Portal:Latin America

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Latin America is the portion of the Americas comprising regions where Romance languages—languages that derived from Latin, e.g. Spanish, Portuguese, and French–are predominantly spoken. The term was coined in the nineteenth century, to refer to regions in the Americas that were ruled by the Spanish, Portuguese and French empires. The term does not have a precise definition, but it is "commonly used to describe South America, Central America, and Mexico, and the islands of the Caribbean." A short definition of the region is Spanish America and Brazil, that is Portuguese America. The term "Latin America" is broader than categories such as Hispanic America, which specifically refers to Spanish-speaking countries; and Ibero-America, which specifically refers to both Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries.

The term Latin America was first used in an 1856 conference called "Initiative of America: Idea for a Federal Congress of the Republics" (Iniciativa de la América. Idea de un Congreso Federal de las Repúblicas), by the Chilean politician Francisco Bilbao. The term was further popularized by French emperor Napoleon III's government in the 1860s as Amérique latine to justify France's military involvement in the Second Mexican Empire and to include French-speaking territories in the Americas such as French Canada, French Louisiana, French Guiana or Haiti, in the larger group of countries where Spanish and Portuguese languages prevailed.

The United Nations has played a role in defining the region, establishing a geoscheme for the Americas, which divides the region geographically into North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, founded in 1948 and initially called the Economic Commission on Latin America ECLA, comprised Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Also included the 1948 establishment were Canada, France, the Netherlands, United Kingdom of Great Britain, and the U.S.A. Obtaining membership later were former colonial powers Spain (1979) and Portugal (1984). In addition, countries not former colonial powers in the region, but many of which had populations immigrate, there are part of ECLAC, including Italy (1990), Germany (2005), Japan (2006), South Korea (2007), Norway (2015), Turkey (2017). The Latin American Studies Association was founded in 1966, with its membership open to anyone interested in Latin American studies.

The region covers an area that stretches from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego and includes much of the Caribbean. It has an area of approximately 19,197,000 km2 (7,412,000 sq mi), almost 13% of the Earth's land surface area. As of March 2, 2020, the population of Latin America and the Caribbean was estimated at more than 652 million, and in 2019, Latin America had a combined nominal GDP of US$5,188,250 million and a GDP PPP of US$10,284,588 million. (Full article...)

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At Pantanal, Brazil
The capybara or greater capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) is a giant cavy rodent native to South America. It is the largest living rodent and a member of the genus Hydrochoerus. The only other extant member is the lesser capybara (Hydrochoerus isthmius). Its close relatives include guinea pigs and rock cavies, and it is more distantly related to the agouti, the chinchilla, and the nutria. The capybara inhabits savannas and dense forests and lives near bodies of water. It is a highly social species and can be found in groups as large as 100 individuals, but usually lives in groups of 10–20 individuals. The capybara is hunted for its meat and hide and also for grease from its thick fatty skin. It is not considered a threatened species. (Full article...)
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Brasília (/brəˈzɪliə/; Portuguese: [bɾaˈziljɐ]) is the federal capital of Brazil and seat of government of the Federal District. The city is located at the top of the Brazilian highlands in the country's Central-West region. It was founded by President Juscelino Kubitschek on 21 April 1960, to serve as the new national capital. Brasília is estimated to be Brazil's third-most populous city. Among major Latin American cities, it has the highest GDP per capita.

Brasília was a planned city developed by Lúcio Costa, Oscar Niemeyer and Joaquim Cardozo in 1956 in a scheme to move the capital from Rio de Janeiro to a more central location. The landscape architect was Roberto Burle Marx. The city's design divides it into numbered blocks as well as sectors for specified activities, such as the Hotel Sector, the Banking Sector, and the Embassy Sector. Brasília was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 due to its modernist architecture and uniquely artistic urban planning. It was named "City of Design" by UNESCO in October 2017 and has been part of the Creative Cities Network since then. (Full article...)
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  • ... that Chinese economist Zhang Peigang's dissertation was translated into Spanish and used as a university textbook in Latin America in the 1950s, but was not published in Chinese until 1984?
  • ... that a course in Spanish North American history that Nettie Lee Benson took at the University of Texas inspired her lifelong interest in teaching and building libraries for Latin American studies?
  • ... that despite an attempted "extermination" of homosexuals in the 1960s and 1970s, the LGBT community in Argentina is now the most accepted in Latin America?
  • ... that Franz Grave, the first bishop of Essen born in Essen, focused on intercultural dialogue with Latin America?
  • ... that the Latin American travesti gender identity has been considered to be a third gender, akin to the hijras of India and the muxe of Mexico?
  • ... that Brazilian computer science researcher and internet pioneer Tadao Takahashi negotiated with drug lords to install internet equipment in his country?

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The following are images from various Latin America-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Chichén Itzá
Credit: Christian.maier

Panorama of Chichen Itza, a large pre-Columbian archaeological site built by the Maya civilization located in the northern center of the Yucatán Peninsula, Yucatán state, present-day Mexico; and an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Kukulkán Pyramid can be seen in the right.

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The mola or molas, forms part of the traditional outfit of a Kuna woman, two mola panels being incorporated as front and back panels in a blouse. The full costume traditionally includes a patterned wrapped skirt (saburet), a red and yellow headscarf (musue), arm and leg beads (wini), a gold nose ring (olasu) and earrings in addition to the mola blouse (dulemor). In Dulegaya, the Kuna's native language, "mola" means "shirt" or "clothing". The mola originated with the tradition of Kuna women painting their bodies with geometrical designs, using available natural colors; in later years these same designs were woven in cotton, and later still, sewn using cloth bought from the European settlers of Panamá.


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