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Central America
Central America
(Spanish: América Central, Centroamérica) is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with the South American continent on the southeast. Central America is bordered by Mexico
Mexico
to the north, Colombia
Colombia
to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea
to the east, and the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
to the west. Central America
Central America
consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The combined population of Central America
Central America
is between 41,739,000 (2009 estimate)[2] and 42,688,190 (2012 estimate).[3] Central America
Central America
is a part of the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot, which extends from northern Guatemala
Guatemala
through to central Panama. Due to the presence of several active geologic faults and the Central America Volcanic Arc, there is a great deal of seismic activity in the region. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur frequently; these natural disasters have resulted in the loss of many lives and much property. In the Pre-Columbian era, Central America
Central America
was inhabited by the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica
to the north and west and the Isthmo-Colombian peoples to the south and east. Soon after Christopher Columbus's voyages to the Americas, the Spanish began to colonize the Americas. From 1609 until 1821, most of the territory within Central America—except for the lands that would become Belize
Belize
and Panama—was governed by the Viceroyalty of New Spain
New Spain
from Mexico
Mexico
City as the Captaincy General of Guatemala. After New Spain
New Spain
achieved independence from Spain in 1821, some of its provinces were annexed to the First Mexican Empire, but soon seceded from Mexico
Mexico
to form the Federal Republic of Central America, which lasted from 1823 to 1838. The seven states finally became independent autonomous states: beginning with Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Guatemala
Guatemala
(1838); followed by El Salvador
El Salvador
(1841); then Panama
Panama
(1903); and finally Belize (1981). Even today, people in Central America
Central America
sometimes refer to their nations as if they were provinces of a Central American state. For example, it is not unusual to write "C.A." after the country names in formal and informal contexts and the automobile licence plates of many of the countries in the region show the legend "Centroamerica" in addition to the country name.

Contents

1 Different definitions 2 History 3 Geography 4 Biodiversity

4.1 Flora 4.2 Fauna

5 Geology 6 Demographics

6.1 Languages 6.2 Ethnic groups 6.3 Religious groups

7 Culture

7.1 Sport

8 Politics

8.1 Central American Integration 8.2 Foreign relations 8.3 Central American Parliament

9 Economy

9.1 Tourism

10 Transport

10.1 Roads 10.2 Waterways 10.3 Ports and harbors 10.4 Airports 10.5 Railways

11 Education 12 See also 13 Notes 14 References 15 Further reading 16 External links

Different definitions[edit] "Central America" may mean different things to various people, based upon different contexts:

The United Nations geoscheme
United Nations geoscheme
for the Americas
Americas
defines the region as all states of mainland North America
North America
south of the United States and specifically includes all of Mexico.[4] Middle America is usually thought to comprise Mexico
Mexico
to the north of the 7 states of Central America
Central America
as well as Colombia
Colombia
and Venezuela
Venezuela
to the south. Usually the whole of the Caribbean
Caribbean
to the north-east and sometimes the Guyanas
Guyanas
are also included. According to one source, the term "Central America" was used as a synonym for "Middle America" at least as recently as 1962.[5] In Ibero-America
Ibero-America
( Latin America
Latin America
and Iberia), the Americas
Americas
is considered a single continent, and Central America
Central America
is considered a subcontinent separate from North America
North America
comprising the seven countries south of Mexico
Mexico
and north of Colombia.[6] In Brazil, Central America
Central America
comprises all countries between Mexico
Mexico
and Colombia, including those in the Caribbean. Mexico, in whole or in part, is sometimes included by British people.[7][8][9][not in citation given][10] For the people living in the five countries formerly part of the Federal Republic of Central America
Federal Republic of Central America
there is a distinction between the Spanish language
Spanish language
terms "América Central" and "Centroamérica". While both can be translated into English as "Central America", "América Central" is generally used to refer to the geographical area of the seven countries between Mexico
Mexico
and Colombia, while "Centroamérica" is used when referring to the former members of the Federation emphasizing the shared culture and history of the region.

History[edit] Main article: History of Central America

Central America, 1798

Tikal, Guatemala.

In the Pre-Columbian era, the northern areas of Central America
Central America
were inhabited by the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica. Most notable among these were the Mayans, who had built numerous cities throughout the region, and the Aztecs, who had created a vast empire. The pre-Columbian cultures of eastern El Salvador, eastern Honduras, Caribbean
Caribbean
Nicaragua, most of Costa Rica
Costa Rica
and Panama
Panama
were predominantly speakers of the Chibchan languages
Chibchan languages
at the time of European contact and are considered by some[11] culturally different and grouped in the Isthmo-Colombian Area. Following Christopher Columbus's voyages to the Americas, the Spanish sent many expeditions to the region, and they began their conquest of Maya territory in 1523. Soon after the conquest of the Aztec
Aztec
Empire, Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado
Pedro de Alvarado
commenced the conquest of northern Central America
Central America
for the Spanish Empire. Beginning with his arrival in Soconusco
Soconusco
in 1523, Alvarado's forces systematically conquered and subjugated most of the major Maya kingdoms, including the K'iche', Tz'utujil, Pipil, and the Kaqchikel. By 1528, the conquest of Guatemala
Guatemala
was nearly complete, with only the Petén Basin remaining outside the Spanish sphere of influence. The last independent Maya kingdoms – the Kowoj
Kowoj
and the Itza people
Itza people
– were finally defeated in 1697, as part of the Spanish conquest of Petén.[citation needed] In 1538, Spain established the Real Audiencia of Panama, which had jurisdiction over all land from the Strait of Magellan
Strait of Magellan
to the Gulf of Fonseca. This entity was dissolved in 1543, and most of the territory within Central America
Central America
then fell under the jurisdiction of the Audiencia Real de Guatemala. This area included the current territories of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Mexican state of Chiapas, but excluded the lands that would become Belize
Belize
and Panama. The president of the Audiencia, which had its seat in Antigua Guatemala, was the governor of the entire area. In 1609 the area became a captaincy general and the governor was also granted the title of captain general. The Captaincy General of Guatemala
Guatemala
encompassed most of Central America, with the exception of present-day Belize
Belize
and Panama. The Captaincy General of Guatemala
Guatemala
lasted for more than two centuries, but began to fray after a rebellion in 1811 which began in the intendancy of San Salvador. The Captaincy General formally ended on 15 September 1821, with the signing of the Act of Independence of Central America. Mexican independence was achieved at virtually the same time with the signing of the Treaty of Córdoba
Treaty of Córdoba
and the Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire, and the entire region was finally independent from Spanish authority by 28 September 1821. From its independence from Spain in 1821 until 1823, the former Captaincy General remained intact as part of the short-lived First Mexican Empire. When the Emperor of Mexico
Mexico
abdicated on 19 March 1823, Central America
Central America
again became independent. On 1 July 1823, the Congress of Central America
Central America
peacefully seceded from Mexico
Mexico
and declared absolute independence from all foreign nations, and the region formed the Federal Republic of Central America.[citation needed] The Federal Republic of Central America
Federal Republic of Central America
was a representative democracy with its capital at Guatemala
Guatemala
City. This union consisted of the provinces of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Los Altos, Mosquito Coast, and Nicaragua. The lowlands of southwest Chiapas, including Soconusco, initially belonged to the Republic until 1824, when Mexico
Mexico
annexed most of Chiapas
Chiapas
and began its claims to Soconusco. The Republic lasted from 1823 to 1838, when it disintegrated as a result of civil wars.[citation needed]

