Portal:Latin America

Latin America regions.svg
Latin America was a name coined by "Emperor of Mexico" Maximilian I in an effort to gain legitimacy, since his patron, Napoleon III, spoke French, a Latinate tongue like Spanish and Portuguese. Maximilian did not last, but the coinage of "Latin America" is one of the most successful of all time. Latin America is traditionally defined as the regions of the Americas where Spanish, the language of Spain, and Portuguese, the language of Portugal, were spoken -- in other words, every part of the Western Hemisphere, with the exception of Suriname and a few small islands that speak Dutch, that was not Anglo America. (English is a Germanic language.) Therefore, virtually all of the Western Hemisphere except the United States, Canada, and the non-Hispanophone countries of the Caribbean and South America have tended to come under the heading of Latin America. Other areas where languages derived from Latin, such as Papiamento and Creole, predominate are sometimes included and sometimes excluded from Latin America, depending on the speaker.

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Lundomys molitor type.png

Lundomys molitor, also known as Lund's amphibious rat or the greater marsh rat, is a semiaquatic rat species from southeastern South America.

Its distribution is now restricted to Uruguay and nearby Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, but it previously ranged northward into Minas Gerais, Brazil, and southward into eastern Argentina. The Argentine form may have been distinct from the living form from Brazil and Uruguay. L. molitor is a large rodent, with the head and body length averaging 193 mm (7.6 in), characterized by a long tail, large hindfeet, and long and dense fur. It builds nests above the water, supported by reeds, and it is not currently threatened. Read more...
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The Three Races or Equality before the Law, ca. 1859, Francisco Laso

There is no single system of races or ethnicities that covers all modern Latin America, and usage of labels may vary substantially. In Mexico, for example, the category mestizo is not defined or applied the same as the corresponding category of mestiço in Brazil. In spite of these differences, the construction of race in Latin America can be contrasted with concepts of race and ethnicity in the United States. The ethno-racial composition of modern-day Latin American nations combines diverse Amerindian populations, with influence from Iberian and other European colonizers, and equally diverse African groups brought to the Americas as slave labor, and also recent immigrant groups from all over the world.

Racial categories in Latin America are often linked to both continental ancestry or mixture as inferred from phenotypical traits, but also to socio-economic status. Ethnicity is often constructed either as an amalgam national identity or as something reserved for the indigenous groups so that ethnic identity is something that members of indigenous groups have in addition to their national identity. Racial and ethnic discrimination is common in Latin America where socio-economic status generally correlates with perceived whiteness, and indigenous status and perceived African ancestry is generally correlated with poverty and lack of opportunity and social status. Read more...
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The following are images from various Latin America-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Iguazú Falls
Credit: Martin St-Amant

Panorama of the Iguazú Falls, in the Brazilian side. Walkways allow close views of the falls from both Brazil and Argentina. The falls, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, are located on the border of the Brazilian State of Paraná and the Argentine Province of Misiones.

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Hands at the Cuevas de las Manos upon Río Pinturas, near the town of Perito Moreno in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina
Credit: Mariano

Cueva de las Manos (Spanish for Cave of Hands) is a cave or a series of caves located in the province of Santa Cruz, Argentina, 163 km (101 mi) south of the town of Perito Moreno. It is famous for (and gets its name from) the paintings of hands. The art in the cave dates from 13,000 to 9,000 years ago.Several waves of people occupied the cave, and early artwork has been carbon-dated to ca. 9300 BP (about 7300 BC). The age of the paintings was calculated from the remains of bone-made pipes used for spraying the paint on the wall of the cave to create silhouettes of hands.

The site was last inhabited around 700 AD, possibly by ancestors of the Tehuelche people. It was entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1991.

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