Latin America is a group of countries and dependencies in the Western Hemisphere where Romance languages such as Spanish, French and Portuguese are spoken; it is broader than the terms Ibero-America or Hispanic America. 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 Portuguese languages prevailed, including the Spanish-speaking portions of the United States (Southwestern United States and Florida) 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 twenty 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 and in 2014, Latin America had a combined nominal GDP of 5,573,397 million USD and a GDP PPP of 7,531,585 million USD.
The flag of Mexico
: Bandera de México
) is a vertical tricolor
, and red
with the national coat of arms charged
in the center of the white stripe. While the meaning of the colors has changed over time, these three colors were adopted by Mexico
during the country's War of Independence
, and subsequent First Mexican Empire
. The current flag
was adopted in 1968, but the overall design has been used since 1821, when the First National Flag was created. The current law of national symbols, Law on the National Arms, Flag, and Anthem
, that governs the use of the national flag
has been in place since 1984. Red, white, and green are the colors of the national liberation army in Mexico. The central emblem is the Aztec pictogram for Tenochtitlan
(now Mexico City
), the center of their empire. It recalls the legend that inspired the Aztecs to settle on what was originally a lake-island. The form of the coat of arms was most recently revised in 1968. A ribbon in the national colors is at the bottom of the coat of arms. Throughout history, the flag has changed four times, as the design of the coat of arms and the length-width ratios of the flag have been modified. However, the coat of arms
has had the same features throughout: an eagle
, holding a serpent
in its talon
, is perched on top of a prickly pear cactus
; the cactus is situated on a rock
that rises above a lake
. The coat of arms is derived from an Aztec
legend that their gods told them to build a city where they spot an eagle on a nopal
eating a serpent, which is now Mexico City
. The current national flag, the Fourth National Flag, is also used as the Mexican naval ensign
by ships registered in Mexico.
Did you know...
Subportals for geopolitical entities
Latin American News
- February 19, Ecuador: Lenín Moreno defeats Guillermo Lasso (both pictured) in the Ecuadorian general election, but both will go to a runoff election.The Guardian
- October 2, Colombia: A referendum rejected the peace deals with the FARC (pictured), by 50.2% to 49.8%.BBC
- August 25, Colombia: The Colombian conflict comes to an end with a peace deal between the government of Colombia and the FARC.The Guardian
- August 5, Brazil: The 2016 Summer Olympics open in Rio de Janeiro.
- June 7, Peru: Pedro Pablo Kuczynski narrowly defeats Keiko Fujimori in the presidential elections.The Guardian
- May 31, Organization of American States: Luis Almagro, head of the Organization of American States, request an evaluation of democracy in venezuela, which may cause their suspension from the body.The Guardian
- May 31, Brazil: Fabiano Silveira, minister of acting president Michel Temer, resigns after scandal of leaked tapes.The Guardian
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.