Portal:Latin America

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Latin America is a collective region of the Americas where Romance languages—languages derived from Latin—are predominantly spoken. The term was coined in France in the mid-19th 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, Mexico, and the islands of the Caribbean". In a narrow sense, it refers to Spanish America and Brazil (Portuguese America). The term "Latin America" is broader than Hispanic America, which specifically refers to Spanish-speaking countries, and categories such as Ibero-America, a term that refers to both Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries from the Americas, and sometimes from Europe.

The term Latin America was first used in Paris at a conference in 1856 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 of political strongman that 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, Haiti, French Louisiana, French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe and the French Antillean Creole Caribbean islands Saint Lucia, and Dominica, in the larger group of countries where Spanish and Portuguese languages prevailed.

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. In 2019, Latin America had a combined nominal GDP of US$5,188,250 trillion and a GDP PPP of US$10,284,588 trillion. (Full article...)

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El Hatillo Municipality (Spanish: Municipio El Hatillo) is an administrative division of the State of Miranda, Venezuela; along with Baruta, Chacao, Libertador and Sucre, it is one of the five municipalities of Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. It is located in the southeastern area of Caracas, and in the northwestern part of the State of Miranda.

The seat of the municipal government is El Hatillo Town, founded in 1784 by Don Baltasar de León, who was instrumental in the area's development. Although the town had its origins during the Spanish colonisation, the municipality was not established until 1991. In 2000 – the year after a new constitution was enacted in Venezuela – some of the municipality functions were delegated to a consolidated mayor's office called Alcaldía Mayor, which also has some authority over the other four municipalities of Caracas. (Full article...)
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Gloria Trevi, a young woman with short hair, singing into a wireless microphone onstage
Gloria Trevi (pictured) and Alejandra Guzmán were the first women in the Top Latin Albums chart's 24-year history to have a number-one collaborative album in 2017.

Women have made significant contributions to Latin music, a genre which predates Italian explorer Christopher Columbus' arrival in Latin America in 1492 and the Spanish colonization of the Americas. The earliest musicians were Native Americans, hundreds of ethnic groups across the continent, whose lyrics "reflect conflict, beauty, pain, and loss that mark all human experience." Indigenous communities reserved music for women, who were given equal opportunities with men to teach, perform, sing, and dance. Ethnomusicologists have measured ceramic, animal-bone, and cane flutes from the Inca Empire which indicate a preference for women with a high vocal range. Women had equal social status, were trained, and received the same opportunities in music as men in indigenous communities until the arrival of Columbus in the late 15th century. European settlers brought patriarchal, machismo ideologies to the continent, replacing the idea of equality between men and women. They equated native music with "savagery" and European music with "civilization". Female musicians tended to be darker-skinned as a result of the slave trade (which increased the population of African slaves), and contemporary society denigrated music as a profession. Latin music became Africanized, with syncopated rhythms and call-and-response; European settlement introduced harmony and the Spanish décima song form.

Since the pre-recording era of music, Latin music was male-dominated, and there are relatively few examples of female songwriters, music producers, record executives, and promoters. Women lacked access to musical training; music programs were nonexistent, and cultural norms discouraged female participation. Latin music had a primarily male presence; men discriminated against women, limiting them to singing or dancing and discouraging them from becoming instrumentalists, writers, composers, arrangers, and executives. Women artists in the sub-genres of Latin music, such as Selena, Jenni Rivera, Jennifer Lopez, Ivy Queen, Julieta Venegas, and Ely Guerra have been credited with enhancing the genres' female presence; they have broken through barriers, reshaping Latin music and public perceptions of female sexuality, gender, and femininity. Chilean folklorist Violeta Parra recorded songs about failed heterosexual relationships, emphasizing men's incapability to commit to a woman. Women in salsa music are significantly underrepresented in the industry as very few women, with the exception of Celia Cruz, have been associated with the emergence of the genre; for example, in the British documentary Salsa: Latin Pop Music in the Cites (1985), Cruz is one of the only female singers who is mentioned. (Full article...)
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Juscelino Kubitschek bridge in Brasilia
Juscelino Kubitschek bridge in Brasilia
Credit: Eric Gaba

The Juscelino Kubitschek bridge (Portuguese: Ponte Juscelino Kubitschek), also known as the President JK Bridge or just the JK Bridge, is a steel and concrete bridge that crosses Lake Paranoá in Brasília, capital of Brazil.

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Huayna Picchu towers above the ruins of Machu Picchu
Huayna Picchu towers above the ruins of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel situated on a mountain ridge 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru, above the Sacred Valley, which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cuzco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the "Lost City of the Incas" (a title more accurately applied to Vilcabamba), it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was not known to the Spanish during the colonial period and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.

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