Latin America is a group of countries and dependencies in the Western Hemisphere where Romance languages such as Spanish, French or Portuguese are predominantly spoken. Some territories such as Quebec, where French is spoken, or areas of the United States where Spanish is predominantly spoken are not included due to the nation being a part of Anglo America. The term is broader than categories such as Hispanic America which specifically refers to Spanish-speaking countries or Ibero-America which specifically refers to both Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries. The term is also more recent in origin.
The term "Latin America" was first used in an 1856 conference with the title "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 popularised by French emperor Napoleon III's government in the 1860s as Amérique latine to justify France's military involvement in Mexico and try to include French-speaking territories in the Americas such as French Canada, French Louisiana, or French Guiana, in the larger group of countries where Spanish and Portuguese languages prevailed..
Including French-speaking territories, Latin America would consist of 20 countries and 14 dependent territories that cover 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, 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 10,284,588 million USD. Read more...
Recognized content -
Entries here consist of Good and Featured articles, which meet a core set of high editorial standards.
Stela 51 from Calakmul, dating to 731, is the best preserved monument from the city. It depicts the king Yuknoom Tookʼ Kʼawiil
Maya stelae (singular stela) are monuments that were fashioned by the Maya civilization of ancient Mesoamerica. They consist of tall, sculpted stone shafts and are often associated with low circular stones referred to as altars, although their actual function is uncertain. Many stelae were sculpted in low relief, although plain monuments are found throughout the Maya region. The sculpting of these monuments spread throughout the Maya area during the Classic Period (250–900 AD), and these pairings of sculpted stelae and circular altars are considered a hallmark of Classic Maya civilization. The earliest dated stela to have been found in situ in the Maya lowlands was recovered from the great city of Tikal in Guatemala. During the Classic Period almost every Maya kingdom in the southern lowlands raised stelae in its ceremonial centre.
Stelae became closely associated with the concept of divine kingship
and declined at the same time as this institution. The production of stelae by the Maya
had its origin around 400 BC and continued through to the end of the Classic Period, around 900, although some monuments were reused in the Postclassic
(c. 900–1521). The major city of Calakmul
raised the greatest number of stelae known from any Maya city
, at least 166, although they are very poorly preserved. Read more...
Did you know -
Selected article -
Official portrait of Augusto Pinochet, c. 1974
Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte (, also , , Spanish: [awˈɣusto pinoˈ(t)ʃe(t)]; 25 November 1915 – 10 December 2006) was a Chilean general, politician and dictator who ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990, first as the president of the Military Junta of Chile from 1973 to 1981, before being automatically self-declared President of the Republic by the junta in 1974 becoming de facto dictator of Chile.
Augusto Pinochet rose through the ranks of the Chilean Army to become General Chief of Staff in early 1972 before being appointed its Commander-in-Chief on 23 August 1973 by President Salvador Allende. On 11 September 1973,
Pinochet seized power in Chile in a U.S.
-backed coup d'état
that toppled Allende's democratically elected Unidad Popular
government and ended civilian rule
. In December 1974, the ruling military junta
appointed Pinochet Supreme Head of the nation by joint decree, although without the support of one of the coup's instigators, Air Force General Gustavo Leigh
. After his rise to power, Pinochet persecuted leftists, socialists, and political critics, resulting in the executions of from 1,200 to 3,200 people, the internment of as many as 80,000 people
, and the torture of tens of thousands
. According to the Chilean government, the number of executions and forced disappearances
was 3,095. Operation Condor
was founded at the behest of the Pinochet regime in late November 1975, his 60th birthday. Read more...
The following are images from various Latin America-related articles on Wikipedia.
A 17th-century map of the Americas
Holy week, Ouro Preto-MG, 2010. Chrome. Photo: Guy Veloso.
Cuban soldiers with Soviet helmets
In blue countries under right-wing governments and in red countries under left-wing and centre-left governments as of 2020
Countries in Latin America by date of independence
Intermediate level international-style Latin dancing at the 2006 MIT ballroom dance competition. A judge stands in the foreground.
Select [►] to view subcategories