I hope that creating a template like this, by copy and edit from the South America template is ok, done right and is useful? kgw 23:08, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I have replaced it with a new version, also copied from South America's. WolfmanSF (talk) 21:22, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Edit war

I noticed an edit war is ongoing over this template. I think it would be useful for those involved to state your positions briefly on this talk page, including in your statement a citation(s) or link(s) to the most authoritative sources you know of that support your viewpoint. Thanks. WolfmanSF (talk) 03:32, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Simply put, this template should include territories that are sometimes included in the region (in whole or in part) with qualification. This includes Mexico; according to the "Central America" article lead in Encyclopaedia Britannica (emphasis added):
  • southernmost region of North America, lying between Mexico and South America and comprising Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Belize. (Geologists and physical geographers sometimes extend the northern boundary to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico.).
The party which keeps reverting to exclude indicates that the country is not included "geographically" (nonsensical) or "geopolitically" but concedes it may be included "physiographically" -- which is undeniable, given the above. Citations at Central America, North America, and elsewhere also iterate Britannica (or similar). This template also includes Panama with qualification, and there's no reason why it shouldn't include Mexico qualified the same. So, what's the problem? You tell me. (talk) 03:05, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
As well, various sources (though not a majority) indicate that Mexico in totality is included in Central America. e.g., Fowler's Modern English Usage, United Nations classification system. I may not agree with that but, given that this viewpoint is not rare and sourced, it cannot systematically be suppressed. (talk) 03:51, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Can someone explain the difference between "geographically" and "physiographically" (if there is one)? WolfmanSF (talk) 03:24, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

AFAICT, "geographically" pertains to geography; "physiographically" pertains to physical geography (physical features, etc., as opposed to human geography). As used above by the other editor, it makes little sense. (talk) 03:38, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Since there has been no response by the parties who revert to exclude, and who also continue to revert elsewhere on similar notions, I will soon be compelled to restore and preserve the more inclusive template. (talk) 22:46, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

I wonder whether all the additional detail is necessary (i.e., the criteria for inclusion of Mexico)? Since it's a template, being succinct is preferable, with necessary details in the linked article(s). Feedback? (talk) 03:19, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree that being succinct is desirable in templates; however, given the evidently touchy nature of the subject here, this might be an exception. WolfmanSF (talk) 23:11, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

This information will probably be very useful for people who are actually looking for something to read. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:31, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Template is about CA topics

This template is about Central American topics, so Mexico does not belong here. Even if some geographers when describing the physical features of the terrain do include a PORTION of Mexico in Central America, that DOES NOT mean:

  • Mexico is considered a Central American country, neither by Mexicans nor Central Americans
  • The Central American Parliament does not include Mexico
  • The SICA (System for the Integration of Central America) does not include Mexico
  • And finally, Mexico has never been "traditionally" considered a CA country


1) All of the following sources indicate clearly that Mexico is not part of Central America, because they make the distinction "Mexico and Central America":

2) This is a list of sources used in a PREVIOUS debate about Mexico not being part of Central America:

  • American Heritage Dictoriaries

North America
The northern continent of the Western Hemisphere, extending northward from the Colombia-Panama border and including Central America, Mexico, the islands of the Caribbean Sea, the United States, Canada, the Arctic Archipelago, and Greenland.

Central America
A region of southern North America extending from the southern border of Mexico to the northern border of Colombia. It separates the Caribbean Sea from the Pacific Ocean and is linked to South America by the Isthmus of Panama.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2004, 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved

  • MSN Encarta Encyclopedia

North America (subregion)
Third largest of the seven continents, including Canada (the 2nd largest country in area in the world), the United States (3rd largest), and Mexico (14th largest). The continent also includes Greenland, the largest island, as well as the small French overseas department of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and the British dependency of Bermuda (both made up of small islands in the Atlantic Ocean). Together with Central America, the West Indies, and South America, North America makes up the Western Hemisphere of Earth.

Central America
Central America, region of the western hemisphere, made up of a long, tapering isthmus that forms a bridge between North and South America. Central America, which is defined by geographers as part of North America, has an area of about 521,500 sq km (about 201,300 sq mi) and includes the countries of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. The region has a population of approximately 36.4 million (2000 estimate).

