What is Latin America
Latin America is a group of countries and dependencies in the Western Hemisphere where Spanish, French and Portuguese are spoken The term originated in the Napoleon III French government in the mid-19th century as Amérique latine to consider French-speaking territories in the Americas, (French Canadians, French Louisiana, French Guiana, Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy) along with the larger group of countries where Spanish and Portugueselanguages prevailed, including the Spanish-speaking portions of the United States (Hispanic and Latino Americans, Asian Hispanic and Latino Americans) Today, areas of Canada and the United States (with the exception of Puerto Rico and Miami) where Spanish, Portuguese and French are predominant are typically not included in definitions of Latin America.
Latin America consists of nineteen sovereign states and several territories and dependencies which cover an area that stretches from the northern border of Mexico to the southern tip of South America, including 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 2016, its population was estimated at more than 639 million.Latin America can be subdivided into several subregions based on geography, politics, demographics and culture. If defined as all of the Americas south of the United States, the basic geographical subregions are North America, Central America, the Caribbean and South America; the latter contains further politico-geographical subdivisions such as the Southern Cone, the Guianas and the Andean states. It may be subdivided on linguistic grounds into Hispanic America, Portuguese America and French America.
- Latin America generally refers to territories in the Americas where the Spanish or Portuguese languages prevail: Mexico, most of Central and South America, and in the Caribbean, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Latin America is, therefore, defined as all those parts of the Americas that were once part of the Spanish and Portuguese Empires. By this definition, Latin America is coterminous with Ibero-America (“Iberian America”).
- The term is sometimes used more broadly to refer to all of the Americas south of the United States, thus including the Guianas, the Anglophone Caribbean (and Belize); the Francophone Caribbean; and the Dutch Caribbean. This definition emphasizes a similar socioeconomic history of the region, which was characterized by formal or informal colonialism, rather than cultural aspects (see, for example, dependency theory).As such, some sources avoid this oversimplification by using the phrase “Latin America and the Caribbean” instead, as in the United Nations geoscheme for the Americas.
- In a more literal definition, which is close to the semantic origin, Latin America designates countries in the Americas where a Romance language (a language derived from Latin) predominates: Spanish, Portuguese, French, and the creole languages based upon these.In this definition, Quebec would be classified as part of Latin America.
- Latin american countries