Historic Coat of Arms of Central American Unions

The United Providences of Central America

United Provinces of Central America

Federal Republic of Central America

Greater Republic of Central America

Coat of Arms of modern Central America

Guatemala

El Salvador

Honduras

Nicaragua

Costa Rica

Panama

Belize

The territory that now makes up Belize
Belize
was heavily contested in a dispute that continued for decades after Guatemala
Guatemala
achieved independence (see History of Belize
Belize
(1506–1862). Spain, and later Guatemala, considered this land a Guatemalan department. In 1862, Britain formally declared it a British colony and named it British Honduras. It became independent as Belize
Belize
in 1981.[citation needed] Panama, situated in the southernmost part of Central America
Central America
on the Isthmus of Panama, has for most of its history been culturally linked to South America. Panama
Panama
was part of the Province of Tierra Firme
Province of Tierra Firme
from 1510 until 1538 when it came under the jurisdiction of the newly formed Audiencia Real de Panama. Beginning in 1543, Panama
Panama
was administered as part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, along with all other Spanish possessions in South America. Panama
Panama
remained as part of the Viceroyalty of Peru
Viceroyalty of Peru
until 1739, when it was transferred to the Viceroyalty of New Granada, the capital of which was located at Santa Fé de Bogotá. Panama
Panama
remained as part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada until the disestablishment of that viceroyalty in 1819. A series of military and political struggles took place from that time until 1822, the result of which produced the republic of Gran Colombia. After the dissolution of Gran Colombia
Colombia
in 1830, Panama became part of a successor state, the Republic of New Granada. From 1855 until 1886, Panama
Panama
existed as Panama
Panama
State, first within the Republic of New Granada, then within the Granadine Confederation, and finally within the United States of Colombia. The United States of Colombia
Colombia
was replaced by the Republic of Colombia
Colombia
in 1886. As part of the Republic of Colombia, Panama
Panama
State was abolished and it became the Isthmus Department. Despite the many political reorganizations, Colombia
Colombia
was still deeply plagued by conflict, which eventually led to the secession of Panama
Panama
on 3 November 1903. Only after that time did some begin to regard Panama
Panama
as a North or Central American entity.[citation needed] By the 1930s the United Fruit Company
United Fruit Company
owned 3.5 million acres of land in Central America
Central America
and the Caribbean
Caribbean
and was the single largest land owner in Guatemala. Such holdings gave it great power over the governments of small countries. That was one of the factors that led to the coining of the phrase Banana Republic.[12] After more than two hundred years of social unrest, violent conflict and revolution, Central America
Central America
today remains in a period of political transformation. Poverty, social injustice and violence are still widespread.[13] Nicaragua
Nicaragua
is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere (only Haiti
Haiti
is poorer).[14] Geography[edit] See also: Geography of Belize, Geography of Costa Rica, Geography of El Salvador, Geography of Guatemala, Geography of Honduras, Geography of Nicaragua, Geography of Panama, List of islands of Central America, and List of mountain peaks of Central America

The seven countries of Central America
Central America
and their capitals

Central America
Central America
is the tapering isthmus of southern North America, with unique and varied geographic features. The Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
lies to the southwest, the Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea
lies to the northeast, and the Gulf of Mexico
Mexico
lies to the north. Some physiographists define the Isthmus of Tehuantepec as the northern geographic border of Central America,[7] while others use the northwestern borders of Belize
Belize
and Guatemala. From there, the Central American land mass extends southeastward to the Isthmus of Panama, where it connects to the Pacific Lowlands in northwestern South America. Of the many mountain ranges within Central America, the longest are the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, the Cordillera Isabelia
Cordillera Isabelia
and the Cordillera de Talamanca. At 4,220 meters (13,850 ft), Volcán Tajumulco is the highest peak in Central America. Other high points of Central America
Central America
are as listed in the table below:

High points in Central America

Country Name Elevation (meters) Range

 Belize Doyle's Delight 1124 Cockscomb Range

 Costa Rica Cerro Chirripó 3820 Cordillera de Talamanca

 El Salvador Cerro El Pital 2730 Sierra Madre de Chiapas

 Guatemala Volcán Tajumulco 4220 Sierra Madre de Chiapas

 Honduras Cerro Las Minas 2780 Cordillera de Celaque

 Nicaragua Mogotón 2107 Cordillera Isabelia

 Panama Volcán Barú 3474 Cordillera de Talamanca

Between the mountain ranges lie fertile valleys that are suitable for the raising of livestock and for the production of coffee, tobacco, beans and other crops. Most of the population of Honduras, Costa Rica and Guatemala
Guatemala
lives in valleys.[15] Trade winds
Trade winds
have a significant effect upon the climate of Central America. Temperatures in Central America
Central America
are highest just prior to the summer wet season, and are lowest during the winter dry season, when trade winds contribute to a cooler climate. The highest temperatures occur in April, due to higher levels of sunlight, lower cloud cover and a decrease in trade winds.[16] Biodiversity[edit] See also: Central America
Central America
bioregion

El Chorreron in El Salvador

Central America
Central America
is part of the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot, boasting 7% of the world's biodiversity.[17] The Pacific Flyway
Pacific Flyway
is a major north-south flyway for migratory birds in the Americas, extending from Alaska
Alaska
to Tierra del Fuego. Due to the funnel-like shape of its land mass, migratory birds can be seen in very high concentrations in Central America, especially in the spring and autumn. As a bridge between North America
North America
and South America, Central America has many species from the Nearctic and the Neotropic ecozones. However the southern countries ( Costa Rica
Costa Rica
and Panama) of the region have more biodiversity than the northern countries ( Guatemala
Guatemala
and Belize), meanwhile the central countries (Honduras, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
and El Salvador) have the least biodiversity.[17] The table below shows recent statistics:

Biodiversity
Biodiversity
in Central America
Central America
(number of different species of terrestrial vertebrate animals and vascular plants)

Country Amphibian species Bird species Mammal species Reptile species Total terrestrial vertebrate species Vascular plants species Biodiversity

 Belize[18] 46 544 147 140 877 2894 3771

 Costa Rica[19] 183 838 232 258 1511 12119 13630

 El Salvador[20] 30 434 137 106 707 2911 3618

 Guatemala[21] 133 684 193 236 1246 8681 9927

 Honduras[22] 101 699 201 213 1214 5680 6894

 Nicaragua[23] 61 632 181 178 1052 7590 8642

 Panama[24] 182 904 241 242 1569 9915 11484

Over 300 species of the region's flora and fauna are threatened, 107 of which are classified as critically endangered. The underlying problems are deforestation, which is estimated by FAO
FAO
at 1.2% per year in Central America
Central America
and Mexico
Mexico
combined, fragmentation of rainforests and the fact that 80% of the vegetation in Central America
Central America
has already been converted to agriculture.[25] Efforts to protect fauna and flora in the region are made by creating ecoregions and nature reserves. 36% of Belize's land territory falls under some form of official protected status, giving Belize
Belize
one of the most extensive systems of terrestrial protected areas in the Americas. In addition, 13% of Belize's marine territory are also protected.[26] A large coral reef extends from Mexico
Mexico
to Honduras: the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. The Belize
Belize
Barrier Reef is part of this. The Belize
Belize
Barrier Reef is home to a large diversity of plants and animals, and is one of the most diverse ecosystems of the world. It is home to 70 hard coral species, 36 soft coral species, 500 species of fish and hundreds of invertebrate species. So far only about 10% of the species in the Belize
Belize
barrier reef have been discovered.[27] Flora[edit]

One of the hanging bridges of the skywalk at the Monteverde
Monteverde
Cloud Forest Reserve in Monteverde, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
disappearing into the clouds