"North America," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2006 http://encarta.msn.com © 1997-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

  • Crystal Reference Encyclopedia

North America (subregion)
Third largest continent, extending 9600 km/6000 mi from 70°30N to 15°N; Area c.24 million km²/9¼ million sq mi; separated from Asia by the Bering Strait; bounded by the Beaufort Sea (NW), Arctic Ocean (N), Baffin Bay and Davis Strait (NE), Atlantic Ocean (E), and Pacific Ocean (W); includes Canada, USA, and Mexico; numerous islands, including Baffin I, Newfoundland, and the West Indies; ranges include the Rocky Mts, Alaska Range (including Mt McKinley, highest point), and Appalachian Mts; major lake system, the Great Lakes; major rivers include the Mississippi, Missouri, Rio Grande, and St Lawrence.

Crystal Reference Encyclopedia, © Crystal Reference Systems Limited 2006

  • Columbia University Press

North America
Third largest continent (1990 est. pop. 365,000,000), c.9,400,000 sq mi (24,346,000 sq km), the northern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. North America includes all of the mainland and related offshore islands lying N of the Isthmus of Panama (which connects it with South America). The term “Anglo-America” is frequently used in reference to Canada and the United States combined, while the term “Middle America” is used to describe the region including Mexico, the republics of Central America, and the Caribbean.

Central America
Central America, narrow, southernmost region (c.202,200 sq mi/523,698 sq km) of North America, linked to South America at Colombia. It separates the Caribbean from the Pacific. Generally, it is considered to consist of the seven republics (1990 est. pop. 29,000,000) of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition Copyright © 2003, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

  • Houghton Mifflin Company

North America
Third-largest continent (after Asia and Africa), comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Central America.

Central America
Region in the southernmost portion of North America, linked to South America by the Isthmus of Panama; includes Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Edited by E.D. Hirsch, Jr., Joseph F. Kett, and James Trefil. Copyright © 2002 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.

  • Encyclopaedia Britannica

North America
The third largest of the continents, North America extends from Alaska, the Queen Elizabeth Islands, and Greenland to Panama's eastern border with Colombia in South America. Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Central American republics, the Bahama Islands and the Greater and Lesser Antilles are all parts of North America—more than 9,300,000 square miles (24,100,000 square kilometers)

Central America
Southern portion of North America (pop., 2005 est.: 39,806,000). It extends from the southern border of Mexico to the northwestern border of Colombia and from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea. It includes Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Some geographers also include five states of Mexico: Quintana Roo, Yucatán, Campeche, Tabasco, and Chiapas.

Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Copyright © 1994-2006 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. All rights reserved.

  • WordNet (Princeton University)

Central America
The isthmus joining North America and South America; extends from the southern border of Mexico to the northern border of Colombia

WordNet 2.1 Copyright © 2001 by Princeton University. All rights reserved. More from WordNet

3) This is a list of sources that indicate the USAGE of North America (I include this because the "anonymous" editor will use this "argument" to argue that North America means "US+Canada" only):

[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], and the many publications of OECD.


Finally and most importantly, this template is about topics related to Central America in particular, and as I stated before, one would not look for Mexico in a CA template but in North America. The inclusion of Mexico in this template, when most of the sources do not, is clearly a POV and undue weight issue. AlexCovarrubias ( Talk? ) 19:42, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

I think there are two separate questions here. One is whether the fact that Mexico as a whole is occasionally described as being in Central America deserves mention. This is obviously not standard, and I haven't done an analysis of how frequent it is, but I'm open to the idea that it is uncommon enough to not merit inclusion in the template.
However, everyone should keep in mind that Central America is referred to in contexts like geology or biogeography where political boundaries are irrelevant. In these situations, it is quite common to set the border at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, or even farther northwest. I can't see any justification for not mentioning this in the template. This has nothing to do with whether Mexico is North American or Central American (Central America is usually regarded as being part of North America, anyway). Why focus on the political definition of Central America to the exclusion of the physiographic definition? WolfmanSF (talk) 23:28, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with WolfmanSF. As well, in this respect, Central America is no different than similar arbitrary regions like Central Europe, Central Asia, or Central Africa. (talk) 16:39, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

A comment and a suggestion

It does appear that in some quarters, any attempt to link Mexico with Central America is being construed as some sort of attack on Mexico, an interpretation which I feel is unfortunate and unnecessary, because I am sure no such attack was intended. If possible, let's put politics aside and view this dispassionately. No one wants to deny that Mexico is part of North America. The primary intent here is simply to acknowledge the fact that the definition of Central America is a bit fuzzy, and can mean slightly different things in different contexts - political versus biogeographical, for example.

