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Latin America

Latin America, the Spanish and Portuguese, and few French-speaking parts of South and Central America, including Mexico and parts of the Caribbean. The name is because these three languages are developed by Latin (so-called Romanian languages) as opposed to the Germanic language English spoken in North America (see Anglo-America). The concept of Latin America is more related to the area's history and cultural history than to its geography, and this article addresses in particular cultural history topics. Other topics are covered in South America, Central America and the Caribbean as well as in individual countries as listed by Countryaah.


Latin America's native Native American population is nearly extinct in many places, but especially in northern Central America and in several of the Andean states, Native Americans still make up a large proportion of the population.


The history of Latin America began when Christoffer Columbus, in his attempt to reach India by sailing west in 1492, reached the Caribbean. Over the next few decades, the Spaniards established themselves on several Caribbean islands; the first true colony, Santo Domingo, was founded on Hispaniola in 1496.


Ca. 90% of Latin America's population belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. In practice, there are many places where there are mixtures of the original forms of belief, such as shamanism, and Christianity.

legal Systems

After the Latin American countries that were Spanish colonies during the first decades of the 1800s. had become independent, instead of the obsolete legal system of the Spaniards, they chose to introduce the French statutes.

Visual arts and architecture

European colonization in the 1500-t. was expressed in an extensive church and monastic building, performed by convened architects and artists with a background in Spanish and Portuguese traditions.


With the colonization of South and Central America by the Spaniards and the Portuguese, a rich chronicle literature emerged describing the nature and people of the new world. In the beginning, they were European chronicles, many soldiers and clergy, later also about Native Americans who had learned the colonial language.


During the colonial period, real theater life began to develop in Latin America, but not until the 1900s. The theater took itself seriously as a cultural institution in the explosively growing big cities.

Music and dance

Latin American music is very much a mixture of different forms of music. The indigenous music is hardly found in its original form, but has in many places influenced the folk music.


The relatively large concentration of European immigrants in Latin America in the 1800s characterized the continent's early films; for example, the first Argentine film, La bandera argentina (1897, The Argentine Flag), was recorded by a Frenchman, and the first feature film, El fusilamento de Dorrego (1908, The Execution of Dorrego), by the Italian Mario Gallo (1878-1945)... Read more about movies in Latin America.


The cuisines of Latin America are mixed kitchens with many common features, which derive from the continent's past under Spanish and Portuguese rule. The mix with Native American, African and other European cuisines has created a rich gastronomic mix culture.

Countries in South America
  1. Argentina
  2. Bolivia
  3. Brazil
  4. Chile
  5. Colombia
  6. Ecuador
  7. Guyana
  8. Paraguay
  9. Peru
  10. Suriname
  11. Uruguay
  12. Venezuela

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