From 2001 to 2010, 5,376 square kilometers (2,076 sq mi) of forest were lost in the region. In 2010 Belize
Belize
had 63% of remaining forest cover, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
46%, Panama
Panama
45%, Honduras
Honduras
41%, Guatemala
Guatemala
37%, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
29%, and El Salvador
El Salvador
21%. Most of the loss occurred in the moist forest biome, with 12,201 square kilometers (4,711 sq mi). Woody vegetation loss was partially set off by a gain in the coniferous forest biome with 4,730 square kilometers (1,830 sq mi), and a gain in the dry forest biome at 2,054 square kilometers (793 sq mi). Mangroves and deserts contributed only 1% to the loss in forest vegetation. The bulk of the deforestation was located at the Caribbean
Caribbean
slopes of Nicaragua
Nicaragua
with a loss of 8,574 square kilometers (3,310 sq mi) of forest in the period from 2001 to 2010. The most significant regrowth of 3,050 square kilometers (1,180 sq mi) of forest was seen in the coniferous woody vegetation of Honduras.[28] The Central American pine-oak forests
Central American pine-oak forests
ecoregion, in the tropical and subtropical coniferous forests biome, is found in Central America
Central America
and southern Mexico. The Central American pine-oak forests
Central American pine-oak forests
occupy an area of 111,400 square kilometers (43,000 sq mi),[29] extending along the mountainous spine of Central America, extending from the Sierra Madre de Chiapas
Chiapas
in Mexico's Chiapas
Chiapas
state through the highlands of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras
Honduras
to central Nicaragua. The pine-oak forests lie between 600–1,800 metres (2,000–5,900 ft) elevation,[29] and are surrounded at lower elevations by tropical moist forests and tropical dry forests. Higher elevations above 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) are usually covered with Central American montane forests. The Central American pine-oak forests are composed of many species characteristic of temperate North America including oak, pine, fir, and cypress. Laurel forest
Laurel forest
is the most common type of Central American temperate evergreen cloud forest, found in almost all Central American countries, normally more than 1,000 meters (3,300 ft) above sea level. Tree species include evergreen oaks, members of the laurel family, and species of Weinmannia, Drimys, and Magnolia.[30] The cloud forest of Sierra de las Minas, Guatemala, is the largest in Central America. In some areas of southeastern Honduras
Honduras
there are cloud forests, the largest located near the border with Nicaragua. In Nicaragua, cloud forests are situated near the border with Honduras, but many were cleared to grow coffee. There are still some temperate evergreen hills in the north. The only cloud forest in the Pacific coastal zone of Central America
Central America
is on the Mombacho
Mombacho
volcano in Nicaragua. In Costa Rica, there are laurel forests in the Cordillera de Tilarán
Tilarán
and Volcán Arenal, called Monteverde, also in the Cordillera de Talamanca. The Central American montane forests
Central American montane forests
are an ecoregion of the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests biome, as defined by the World Wildlife Fund.[31] These forests are of the moist deciduous and the semi-evergreen seasonal subtype of tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests and receive high overall rainfall with a warm summer wet season and a cooler winter dry season. Central American montane forests consist of forest patches located at altitudes ranging from 1,800–4,000 metres (5,900–13,100 ft), on the summits and slopes of the highest mountains in Central America
Central America
ranging from Southern Mexico, through Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, to northern Nicaragua. The entire ecoregion covers an area of 13,200 square kilometers (5,100 sq mi) and has a temperate climate with relatively high precipitation levels.[31] Fauna[edit] See also: List of Central American mammals
List of Central American mammals
and List of Central American monkey species Ecoregions are not only established to protect the forests themselves but also because they are habitats for an incomparably rich and often endemic fauna. Almost half of the bird population of the Talamancan montane forests in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
and Panama
Panama
are endemic to this region. Several birds are listed as threatened, most notably the resplendent quetzal (Pharomacrus mocinno), three-wattled bellbird (Procnias tricarunculata), bare-necked umbrellabird (Cephalopterus glabricollis), and black guan (Chamaepetes unicolor). Many of the amphibians are endemic and depend on the existence of forest. The golden toad that once inhabited a small region in the Monteverde Reserve, which is part of the Talamancan montane forests, has not been seen alive since 1989 and is listed as extinct by IUCN. The exact causes for its extincition are unknown. Global warming may have played a role, because the development of fog that is typical for this area may have been compromised. Seven small mammals are endemic to the Costa Rica-Chiriqui highlands within the Talamancan montane forest region. Jaguars, cougars, spider monkeys, as well as tapirs, and anteaters live in the woods of Central America.[30] The Central American red brocket is a brocket deer found in Central America's tropical forest. Geology[edit]

Central America
Central America
and the Caribbean
Caribbean
Plate

See also: Central America
Central America
Volcanic Arc, List of earthquakes in Costa Rica, List of earthquakes in El Salvador, List of earthquakes in Guatemala, and List of earthquakes in Nicaragua Central America
Central America
is geologically very active, with volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occurring frequently, and tsunamis occurring occasionally. Many thousands of people have died as a result of these natural disasters. Most of Central America
Central America
rests atop the Caribbean
Caribbean
Plate. This tectonic plate converges with the Cocos, Nazca, and North American plates to form the Middle America Trench, a major subduction zone. The Middle America Trench is situated some 60–160 kilometers (37–99 mi) off the Pacific coast of Central America
Central America
and runs roughly parallel to it. Many large earthquakes have occurred as a result of seismic activity at the Middle America Trench.[32] For example, subduction of the Cocos Plate
Cocos Plate
beneath the North American Plate
North American Plate
at the Middle America Trench is believed to have caused the 1985 Mexico
Mexico
City earthquake that killed as many as 40,000 people. Seismic activity at the Middle America Trench is also responsible for earthquakes in 1902, 1942, 1956, 1982, 1992, 2001, 2007, 2012, 2014, and many other earthquakes throughout Central America. The Middle America Trench
Middle America Trench
is not the only source of seismic activity in Central America. The Motagua Fault
Motagua Fault
is an onshore continuation of the Cayman Trough
Cayman Trough
which forms part of the tectonic boundary between the North American Plate
North American Plate
and the Caribbean
Caribbean
Plate. This transform fault cuts right across Guatemala
Guatemala
and then continues offshore until it merges with the Middle America Trench
Middle America Trench
along the Pacific coast of Mexico, near Acapulco. Seismic activity at the Motagua Fault
Motagua Fault
has been responsible for earthquakes in 1717, 1773, 1902, 1976, 1980, and 2009. Another onshore continuation of the Cayman Trough
Cayman Trough
is the Chixoy-Polochic Fault, which runs parallel to, and roughly 80 kilometers (50 mi) to the north, of the Motagua Fault. Though less active than the Motagua Fault, seismic activity at the Chixoy-Polochic Fault is still thought to be capable of producing very large earthquakes, such as the 1816 earthquake of Guatemala.[33] Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, was devastated by earthquakes in 1931 and 1972. Volcanic eruptions are also common in Central America. In 1968 the Arenal Volcano, in Costa Rica, erupted killing 87 people as the 3 villages of Tabacon, Pueblo Nuevo and San Luis were buried under pyroclastic flows and debris. Fertile soils from weathered volcanic lava have made it possible to sustain dense populations in the agriculturally productive highland areas. Demographics[edit] See also: Ethnic groups in Central America
Ethnic groups in Central America
and Latin Americans The population of Central America
Central America
is estimated at 47,448,333 as of 2016.[34] With an area of 523,780 square kilometers (202,230 sq mi),[2] it has a population density of 81 per square kilometer (210/sq mi).

Countries of Central America

Name of territory, with flag Area (km²)[35] Population (2016 est.)[34] Population density (per km²) Capital Official language Human Development Index

 Belize 7004229660000000000♠22,966 366,954 7001130000000000000♠13 Belmopan English 0,715 High

 Costa Rica 7004511000000000000♠51,100 4,857,274 7001820000000000000♠82 San José Spanish 0,766 High

 El Salvador 7004210400000000000♠21,040 6,344,722 7002292000000000000♠292 San Salvador Spanish 0,666 Medium

 Guatemala 7005108890000000000♠108,890 16,582,469 7002129000000000000♠129 Guatemala
Guatemala
City Spanish 0,627 Medium

 Honduras 7005112090000000000♠112,090 9,112,867 7001670000000000000♠67 Tegucigalpa Spanish 0,606 Medium

 Nicaragua 7005130373000000000♠130,373 6,149,928 7001440000000000000♠44 Managua Spanish 0,631 Medium

 Panama 7004782000000000000♠78,200 4,034,119 7001440000000000000♠44 Panama
Panama
City Spanish 0,780 High

Total 7005523780000000000♠523,780 7007474483330000000♠47,448,333 7001800000000000000♠80 - - -

Largest metropolitan areas in Central America

City Country Population Census Year % of National population

(1) Guatemala
Guatemala
City  Guatemala 5,700,000 2010 26%

(2) San Salvador  El Salvador 2,415,217 2009 39%

(3) Managua  Nicaragua 1,918,000 2012 34%

(4) Tegucigalpa  Honduras 1,819,000 2010 24%

(5) San Pedro Sula  Honduras 1,600,000 2010 21%+4

(6) Panama
Panama
City  Panama 1,400,000 2010 37%

(7) San José  Costa Rica 1,275,000 2013 30%

Languages[edit]

Linguistic variations of classic Central American Spanish.

See also: Central American Spanish The official language majority in all Central American countries is Spanish, except in Belize, where the official language is English. Mayan languages
Mayan languages
constitute a language family consisting of about 26 related languages. Guatemala
Guatemala
formally recognized 21 of these in 1996. Xinca and Garifuna are also present in Central America.