For the sake of brevity and simplicity, how about simply adding the following footnote to Mexico: "From a physiographic standpoint, Central America is sometimes viewed as extending to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec." Can anyone go along with that? WolfmanSF (talk) 02:36, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your efforts. I believe this note is far too specific, though, simply because Mexico's inclusion in this region (all or some) can occasionally extend beyond the physiographic or biogeographic senses -- see here (Fowler's Modern English Usage) and here (UN) (as pointed out above). There's no question that its inclusion has to be qualified, which is why I believe a brief brief note is warranted here, as such:
  • Sometimes included, in whole or in part.
or sub in 'occasionally', with details in the linked parent article. Compare with the 'Countries of Europe' template, which is for a similarly ambiguous concept. (talk) 03:29, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm honestly not sure how relevant the U. N. geoscheme example is; I think that was devised for bureaucratic purposes, only loosely following normative geographical concepts. Note that they refer to "Northern America" rather than "North America". How many geographers think Kamchatka is part of Eastern Europe? WolfmanSF (talk) 16:09, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure the UN example is more than relevant: Northern America is the northern region of North America (or the Americas), and the term dates back to the 18th century. They probably chose that term as a more neutral alternative to Anglo-America, and to group together 'like' countries for statistical/other purposes. Also see here. As for geopolitics, I'm sure many consider Russia in toto to be European, regardless of the easterly bulk in Asia. Anyhow, I only cite the UN example as an example of occasional use of 'Central America' including Mexico other than usual -- after all, they could've used 'Middle America' or similar instead. The Fowler's notation is unambiguous. (talk) 17:13, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Nevertheless, in the European template there is no description of Russia being sometimes viewed as entirely European, so in that case the template is contrary to the UN geoscheme. WolfmanSF (talk) 01:22, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps: the UN probably did what it did for simplicity with statistics and comparison, King Solomon notwithstanding. :) Besides, for example, I need only look in my Smithsonian Collins Discovery World Atlas to see another example where all of Mexico is squarely included in the map for 'Central America and the Caribbean' (the map shows all of North America south of the U.S.).
Anyhow, I think we're getting off topic. Russia and a clutch of other countries -- Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Georgia, and Turkey, e.g. -- are all qualified in that template as also being included in Asia, whatever the sense (and the Asia template is similar), which is the apt comparison here. (talk) 01:56, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Some "data"

In an effort to gather some reasonably objective data on the frequency with which Central America is described as containing none, part, or all of Mexico, I performed the following exercise: I googled "dictionary", and then looked up "Central America" on the first 5 results:

Dictionary.Com - gives 5 entries
Merriam-Webster.Com - 1 entry
OneLook.Com - 18 entries left after deleting 3 of the results
YourDictionary.Com - 1 entry
TheFreeDictionary.Com 1 entry

The 3 results returned by OneLook.Com that I deleted were Dictionary.Com (redundant), Mnemonic Dictionary (doesn't define Central America), and, which I chose to exclude.

So, of the 26 entries I'm analyzing, the categories break down like this:

7 entries give both the political and physiographic (extending to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec) definitions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

1 entry describes Mexico being entirely in Central America: 1

18 entries describe Mexico as outside of Central America.

In summary, 27% of the entries mention the part of Mexico east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec as being in Central America, 4% describe all of Mexico being in Central America, and 69% describe Central America in a way that excludes Mexico. No entry mentioned the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt as a border of Central America.

These results are in accord with my perception that in common U.S. usage, including all of Mexico in Central America is rare, while including part of it is reasonably common. I would like to suggest that the "data" supports my previous proposal, which I think offers the best resolution to the impasse if both sides can just give a little. Otherwise, you guys can continue with the unproductive edit war, or perhaps enlist an admin who probably doesn't care and would rather not be bothered to try to resolve the question.

