Dear Ec Members,
This post pretend to give you information about Latin America, countries, lenguages, gegraphic ubication, etc.
I don´t pretend to begin a discussion about which country is part of Latina America or which is not that. Only to give some orientarion about the continent.
If any latinamericana EC member want to post more information about the continent, feel free to do it. You can post Photos of the country you live, or open another topic of a specific country.
PLEASE ENJOY OUR SPACE.
Latin America consists of countries in North America (Mexico), Central America (from Guatemala to Panama), some of the islands of the Caribbean, and South America, whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. Most frequently the term Latin America is restricted to countries whose inhabitants speak either Spanish or Portuguese, but the French-speaking areas of Haiti, French Guiana, and the French West Indies may also be included while French speaking Canada is not included.
Latin America is divided into 33 independent countries and 13 other political units. Brazil is by far the largest country in Latin America both in area and in population. It occupies more than 40 percent of the region's land area and has about a third of its people.
The United States, Anglophone Canada, Belize, Guyana, and several islands in the Caribbean, who have as their main language English and therefore do not belong to Latin America, may be grouped under the term Anglo-America. Suriname and the Dutch West Indies, which speak Dutch, also do not belong to Latin America.
There are many languages historically and currently spoken in Latin America: Aymara, Creole/Patois, Guarani, Tupi, Tupinamba, Mapudungun, Mayan, Nahuatl, Portuguese, Quechua, Spanish, Sranan, and many others. In Europe, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France are all considered Latin countries, which is where the term comes from. But in general terms roughly two thirds of Latin Americans speak Spanish and one third Portuguese, in accord with those countries' success in colonizing the Americas.
The primary religion throughout Latin America is Roman Catholicism, but one can also find practicioners belonging to Protestant, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Buddhist, Jewish, indigenous, and various Afro-Latin American traditions, such as Santería, Candomblé, and Macumba.
A large percentage of the people in Latin America are of mixed blood, the result of racial intermingling among European settlers, African slaves, and American natives. This mixture of backgrounds ("Mestizaje") has profoundly influenced religion, music, and politics, and given rise to a holistic description of those belonging to these mixed cultures: Latinos are those of Latin American heritage.
Etymological note: Treating the term literally, one might expect the term to apply to cultures and regions in the Americas deriving from cultures speaking Romance languages (those descended from Latin). However, French-speaking areas of the Americas, such as Quebec and Acadia in Canada, are not generally considered part of Latin America. Yet this was the original intention of the term. "Latin America" was first proposed during the French occupation of Mexico (1862-1867), when Napoleon III supported Archduke Maximilian's pretensions to be emperor of Mexico. The French hoped that an inclusive notion of "Latin" America would support their cause. Mexican citizens eventually expelled the French while retaining the term "Latino", in one of history's more charming ironies.
The alternative term Iberoamerica is sometimes used to refer to the nations that were formerly colonies of Spain and Portugal, as these two countries are located on the Iberian peninsula. The Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI) takes this defintion a step further, by including Spain and Portugal (often termed the Mother Countries of Latin America) among its member states, in addition to their Spanish and Portuguese speaking former colonies in America.