Languages in Central America
Central America
(2010)

Pos. Countries Population % Spanish % Mayan languages % English % Xinca % Garifuna

1 Guatemala 17,284,000 64.7% 34.3% 0.0% 0.7% 0.3%

2 Honduras 8,447,000 97.1% 2.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.9%

3 El Salvador 6,108,000 99.0% 1.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

4 Nicaragua 6,028,000 87.4% 7.1% 5.5% 0.0% 0.0%

5 Costa Rica 4,726,000 97.2% 1.8% 1.0% 0.0% 0.0%

6 Panamá 3,652,000 86.8% 9.2% 4.0% 0.0 0.0%

7 Belize 334,000 52.1% 8.9% 37.0% 0.0% 2.0%

Ethnic groups[edit]

Central America
Central America
map of indigenous people before European contact

This region of the continent is very rich in terms of ethnic groups. The majority of the population is mestizo, with sizable Mayan and White populations present, including Xinca and Garifuna minorities. The immigration of Arabs, Jews, Chinese, Europeans and others brought additional groups to the area.

Ethnic groups in Central America
Ethnic groups in Central America
(2010)

Country Population1 % Amerindian % White % Mestizo/Mixed % Black % Other

 Belize 324,528 6.3% 5.0% 49.6% 32.0% 4.1%

 Costa Rica 4,301,712 4.0% 65.8% 13.8% 7.2% 9.0%

 El Salvador 6,340,889 1.0% 12.0% 86.0% 0.0% 1.0%

 Guatemala 15,700,000 38.5% 18.5% 40.0% 1.0% 2.0%

 Honduras 8,143,564 6.0% 5.5% 82.0% 6.0% 0.5%

 Nicaragua 5,815,500 5.0% 17.0% 69.0% 9.0% 0.0%

 Panama 3,474,562 6.0% 10.0% 65.0% 14.0% 5.0%

Total 42,682,190 16.24% 20.18% 58.05% 4.43% 1.17%

Religious groups[edit] Further information: Anglican Church in Central America, Bahá'í Faith in Central America, Buddhism in Central America, and Roman Catholicism in North America The predominant religion in Central America
Central America
is Christianity (95.6%).[36] Beginning with the Spanish colonization of Central America in the 16th century, Roman Catholicism became the most popular religion in the region until the first half of the 20th century. Since the 1960s, there has been an increase in other Christian groups, particularly Protestantism, as well as other religious organizations, and individuals identifying themselves as having no religion.[37]

Countries % Roman Catholicism (2010) % Protestantism (2010) % Non-affiliated (2010) % Other (2010)

 Belize 40% 31% 15% 14%

 Costa Rica 69% 17% 11% 3%

 El Salvador 46% 29% 24% 1%

 Guatemala 47% 39% 12% 2%

 Honduras 52% 35% 10% 3%

 Nicaragua 58% 23% 13% 4%

 Panama 77% 14% 6% 3%

Culture[edit]

Central American music Central American cuisine List of cuisines of the Americas
Americas
– Central American cuisine

Sport[edit]

Central American Games Central American and Caribbean
Caribbean
Games

1926 Central American and Caribbean Games – the first time this event occurred

Central American Football Union Surfing

Politics[edit] Central American Integration[edit]

Central American Integration System Sistema de Integración Centroamericana

Coat of arms

Motto(s): "Peace, Development, Liberty and Democracy"

Anthem: La Granadera

Countries

 Belize  Costa Rica  El Salvador  Guatemala  Honduras  Nicaragua  Panama  Dominican Republic

Area

 • Total 560,988 km2 (216,599 sq mi)

Population

 • Total 50,807,778

 • Density 91/km2 (230/sq mi)

Main article: Central American Integration System Central America
Central America
is currently undergoing a process of political, economic and cultural transformation that started in 1907 with the creation of the Central American Court of Justice. In 1951 the integration process continued with the signature of the San Salvador
San Salvador
Treaty, which created the ODECA, the Organization of Central American States. However, the unity of the ODECA was limited by conflicts between several member states. In 1991, the integration agenda was further advanced by the creation of the Central American Integration System
Central American Integration System
(Sistema para la Integración Centroamericana, or SICA). SICA provides a clear legal basis to avoid disputes between the member states. SICA membership includes the 7 nations of Central America
Central America
plus the Dominican Republic, a state that is traditionally considered part of the Caribbean.

Central American flags

Guatemala

El Salvador

Honduras

Nicaragua

Costa Rica

Panama

Belize

On 6 December 2008 SICA announced an agreement to pursue a common currency and common passport for the member nations.[38] No timeline for implementation was discussed. Central America
Central America
already has several supranational institutions such as the Central American Parliament, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration and the Central American Common Market. On 22 July 2011 President Mauricio Funes
Mauricio Funes
of El Salvador
El Salvador
became the first president pro tempore to SICA. El Salvador
El Salvador
also became the headquarters of SICA with the inauguration of a new building.[39] Foreign relations[edit] See also: China– Latin America
Latin America
relations Until recently, all Central American countries have maintained diplomatic relations with Taiwan
Taiwan
instead of China. President Óscar Arias of Costa Rica, however, established diplomatic relations with China in 2007, severing formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan.[40] After breaking off relations with the Republic of China in 2017, Panama established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.[41] Central American Parliament[edit]

Flag of the Central American Parliament

Main article: Central American Parliament The Central American Parliament
Central American Parliament
(also known as PARLACEN) is a political and parliamentary body of SICA. The parliament started around 1980, and its primary goal was to resolve conflicts in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Although the group was disbanded in 1986, ideas of unity of Central Americans still remained, so a treaty was signed in 1987 to create the Central American Parliament and other political bodies. Its original members were Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
and Honduras. The parliament is the political organ of Central America, and is part of SICA. New members have since then joined including Panama
Panama
and the Dominican Republic.

Economy[edit] See also: Economy of Belize, Economy of Costa Rica, Economy of El Salvador, Economy of Guatemala, Economy of Honduras, Economy of Nicaragua, and Economy of Panama Signed in 2004, the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) is an agreement between the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. The treaty is aimed at promoting free trade among its members. Guatemala
Guatemala
has the largest economy in the region.[42][43] Its main exports are coffee, sugar, bananas, petroleum, clothing, and cardamom. Of its 10.29 billion dollar annual exports,[44] 40.2% go to the United States, 11.1% to neighboring El Salvador, 8% to Honduras, 5.5% to Mexico, 4.7% to Nicaragua, and 4.3% to Costa Rica.[45] Economic growth in Central America
Central America
is projected to slow slightly in 2014–15, as country-specific domestic factors offset the positive effects from stronger economic activity in the United States.[9]

Economy size for Latin American countries per Gross domestic product

Country GDP (nominal)[42][a] GDP (nominal) per capita[46][47] GDP (PPP)[43][a]

 Belize 1,552 $4,602 2,914

 Costa Rica 44,313 $10,432 57,955

 El Salvador 24,421 $3,875 46,050

 Guatemala 50,303 $3,512 78,012

 Honduras 18,320 $2,323 37,408

 Nicaragua 7,695 $1,839 19,827

 Panama 34,517 $10,838 55,124

Tourism[edit] See also: Tourism in Belize, Tourism in Costa Rica, Ecotourism
Ecotourism
in Costa Rica, and Tourism in Panama

The Great Blue Hole
Great Blue Hole
off the coast of Belize
Belize
is a prime ecotourism destination. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Semuc Champey, Guatemala.