What do you think? WolfmanSF (talk) 04:05, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

One more comment: on my monitor, the new smaller font size is quite difficult to read. WolfmanSF (talk) 04:25, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm unsure of the authority of Google results and counts: I don't dispute your 'data', but it obviously doesn't take into account things offline. Two such instances, though not dictionaries, are noted above (Fowler's and Collins).
Anyhow, while I'm not totally resistant to your proposal, and it would do if nothing else was viable, I believe it too lengthy for what should be a simple template. Links (to the parent article) contain the necessary information/elaboration, and there's no point assuaging an extreme minority with verbosity. I do believe that to exclude Mexico, however qualified, is not an option at this point. The reason why the text size has been reduced (though of course that can be tweaked) is to account for that length. I prefer succinct, and my suggestion above is mindful of that and impartial all the same. Anyhow, I think it can be worked on. (talk) 15:11, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
There has been another reversion, so with your lukewarm encouragement, I'm trying out a shortened version of my "compromise" proposal. WolfmanSF (talk) 01:24, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
The editor(s) who reverts without engagement seems unsupportive and/or ignorant of any inclusion of Mexico in the template. Given discussions, the parent article, and the body of source matter, this is unacceptable. So, I believe none of your attempts at conciliation will have sway with that party. As such, in absence of anything else, any said attempts to remove that mention hereafter will be fixed.
That being said, thanks for taking another crack at brevity in the template. I think it's an improvement; 'the region' does not need to be linked, though. However, the edit doesn't incorporate the occasional inclusion of the country in the region outside of the physiographic sense. How about this:
Or, sub in 'is sometimes' with 'may be'. If unworkable, the first clause will do solely, and is shorter than your edit while still getting the point across. Thoughts? (talk) 15:36, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
I have added the first clause above for now, but reserve the right to expand as above, feedback notwithstanding. :) Thanks. (talk) 13:40, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
The new version is slightly shorter, at the cost of not reading quite as well. If you're happy with it, fine. I would suggest sticking with it. Incorporating the "occasional inclusion of the country in the region outside of the physiographic sense" is not needed, from my perspective, given its rarity. Hopefully, others will be happy with the current version also. WolfmanSF (talk) 18:00, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

east of Isthmus of Tehuantepec

Physiographically, the definition specify that the Mexican states east of Isthmus of Tehuantepec are sometimes included the Central American. The edit clarify which states are at east of the isthmus. The definition includes the whole territory of the 7 Central American nations, they dont need to clarify their subdivision. Jcmenal (talk) 20:29, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

This makes little sense. First, this is already accounted for and qualified in the template: many other summary definitions do not list the Mexican states that are included in Central America (the very notion of which another commenting editor has refused to get a grip of), just the territory east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (which also includes portions of the states of Veracruz and Oaxaca). By comparison: in the 'Countries of Europe' template, for example, there's no mention of Trakya (the northwestern portion of Turkey) alone being included in the usual definition of Europe - only a general note as here. As well, it's similar to including specific subunits of Russia in either Europe or Asia, particularly those which straddle the two, where there is no clear, agreed-upon political division demarcating this, only usually a physiographic one (i.e., the Urals). So, it makes little sense to list the Mexican states here.
In addition, you fail to acknowledge the occasional inclusion of Mexico in Central America in whole, not to mention the occasional inclusion or exclusion of other states from the definition (e.g., Belize, Panama). Simply put, listing the states of Mexico and devoting almost as much space to them as the 7 usual Central American nations puts undue weight on the former. The kitchen sink does not need to be included in what should be a simple template.
Lastly, given your obstinacy, there's no reason to accede to your wishes when you reverted constantly despite discussions on this talk page (and edit comments stating this) which were designed to arrive at a template that is appropriate. So, until other editors weigh in and there's more support for your version, the prior version arrived at through discussion shall stand. (talk) 01:17, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with JC Menal, the template must clarify that Mexico is not included in whole in CA. Adding it together with the other countries will lead to confussion. AlexCovarrubias ( Talk? ) 08:08, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
How can it lead to confusion when there is a note in the template which clearly indicates otherwise? As well, the template currently doesn't mention that Mexico is occasionally included as a concession, though it very well could, so you appear to be grasping at straws. (talk) 13:24, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I have a hard time believing many readers would completely miss the superscript and fail to see the footnote. However, since it's a small template, having Mexico on another line doesn't do a great deal of harm. WolfmanSF (talk) 03:39, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

spacing change requested

{{editprotected}} There is a spacing problem in the footnote line; a space needs to be moved from between the superscript "2" and "Physiographically" forward to between the preceding period and the superscript "2" to give:

...of South America. 2Physiographically, Mexico...
WolfmanSF (talk) 03:58, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

