the Center to carry on and increase its level of service based on initiatives for specific activities. Also, the government of Puerto Rico, federal agencies, and the private sector have been backing the Center's activities since its creation. It also benefits from collaborative efforts with Consortium members, international agencies, and entities from other countries of the hemisphere.