Tourism in Belize
Belize
has grown considerably in more recent times, and it is now the second largest industry in the nation. Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow
Dean Barrow
has stated his intention to use tourism to combat poverty throughout the country.[48] The growth in tourism has positively affected the agricultural, commercial, and finance industries, as well as the construction industry. The results for Belize's tourism-driven economy have been significant, with the nation welcoming almost one million tourists in a calendar year for the first time in its history in 2012.[49] Belize
Belize
is also the only country in Central America
Central America
with English as its official language, making this country a comfortable destination for English-speaking tourists.[50] Costa Rica
Costa Rica
is the most visited nation in Central America.[51] Tourism in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
is one of the fastest growing economic sectors of the country,[52] having become the largest source of foreign revenue by 1995.[53] Since 1999, tourism has earned more foreign exchange than bananas, pineapples and coffee exports combined.[54] The tourism boom began in 1987,[53] with the number of visitors up from 329,000 in 1988, through 1.03 million in 1999, to a historical record of 2.43 million foreign visitors and $1.92-billion in revenue in 2013.[51] In 2012 tourism contributed with 12.5% of the country's GDP and it was responsible for 11.7% of direct and indirect employment.[55] Tourism in Nicaragua
Nicaragua
has grown considerably recently, and it is now the second largest industry in the nation. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has stated his intention to use tourism to combat poverty throughout the country.[56] The growth in tourism has positively affected the agricultural, commercial, and finance industries, as well as the construction industry. The results for Nicaragua's tourism-driven economy have been significant, with the nation welcoming one million tourists in a calendar year for the first time in its history in 2010.[57] Transport[edit] See also: Transport in Belize, Transport in Costa Rica, Transport in El Salvador, Transport in Guatemala, Transport in Honduras, Transport in Nicaragua, and Transport in Panama Roads[edit] See also: Roads in Belize The Inter-American Highway
Inter-American Highway
is the Central American section of the Pan-American Highway, and spans 5,470 kilometers (3,400 mi) between Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and Panama
Panama
City, Panama. Because of the 87 kilometers (54 mi) break in the highway known as the Darién Gap, it is not possible to cross between Central America
Central America
and South America in an automobile. Waterways[edit] See also: Category:Water transport in Belize, Category:Water transport in Costa Rica, Category:Water transport in Guatemala, Category:Water transport in Honduras, Category:Water transport in Nicaragua, Category:Water transport in Panama, List of rivers of Belize, List of rivers of Costa Rica, List of rivers of El Salvador, List of rivers of Guatemala, List of rivers of Honduras, List of rivers of Nicaragua, List of rivers of Panama, Ecocanal, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Canal, and Panama
Panama
Canal Ports and harbors[edit] See also: Ports of Belize, Category:Ports and harbours of Guatemala, and Category:Ports and harbours of Panama Airports[edit] See also: List of airports in Belize, List of airports in Costa Rica, List of airports in El Salvador, List of airports in Guatemala, List of airports in Honduras, List of airports in Nicaragua, and List of airports in Panama Railways[edit] Main article: Rail transport in Central America See also: Rail transport in Belize, Rail transport in Costa Rica, Rail transport in El Salvador, Rail transport in Guatemala, Rail transport in Honduras, Rail transport in Nicaragua, and Rail transport in Panama

City rail in La Ceiba, Honduras
Honduras
is one of the few remaining passenger train services in Central America

Education[edit]

List of Architecture schools in Central America List of universities in Belize List of universities in Costa Rica List of universities in El Salvador List of universities in Guatemala List of universities in Honduras List of universities in Nicaragua List of universities in Panama

See also[edit]

North America
North America
portal Latin America
Latin America
portal Geography portal

Americas
Americas
(terminology) Central American Seaway List of largest cities in Central America

List of cities in Belize List of cities in Costa Rica List of cities in El Salvador List of places in Guatemala List of cities in Honduras List of cities in Nicaragua List of cities in Panama

Index of Central America-related articles

Index of Belize-related articles Index of Costa Rica-related articles Index of El Salvador-related articles Index of Guatemala-related articles Index of Honduras-related articles Index of Nicaragua-related articles Index of Panama-related articles

Notes[edit]

^ a b Values listed in millions USD.

References[edit]

^ Hubbard, K (2015). "The biggest cities in Central America". Central America statistics, facts & figures for every country. New York City: About.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.  ^ a b IBP, Inc (2009). Central America
Central America
Economic Integration and Cooperation Handbook Volume 1 Strategic Information, Organizations and Programs. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-4387-4280-9.  ^ Index Mundi (2012). "Population – Central America
Central America
& the Caribbean". Index Mundi. Retrieved 2015-01-01.  ^ United Nations Statistics Division (2013). "Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings". New York City: United Nations Statistics Division. Retrieved 2015-01-01.  ^ Augelli, JP (1962). "The Rimland-Mainland concept of culture areas in Middle America". Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 52 (2): 119–29. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8306.1962.tb00400.x. JSTOR 2561309.  ^ "Central America". central-america.org. Retrieved September 4, 2016. Central America
Central America
is located between North and South America
South America
and consists of multiple countries. Central America
Central America
is not a continent but a subcontinent since it lies within the continent America. It borders on the northwest to the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
and in the northeast to the Caribbean
Caribbean
Sea. The countries that belong to the subcontinent of Central America
Central America
are Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
and Panama.  ^ a b "Central America". Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary. Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.  ^ Burchfield, RW (2004). Fowler's modern English usage (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 48. ISBN 978-0198610212.  ^ a b International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
(2014). World economic outlook October 2014: legacies, clouds, uncertainties (PDF). World economic and financial surveys. Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund. ISBN 978-1-48438-0-666. Retrieved 2015-01-01.  ^ The Daily Telegraph https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/nationalities-that-work-the-longest-hours/. Retrieved 24 February 2017.  Missing or empty title= (help) ^ Hoopes, John W. and Oscar Fonseca Z. (2003). Goldwork and Chibchan Identity:Endogenous Change and Diffuse Unity in the Isthmo-Colombian Area (PDF). Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks. ISBN 0-82631-000-1. Archived from the original (Online text reproduction) on 25 February 2009.  ^ Livingstone, Grace (2013). America's Backyard: The United States and Latin America
Latin America
from the Monroe Doctrine to the War on Terror. Zed Books Ltd. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-84813-611-3.  ^ Argueta, O; Huhn, S; Kurtenbach, S; Peetz, P (2011). "Blocked democracies in Central America" (PDF). GIGA Focus International Edition. Hamburg, Germany: GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies (5): 1–8. ISSN 1862-3581.  ^ "Extreme poverty increases in Nicaragua
Nicaragua
in 2013, study finds". American Free Press. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 2015-01-02.  ^ IBP, Inc. (2015). Central American Countries Mineral Industry Handbook Volume 1 Strategic Information and Regulations. pp. 7, 8. ISBN 978-1-329-09114-6.  ^ Taylor, MA; Alfaro, EJ (2005). " Central America
Central America
and the Caribbean, Climate of". In Oliver, JE. Encyclopedia of world climatology. Encyclopedia of Earth
Earth
Sciences Series (1st ed.). New York: Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 183–9. doi:10.1007/1-4020-3266-8_37. ISBN 978-1-4020-3264-6.  ^ a b (PDF) https://web.archive.org/web/20141006185346/http://www.webng.com/jerbarker/home/eia-toolkit/downloads/Van04/RojasVancouver.pdf. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2016.  Missing or empty title= (help)CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) ^ Butler, RA (2006). " Belize
Belize
forest information and data". Tropical rainforests: deforestation rates tables and charts. Menlo Park, California: Mongabay.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.  ^ Butler, RA (2006). " Costa Rica
Costa Rica
forest information and data". Tropical rainforests: deforestation rates tables and charts. Menlo Park, California: Mongabay.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.  ^ Butler, RA (2006). " El Salvador
El Salvador
forest information and data". Tropical rainforests: deforestation rates tables and charts. Menlo Park, California: Mongabay.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.  ^ Butler, RA (2006). " Guatemala
Guatemala
forest information and data". Tropical rainforests: deforestation rates tables and charts. Menlo Park, California: Mongabay.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.  ^ Butler, RA (2006). " Honduras
Honduras
forest information and data". Tropical rainforests: deforestation rates tables and charts. Menlo Park, California: Mongabay.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.  ^ Butler, RA (2006). " Nicaragua
Nicaragua
forest information and data". Tropical rainforests: deforestation rates tables and charts. Menlo Park, California: Mongabay.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.  ^ Butler, RA (2006). " Panama
Panama
forest information and data". Tropical rainforests: deforestation rates tables and charts. Menlo Park, California: Mongabay.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.  ^ Harvey, CA; Komar, O; Chazdon, R; Ferguson, BG (2008). "Integrating agricultural landscapes with biodiversity conservation in the Mesoamerican hotspot" (PDF). Conservation Biology. 22 (1): 8–15. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00863.x. PMID 18254848.  ^ Ramos, A (2 July 2010). " Belize
Belize
protected areas 26% – not 40-odd percent". Amandala. Belize
Belize
City. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 2015-01-01.  ^ Belize
Belize
Barrier Reef case study. Westminster.edu. Retrieved on 21 October 2011. ^ Redo, DJ; Grau, HR; Aide, TM; Clark, ML (2012). "Asymmetric forest transition driven by the interaction of socioeconomic development and environmental heterogeneity in Central America". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 109 (23): 8839–44. Bibcode:2012PNAS..109.8839R. doi:10.1073/pnas.1201664109. PMC 3384153 . PMID 22615408.  ^ a b "Central American pine-oak forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2012-11-04.  ^ a b "Talamancan montane forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2014-10-19.  ^ a b "Central American montane forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2013-08-20.  ^ Astiz, L; Kanamori, H; Eissler, H (1987). "Source characteristics of earthquakes in the Michoacan seismic gap in Mexico" (PDF). Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 77 (4): 1326–46.  ^ White, RA (1985). "The Guatemala
Guatemala
earthquake of 1816 on the Chixoy-Polochic fault". Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 75 (2): 455–73.  ^ a b "World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision". ESA.UN.org (custom data acquired via website). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 10 September 2017.  ^ Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
(2014). "The world factbook". Washington, D.C.: Central Intelligence Agency.  ^ Christianity
Christianity
in its Global Context Archived 29 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Holland, CL (November 2005). Ethnic and religious diversity in Central America: a historical perspective (PDF). 2005 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. pp. 1–34. Retrieved 2015-01-04.  ^ "Central American leaders agree on common currency". France 24. Retrieved 2018-03-05.  ^ British Embassy San Salvador
San Salvador
(10 June 2013). "Extra-Regional Observer of Central American Integration System". Strengthening UK relationships with El Salvador. London: Government Digital Service. Retrieved 2015-01-04.  ^ " Taiwan
Taiwan
cuts ties with Costa Rica
Costa Rica
over recognition for China". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 October 2014.  ^ https://america.cgtn.com/2017/06/12/panama-establishes-diplomatic-relations-with-china In historic move, Panama
Panama
and China establish diplomatic relations ^ a b International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
(2012). "Report for selected countries and subjects". World economic outlook database, April 2012. Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2015-01-01.  ^ a b International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
(2012). "Gross domestic product based on purchasing-power-parity (PPP) valuation of country GDP". World economic outlook database, April 2012. Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2015-01-01.  ^ Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
(2014). "World exports by country". The world factbook. Washington, D.C.: Central Intelligence Agency.  ^ Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
(2014). "Export partners of Guatemala". The world factbook. Washington, D.C.: Central Intelligence Agency.  ^ Data mostly refers to IMF staff estimates for the year 2013, made in April 2014. World Economic Outlook Database-April 2014, International Monetary Fund. Accessed on 9 April 2014. ^ Data refers mostly to the year 2012. World Development Indicators database, World Bank. Database updated on 18 December 2013. Accessed on 18 December 2013. ^ Cuellar, M (1 March 2013). "Foreign direct investments and tourism up". Channel 5 Belize. Belize: Great Belize
Belize
Productions Ltd. Retrieved 2015-01-04.  ^ "2012: a remarkable year for Belize's tourism industry". The San Pedro Sun. San Pedro, Belize. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 2015-01-04.  ^ " Belize
Belize
Tours & Activities – Project Expedition". Project Expedition. Retrieved 2016-06-30.  ^ a b Rodríguez, A (16 January 2014). " Costa Rica
Costa Rica
registró la llegada de más de 2,4 millones de turistas en 2013" [Costa Rica registered the arrival of more than 2.4 million tourists in 2013]. La Nación (in Spanish). San José, Costa Rica. Retrieved 2015-01-02.  ^ Rojas, JE (29 December 2004). "Turismo, principal motor de la economía durante el 2004" [Tourism, the principal engine of the economy in 2004]. La Nación (in Spanish). San José, Costa Rica. Retrieved 2015-01-02.  ^ a b Inman, C (1997). "Impacts on developing countries of changing production and consumption patterns in developed countries: the case of ecotourism in Costa Rica" (PDF). Alajuela, Costa Rica: INCAE Business School. Retrieved 2015-01-01.  ^ Departamento de Estadísticas ICT (2006). "Anuário estadísticas de demanda 2006" (PDF) (in Spanish). Intituto Costarricense de Turismo. Retrieved 2008-06-13.  ^ Jennifer Blanke and Thea Chiesa, Editors (2013). "Travel & tourism competitiveness report 2013" (PDF). World Economic Forum, Geneva, Switzerland. Retrieved 2013-04-14. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ Carroll, R (6 January 2007). "Ortega banks on tourism to beat poverty". The Guardian. London: theguardian.com. Retrieved 2015-01-03.  ^ http://www.sify.com/news/nicaragua-exceeds-one-mn-foreign-tourists-for-first-time-news-international-km4ladiidea.html Nicaragua
Nicaragua
exceeds one mn foreign tourists for first time