 Done --Closedmouth (talk) 04:08, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

change in list order requested

{{editprotected}} To be consistent, the list of Mexican states should be presented in alphabetical order, as:

(Campeche • Chiapas • Quintana Roo • Tabasco • Yucatan)
WolfmanSF (talk) 03:02, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

 Done. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 06:12, 7 May 2009 (UTC)


I have protected the page fully for the next three days hoping that this will cause the edit-combatants to engage in discussion rather than edit-warring.·Maunus·ƛ· 17:45, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

This is no fair. Belize is not part of Central America I think I went to Belize and some people told me they were part of the Caribbean Dr.Kerr (talk) 17:53, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Belize is clearly part of Central America. That doesn't mean it isn't part of the Caribbean from a cultural perspective. This is taken directly from the Belize article: "In general, Belize considers itself to be a Central American nation associated with both the Caribbean and Latin America."
Now, about Mexico... I thought in our previous discussion we agreed that the Mexican states east of Isthmus of Tehuantepec are considered part of Central America from a physiographic standpoint. Why not have a template that covers both the political and physiographic definitions? The template is sometimes used for nonpolitical subjects, such as in zoology articles. WolfmanSF (talk) 20:27, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Additionally, Panama is included in the South American template; to be consistent, that fact should be noted in the Central American template. WolfmanSF (talk) 20:31, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Capital Cities?

How do you guys feel about adding the capital cities for CA nations? House1090 (talk) 05:33, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Other continental templates don't list capital cities; why should Central America be different? WolfmanSF (talk) 22:22, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Mexico in CA again...

First of all, the "previous" discussion was held with a sockpuppet user in the form of an anonymous IP, mutiple times blocked for 3RR, uncivility, use of pronanity and pushing POVs without caring for the other parties opinions and other disruptive stuff. Said that let's continue.

My main point here is that only physiographically and only in certain topics mostly related to fauna and flora, this small part of Mexico is sometimes categorized with the rest of Central America. Only SOME times.

This template is GENERAL and used for TRANSCLUSSION, which means that if you do a, for example

  • Politics of Central America
  • Spanish in Central America
  • Exports of Central America
  • HDI of Central America
  • Airports of Central America (already existing!)
  • Military of Central America (already existing!)

Etc... it will include those states that you included as "in Central America" which is inaccurate and false because all of Mexico is considered part of North America. There's no official or unofficial categorization of Mexico as part of both regions. All of the other sources says it so. Also those states are not considered, not officilly nor unofficially as Central Americans. See the problem it will create?

The inclussion of those states or the region east of the Tehuantepec Istmus is only SOMETIMES included, which means rarely. Also the other sockpuppet user has a long history in trying to give the false idea that Mexico is part of Central America, just because he doesn't like the idea of NA including Mexico.

I think that the best solution is to create specific templates when it is requiered such as in the fauna and flora of the region, because of the similarities of the territory. Such as in "Mammals of Central America". AlexCovarrubias ( Talk? ) 06:57, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

To help solve this issue, I've created an specific template about mammals in Central America from the physiographical point of view in Template:List of mammals in Central America which is consistent with the way the article describes the bioregion. AlexCovarrubias ( Talk? ) 07:42, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
I have created an alternative template, Template:Central America topic2, which includes the physiographic considerations. It should be easy to use whichever template is more appropriate in any given circumstance. I hope this solves the problem. WolfmanSF (talk) 08:17, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Well done guys. I can see why Alex didn't want Mexico in the a template so general as it could be missleading. Mexico is not considered by us Centralamericans as part of our region and Mexicans are well aware that them are part of Northamerica. In fact I've never heard that any person consider it as part of Central America. So making two tempaltes one for the physiographic description seems reasonable because it will be used in the articles where it could be usefull. So we just have to check that it would be used properly and not abused. Well done guys. Guate-man (talk) 23:46, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Adding Capitals?

How do you guys feel about adding the Central American Capitals to the template? House1090 (talk) 03:21, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

We've already gone over this. It doesn't seem necessary or very useful. I'm not in favor of it. WolfmanSF (talk) 05:16, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
I think it would be very useful but if no one is in favor then I'll just wait. House1090 (talk) 06:10, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
Are there any examples at all of regional templates that list capital cities? For those who are interested, you can get from a country listing on a regional template to the capital city in 2 clicks (it's near the top of the infobox for each country). WolfmanSF (talk) 07:06, 16 January 2011 (UTC)