Further reading[edit]

Central America. Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. 2001–6. New York: Columbia University Press. American Heritage Dictionaries, Central America. WordNet Princeton University: Central America[permanent dead link]. Central America. Columbia Gazetteer of the World Online. 2006. New York: Columbia University Press. Hernández, Consuelo (2009). Reconstruyendo a Centroamérica a través de la poesía. Voces y perspectivas en la poesia latinoamericana del siglo XX. Madrid: Visor.

External links[edit]

Find more aboutCentral Americaat's sister projects

Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons News from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks Travel guide from Wikivoyage Learning resources from Wikiversity Data from Wikidata

Central America
Central America
Video Links from the Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives Central America
Central America
country pages Teaching Central America

v t e

Central America

Sovereign states

Belize Costa Rica El Salvador Guatemala Honduras Nicaragua Panama

v t e

Music of Central America

Belize Costa Rica El Salvador Garifuna Guatemala Honduras Nicaragua Panama

v t e

Central American volcanoes

Guatemala

Acatenango Agua Almolonga Atitlán Chicabal Cuilapa-Barbarena Fuego Jumay Moyuta Pacaya Santa María/Santiaguito San Pedro Santo Tomás Siete Orejas Tacaná Tajumulco Tecuamburro Tolimán

El Salvador

Santa Ana Izalco San Salvador San Vicente Usulután San Miguel Conchagua Chingo Chinameca

Nicaragua

Cosigüina San Cristóbal Telica Cerro Negro Momotombo Apoyeque Masaya Mombacho Concepción Maderas

Costa Rica

Rincón de la Vieja Miravalles Arenal Platanar Poás Irazú Laguna Poco Sol Turrialba

Panama

Barú La Yeguada El Valle

Note: volcanoes are ordered from north-west to south-east.

v t e

Central American and Caribbean
Caribbean
Games

Mexico
Mexico
City 1926 Havana 1930 San Salvador
San Salvador
1935 Panama
Panama
City 1938 Barranquilla 1946 Guatemala
Guatemala
City 1950 Mexico
Mexico
City 1954 Caracas 1959 Kingston 1962 San Juan 1966 Panama
Panama
City 1970 Santo Domingo 1974 Medellín 1978 Havana 1982 Santiago de los Caballeros 1986 Mexico
Mexico
City 1990 Ponce 1993 Maracaibo 1998 San Salvador
San Salvador
2002 Cartagena 2006 Mayagüez 2010 Veracruz 2014 Baranquilla 2018 Panama
Panama
City 2022

v t e

Latin American cuisine

Caribbean

Antigua and Barbuda Aruba1 Bahamas Barbados Cuba Dominica Dominican Republic Grenada Haiti Jamaica Puerto Rico1 St. Kitts and Nevis St. Lucia St. Vincent and the Grenadines Trinidad and Tobago

North America

Mexico

Central America

Belize Costa Rica El Salvador Guatemala Honduras Nicaragua Panama

South America

Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Guyana Paraguay Peru Suriname Uruguay Venezuela

Dependencies not included.    1 Defined as a semi-autonomous territory.

v t e

Latin American culture

Caribbean

Antigua and Barbuda Aruba1 Bahamas Barbados Cuba Dominica Dominican Republic Grenada Haiti Jamaica Puerto Rico1 St. Kitts and Nevis St. Lucia St. Vincent and the Grenadines Trinidad and Tobago

North America

Mexico

Central America

Belize Costa Rica El Salvador Guatemala Honduras Nicaragua Panama

South America

Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Guyana Paraguay Peru Suriname Uruguay Venezuela

Dependencies not included.    1 Defined as a semi-autonomous territory.

v t e

Regions of the world

v t e

Regions of Africa

Central Africa

Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Cape Lopez Mayombe Igboland

Mbaise

Maputaland Pool Malebo Congo Basin Chad Basin Congolese rainforests Ouaddaï highlands Ennedi Plateau

East Africa

African Great Lakes

Albertine Rift East African Rift Great Rift Valley Gregory Rift Rift Valley lakes Swahili coast Virunga Mountains Zanj

Horn of Africa

Afar Triangle Al-Habash Barbara Danakil Alps Danakil Desert Ethiopian Highlands Gulf of Aden Gulf of Tadjoura

Indian Ocean
Ocean
islands

Comoros Islands

North Africa

Maghreb

Barbary Coast Bashmur Ancient Libya Atlas Mountains

Nile Valley

Cataracts of the Nile Darfur Gulf of Aqaba Lower Egypt Lower Nubia Middle Egypt Nile Delta Nuba Mountains Nubia The Sudans Upper Egypt

Western Sahara

West Africa

Pepper Coast Gold Coast Slave Coast Ivory Coast Cape Palmas Cape Mesurado Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Niger Basin Guinean Forests of West Africa Niger Delta Inner Niger Delta

Southern Africa

Madagascar

Central Highlands (Madagascar) Northern Highlands

Rhodesia

North South

Thembuland Succulent Karoo Nama Karoo Bushveld Highveld Fynbos Cape Floristic Region Kalahari Desert Okavango Delta False Bay Hydra Bay

Macro-regions

Aethiopia Arab world Commonwealth realm East African montane forests Eastern Desert Equatorial Africa Françafrique Gibraltar Arc Greater Middle East Islands of Africa List of countries where Arabic is an official language Mediterranean Basin MENA MENASA Middle East Mittelafrika Negroland Northeast Africa Portuguese-speaking African countries Sahara Sahel Sub-Saharan Africa Sudan (region) Sudanian Savanna Tibesti Mountains Tropical Africa

v t e

Regions of Asia

Central

Greater Middle East Aral Sea

Aralkum Desert Caspian Sea Dead Sea Sea of Galilee

Transoxiana

Turan

Greater Khorasan Ariana Khwarezm Sistan Kazakhstania Eurasian Steppe

Asian Steppe Kazakh Steppe Pontic–Caspian steppe

Mongolian-Manchurian grassland Wild Fields

Yedisan Muravsky Trail

Ural

Ural Mountains

Volga region Idel-Ural Kolyma Transbaikal Pryazovia Bjarmaland Kuban Zalesye Ingria Novorossiya Gornaya Shoriya Tulgas Iranian Plateau Altai Mountains Pamir Mountains Tian Shan Badakhshan Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Mount Imeon Mongolian Plateau Western Regions Taklamakan Desert Karakoram

Trans- Karakoram
Karakoram
Tract

Siachen Glacier

North

Inner Asia Northeast Far East

Russian Far East Okhotsk-Manchurian taiga

Extreme North Siberia

Baikalia
Baikalia
(Lake Baikal) Transbaikal Khatanga Gulf Baraba steppe

Kamchatka Peninsula Amur Basin Yenisei Gulf Yenisei Basin Beringia Sikhote-Alin

East

Japanese archipelago

Northeastern Japan Arc Sakhalin Island Arc

Korean Peninsula Gobi Desert Taklamakan Desert Greater Khingan Mongolian Plateau Inner Asia Inner Mongolia Outer Mongolia China proper Manchuria

Outer Manchuria Inner Manchuria Northeast China Plain Mongolian-Manchurian grassland

North China Plain

Yan Mountains

Kunlun Mountains Liaodong Peninsula Himalayas Tibetan Plateau

Tibet

Tarim Basin Northern Silk Road Hexi Corridor Nanzhong Lingnan Liangguang Jiangnan Jianghuai Guanzhong Huizhou Wu Jiaozhou Zhongyuan Shaannan Ordos Loop

Loess Plateau Shaanbei

Hamgyong Mountains Central Mountain Range Japanese Alps Suzuka Mountains Leizhou Peninsula Gulf of Tonkin Yangtze River Delta Pearl River Delta Yenisei Basin Altai Mountains Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass

West

Greater Middle East

MENA MENASA Middle East

Red Sea Caspian Sea Mediterranean Sea Zagros Mountains Persian Gulf

Pirate Coast Strait of Hormuz Greater and Lesser Tunbs

Al-Faw Peninsula Gulf of Oman Gulf of Aqaba Gulf of Aden Balochistan Arabian Peninsula

Najd Hejaz Tihamah Eastern Arabia South Arabia

Hadhramaut Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
coastal fog desert

Tigris–Euphrates Mesopotamia

Upper Mesopotamia Lower Mesopotamia Sawad Nineveh plains Akkad (region) Babylonia

Canaan Aram Eber-Nari Suhum Eastern Mediterranean Mashriq Kurdistan Levant

Southern Levant Transjordan Jordan Rift Valley

Israel Levantine Sea Golan Heights Hula Valley Galilee Gilead Judea Samaria Arabah Anti-Lebanon Mountains Sinai Peninsula Arabian Desert Syrian Desert Fertile Crescent Azerbaijan Syria Palestine Iranian Plateau Armenian Highlands Caucasus

Caucasus
Caucasus
Mountains

Greater Caucasus Lesser Caucasus

North Caucasus South Caucasus

Kur-Araz Lowland Lankaran Lowland Alborz Absheron Peninsula

Anatolia Cilicia Cappadocia Alpide belt

South

Greater India Indian subcontinent Himalayas Hindu Kush Western Ghats Eastern Ghats Ganges Basin Ganges Delta Pashtunistan Punjab Balochistan Kashmir

Kashmir
Kashmir
Valley Pir Panjal Range

Thar Desert Indus Valley Indus River
Indus River
Delta Indus Valley Desert Indo-Gangetic Plain Eastern coastal plains Western Coastal Plains Meghalaya subtropical forests MENASA Lower Gangetic plains moist deciduous forests Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows Doab Bagar tract Great Rann of Kutch Little Rann of Kutch Deccan Plateau Coromandel Coast Konkan False Divi Point Hindi Belt Ladakh Aksai Chin Gilgit-Baltistan

Baltistan Shigar Valley

Karakoram

Saltoro Mountains

Siachen Glacier Bay of Bengal Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Mannar Trans- Karakoram
Karakoram
Tract Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Lakshadweep Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andaman Islands Nicobar Islands

Maldive Islands Alpide belt

Southeast

Mainland

Indochina Malay Peninsula

Maritime

Peninsular Malaysia Sunda Islands Greater Sunda Islands Lesser Sunda Islands

Indonesian Archipelago Timor New Guinea

Bonis Peninsula Papuan Peninsula Huon Peninsula Huon Gulf Bird's Head Peninsula Gazelle Peninsula

Philippine Archipelago

Luzon Visayas Mindanao

Leyte Gulf Gulf of Thailand East Indies Nanyang Alpide belt

Asia-Pacific Tropical Asia Ring of Fire

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Regions of Europe

North

Nordic Northwestern Scandinavia Scandinavian Peninsula Fennoscandia Baltoscandia Sápmi West Nordic Baltic Baltic Sea Gulf of Bothnia Gulf of Finland Iceland Faroe Islands

East

Danubian countries Prussia Galicia Volhynia Donbass Sloboda Ukraine Sambia Peninsula

Amber Coast

Curonian Spit Izyum Trail Lithuania Minor Nemunas Delta Baltic Baltic Sea Vyborg Bay Karelia

East Karelia Karelian Isthmus

Lokhaniemi Southeastern

Balkans Aegean Islands Gulf of Chania North Caucasus Greater Caucasus Kabardia European Russia

Southern Russia

Central

Baltic Baltic Sea Alpine states Alpide belt Mitteleuropa Visegrád Group

West

Benelux Low Countries Northwest British Isles English Channel Channel Islands Cotentin Peninsula Normandy Brittany Gulf of Lion Iberia

Al-Andalus Baetic System

Pyrenees Alpide belt

South

Italian Peninsula Insular Italy Tuscan Archipelago Aegadian Islands Iberia

Al-Andalus Baetic System

Gibraltar Arc Southeastern Mediterranean Crimea Alpide belt

Germanic Celtic Slavic countries Uralic European Plain Eurasian Steppe Pontic–Caspian steppe Wild Fields Pannonian Basin

Great Hungarian Plain Little Hungarian Plain Eastern Slovak Lowland

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Regions of North America

Northern

Eastern Canada Western Canada Canadian Prairies Central Canada Northern Canada Atlantic Canada The Maritimes French Canada English Canada Acadia

Acadian Peninsula

Quebec City–Windsor Corridor Peace River Country Cypress
Cypress
Hills Palliser's Triangle Canadian Shield Interior Alaska- Yukon
Yukon
lowland taiga Newfoundland (island) Vancouver Island Gulf Islands Strait of Georgia Canadian Arctic
Arctic
Archipelago Labrador Peninsula Gaspé Peninsula Avalon Peninsula

Bay de Verde Peninsula

Brodeur Peninsula Melville Peninsula Bruce Peninsula Banks Peninsula (Nunavut) Cook Peninsula Gulf of Boothia Georgian Bay Hudson Bay James Bay Greenland Pacific Northwest Inland Northwest Northeast

New England Mid-Atlantic Commonwealth

West

Midwest Upper Midwest Mountain States Intermountain West Basin and Range Province

Oregon Trail Mormon Corridor Calumet Region Southwest

Old Southwest

Llano Estacado Central United States

Tallgrass prairie

South

South Central Deep South Upland South

Four Corners East Coast West Coast Gulf Coast Third Coast Coastal states Eastern United States

Appalachia

Trans-Mississippi Great North Woods Great Plains Interior Plains Great Lakes Great Basin

Great Basin
Great Basin
Desert

Acadia Ozarks Ark-La-Tex Waxhaws Siouxland Twin Tiers Driftless Area Palouse Piedmont Atlantic coastal plain Outer Lands Black Dirt Region Blackstone Valley Piney Woods Rocky Mountains Mojave Desert The Dakotas The Carolinas Shawnee Hills San Fernando Valley Tornado Alley North Coast Lost Coast Emerald Triangle San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
Area

San Francisco Bay North Bay ( San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
Area) East Bay ( San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
Area) Silicon Valley

Interior Alaska- Yukon
Yukon
lowland taiga Gulf of Mexico Lower Colorado River Valley Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta Colville Delta Arkansas Delta Mobile–Tensaw River Delta Mississippi Delta Mississippi River Delta Columbia River Estuary Great Basin High Desert Monterey Peninsula Upper Peninsula of Michigan Lower Peninsula of Michigan Virginia Peninsula Keweenaw Peninsula Middle Peninsula Delmarva Peninsula Alaska
Alaska
Peninsula Kenai Peninsula Niagara Peninsula Beringia Belt regions

Bible Belt Black Belt Corn Belt Cotton Belt Frost Belt Rice Belt Rust Belt Sun Belt Snow Belt

Latin

Northern Mexico Baja California Peninsula Gulf of California

Colorado River Delta

Gulf of Mexico Soconusco Tierra Caliente La Mixteca La Huasteca Bajío Valley of Mexico Mezquital Valley Sierra Madre de Oaxaca Yucatán Peninsula Basin and Range Province Western Caribbean
Caribbean
Zone Isthmus of Panama Gulf of Panama

Pearl Islands

Azuero Peninsula Mosquito Coast West Indies Antilles

Greater Antilles Lesser Antilles

Leeward Leeward Antilles Windward

Lucayan Archipelago Southern Caribbean

Aridoamerica Mesoamerica Oasisamerica Northern Middle Anglo Latin

French Hispanic

American Cordillera Ring of Fire LAC

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Regions of Oceania

Australasia

Gulf of Carpentaria New Guinea

Bonis Peninsula Papuan Peninsula Huon Peninsula Huon Gulf Bird's Head Peninsula Gazelle Peninsula

New Zealand

South Island North Island

Coromandel Peninsula

Zealandia New Caledonia Solomon Islands (archipelago) Vanuatu

Kula Gulf

Australia Capital Country Eastern Australia Lake Eyre basin Murray–Darling basin Northern Australia Nullarbor Plain Outback Southern Australia

Maralinga

Sunraysia Great Victoria Desert Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf St Vincent Lefevre Peninsula Fleurieu Peninsula Yorke Peninsula Eyre Peninsula Mornington Peninsula Bellarine Peninsula Mount Henry Peninsula

Melanesia

Islands Region

Bismarck Archipelago Solomon Islands Archipelago

Fiji New Caledonia Papua New Guinea Vanuatu

Micronesia

Caroline Islands

Federated States of Micronesia Palau

Guam Kiribati Marshall Islands Nauru Northern Mariana Islands Wake Island

Polynesia

Easter Island Hawaiian Islands Cook Islands French Polynesia

Austral Islands Gambier Islands Marquesas Islands Society Islands Tuamotu

Kermadec Islands Mangareva Islands Samoa Tokelau Tonga Tuvalu

Ring of Fire

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Regions of South America

East

Amazon basin Atlantic Forest Caatinga Cerrado

North

Caribbean
Caribbean
South America West Indies Los Llanos The Guianas Amazon basin

Amazon rainforest

Gulf of Paria Paria Peninsula Paraguaná Peninsula Orinoco Delta

South

Tierra del Fuego Patagonia Pampas Pantanal Gran Chaco Chiquitano dry forests Valdes Peninsula

West

Andes

Tropical Andes Wet Andes Dry Andes Pariacaca mountain range

Altiplano Atacama Desert

Latin Hispanic American Cordillera Ring of Fire LAC

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Polar regions

Antarctic

Antarctic
Antarctic
Peninsula East Antarctica West Antarctica Eklund Islands Ecozone Extreme points Islands

Arctic

Arctic
Arctic
Alaska British Arctic
Arctic
Territories Canadian Arctic
Arctic
Archipelago Finnmark Greenland Northern Canada Northwest Territories Nunavik Nunavut Russian Arctic Sakha Sápmi Yukon North American Arctic

v t e

Earth's oceans and seas

Arctic
Arctic
Ocean

Amundsen Gulf Barents Sea Beaufort Sea Chukchi Sea East Siberian Sea Greenland
Greenland
Sea Gulf of Boothia Kara Sea Laptev Sea Lincoln Sea Prince Gustav Adolf Sea Pechora Sea Queen Victoria Sea Wandel Sea White Sea

Atlantic Ocean

Adriatic Sea Aegean Sea Alboran Sea Archipelago Sea Argentine Sea Baffin Bay Balearic Sea Baltic Sea Bay of Biscay Bay of Bothnia Bay of Campeche Bay of Fundy Black Sea Bothnian Sea Caribbean
Caribbean
Sea Celtic Sea English Channel Foxe Basin Greenland
Greenland
Sea Gulf of Bothnia Gulf of Finland Gulf of Lion Gulf of Guinea Gulf of Maine Gulf of Mexico Gulf of Saint Lawrence Gulf of Sidra Gulf of Venezuela Hudson Bay Ionian Sea Irish Sea Irminger Sea James Bay Labrador Sea Levantine Sea Libyan Sea Ligurian Sea Marmara Sea Mediterranean Sea Myrtoan Sea North Sea Norwegian Sea Sargasso Sea Sea of Åland Sea of Azov Sea of Crete Sea of the Hebrides Thracian Sea Tyrrhenian Sea Wadden Sea

Indian Ocean

Andaman Sea Arabian Sea Bali Sea Bay of Bengal Flores Sea Great Australian Bight Gulf of Aden Gulf of Aqaba Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Oman Gulf of Suez Java Sea Laccadive Sea Mozambique Channel Persian Gulf Red Sea Timor
Timor
Sea

Pacific Ocean

Arafura Sea Banda Sea Bering Sea Bismarck Sea Bohai Sea Bohol Sea Camotes Sea Celebes Sea Ceram Sea Chilean Sea Coral Sea East China Sea Gulf of Alaska Gulf of Anadyr Gulf of California Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf of Fonseca Gulf of Panama Gulf of Thailand Gulf of Tonkin Halmahera Sea Koro Sea Mar de Grau Molucca Sea Moro Gulf Philippine Sea Salish Sea Savu Sea Sea of Japan Sea of Okhotsk Seto Inland Sea Shantar Sea Sibuyan Sea Solomon Sea South China Sea Sulu Sea Tasman Sea Visayan Sea Yellow Sea

Southern Ocean

Amundsen Sea Bellingshausen Sea Cooperation Sea Cosmonauts Sea Davis Sea D'Urville Sea King Haakon VII Sea Lazarev Sea Mawson Sea Riiser-Larsen Sea Ross Sea Scotia Sea Somov Sea Weddell Sea

Landlocked seas

Aral Sea Caspian Sea Dead Sea Salton Sea

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 315128178 GND: 40794

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