Central America

Last updated

Central America
Central America (orthographic projection).svg
Area523,780 km2 (202,230 sq mi)
Population47,448,333 (2016 estimate)
Population density91/km2 (240/sq mi)
GDP (nominal)$203.73 billion (exchange rate) (2013)
$370.52 billion (purchasing power parity) (2013).
GDP per capita$4,783 (exchange rate) (2013)
$8,698 (purchasing power parity) (2013).
Demonym Central American
Countries
Languages Spanish, English, Mayan languages, Garifuna, Kriol, and other languages of Mesoamerica
Time zones UTC -6:00 to UTC -5:00
Largest cities
UN M.49 code 013 – Central America
419Latin America
019Americas
001World

Central America (Spanish : América Central, pronounced  [aˌmeɾika senˈtɾal] , Centroamérica [sentɾoaˈmeɾika] ) is located on the southern tip of North America, or is sometimes defined as a subcontinent of the Americas, [1] bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The combined population of Central America has been estimated to be 41,739,000 (2009 estimate) [2] and 42,688,190 (2012 estimate). [3]

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Mexico country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

Colombia Country in South America

Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, is a sovereign state largely situated in the northwest of South America, with territories in Central America. Colombia shares a border to the northwest with Panama, to the east with Venezuela and Brazil and to the south with Ecuador and Peru. It shares its maritime limits with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Colombia is a unitary, constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments, with the capital in Bogota.

Contents

Central America is a part of the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot, which extends from northern Guatemala through to central Panama. Due to the presence of several active geologic faults and the Central America Volcanic Arc, there is a great deal of seismic activity in the region. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur frequently; these natural disasters have resulted in the loss of many lives and much property.

Mesoamerica Cultural area in the Americas

Mesoamerica is a historical region and cultural area in North America. It extends from approximately central Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica, and within this region pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas. In the 16th century, European diseases like smallpox and measles caused the deaths of upwards of 90% of the indigenous people. It is one of five areas in the world where ancient civilization arose independently, and the second in the Americas along with Norte Chico (Caral-Supe) in present-day Peru, in the northern coastal region.

A biodiversity hotspot is a biogeographic region with significant levels of biodiversity that is threatened with humans.

An active fault is a fault that is likely to become the source of another earthquake sometime in the future. Geologists commonly consider faults to be active if there has been movement observed or evidence of seismic activity during the last 10,000 years.

In the Pre-Columbian era, Central America was inhabited by the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica to the north and west and the Isthmo-Colombian peoples to the south and east. Soon after the Spanish expedition of Christopher Columbus's voyages to the Americas, the Spanish began to colonize the Americas. From 1609 until 1821, most of the territory within Central America—except for the lands that would become Belize and Panama—was governed by the Viceroyalty of New Spain from Mexico City as the Captaincy General of Guatemala. After New Spain achieved independence from Spain in 1821, some of its provinces were annexed to the First Mexican Empire, but soon seceded from Mexico to form the Federal Republic of Central America, which lasted from 1823 to 1838. The seven states finally became independent autonomous states: beginning with Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Guatemala (1838); followed by El Salvador (1841); then Panama (1903); and finally Belize (1981). Even today, people in Central America sometimes refer to their nations as if they were provinces of a Central American state. For example, it is not unusual to write "C.A." after the country names in formal and informal contexts and the automobile licence plates of many of the countries in the region show the legend "Centroamerica" in addition to the country name.

The Pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continent, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during the Early Modern period.

Indigenous peoples of the Americas Pre-Columbian inhabitants of North, Central, and South America and their descendants

The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the Pre-Columbian peoples of North, Central and South America and their descendants.

Isthmo-Colombian Area

The Isthmo-Colombian Area is defined as a cultural area encompassing those territories occupied predominantly by speakers of the Chibchan languages at the time of European contact. It includes portions of the Central American isthmus like eastern El Salvador, eastern Honduras, Caribbean Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and northern Colombia.

Different definitions

"Central America" may mean different things to various people, based upon different contexts:

United Nations geoscheme for the Americas

The following is an alphabetical list of subregions in the United Nations geoscheme for the Americas.

Middle America (Americas) region in the mid-latitudes of the Americas, consisting of Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Colombia, Venezuela, and the Guyanas

Middle America is a region in the mid-latitudes of the Americas. In southern North America, it usually comprises Mexico, the nations of Central America, and the Caribbean. In northern South America, it usually comprises Colombia and Venezuela. The Caribbean is occasionally excluded from the region, and the Guianas are infrequently included.

Venezuela Republic in northern South America

Venezuela, officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and a large number of small islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea. The capital and largest urban agglomeration is the city of Caracas. It has a territorial extension of 916,445 km2. The continental territory is bordered on the north by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Colombia, Brazil on the south, Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east and on the east by Guyana. With this last country, the Venezuelan government maintains a claim for Guayana Esequiba over an area of 159,542 km2. For its maritime areas, it exercises sovereignty over 71,295 km2 of territorial waters, 22,224 km2 in its contiguous zone, 471,507 km2 of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean under the concept of exclusive economic zone, and 99,889 km2 of continental shelf. This marine area borders those of 13 states. The country has extremely high biodiversity and is ranked seventh in the world's list of nations with the most number of species. There are habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon basin rain-forest in the south via extensive llanos plains, the Caribbean coast and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.

History

Central America, 1798 1798 Cassini Map of Florida, Louisiana, Cuba, and Central America - Geographicus - MessicoFlorida-cassini-1798.jpg
Central America, 1798
Tikal, Guatemala. Tikal Temple1 2006 08 11.JPG
Tikal, Guatemala.
Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci meets the Native Americans in Honduras, 1497. Vespucci arrives in New World.jpg
Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci meets the Native Americans in Honduras, 1497.

In the Pre-Columbian era, the northern areas of Central America were inhabited by the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica. Most notable among these were the Mayans, who had built numerous cities throughout the region, and the Aztecs, who had created a vast empire. The pre-Columbian cultures of eastern El Salvador, eastern Honduras, Caribbean Nicaragua, most of Costa Rica and Panama were predominantly speakers of the Chibchan languages at the time of European contact and are considered by some [6] culturally different and grouped in the Isthmo-Colombian Area.

Maya peoples People of southern Mexico and northern Central America

The Maya peoples are a large group of Indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica. They inhabit southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras. The overarching term "Maya" is a collective designation to include the peoples of the region that share some degree of cultural and linguistic heritage; however, the term embraces many distinct populations, societies, and ethnic groups that each have their own particular traditions, cultures, and historical identity.

El Salvador country in Central America

El Salvador, officially the Republic of El Salvador, is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. It is bordered on the northeast by Honduras, on the northwest by Guatemala, and on the south by the Pacific Ocean. El Salvador's capital and largest city is San Salvador. As of 2016, the country had a population of approximately 6.34 million.

Honduras republic in Central America

Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras, is a country in Central America. In the past, it was sometimes referred to as "Spanish Honduras" to differentiate it from British Honduras, which later became modern-day Belize. The republic of Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca, and to the north by the Gulf of Honduras, a large inlet of the Caribbean Sea.

Following the Spanish expedition of Christopher Columbus's voyages to the Americas, the Spanish sent many expeditions to the region, and they began their conquest of Maya territory in 1523. Soon after the conquest of the Aztec Empire, Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado commenced the conquest of northern Central America for the Spanish Empire. Beginning with his arrival in Soconusco in 1523, Alvarado's forces systematically conquered and subjugated most of the major Maya kingdoms, including the K'iche', Tz'utujil, Pipil, and the Kaqchikel. By 1528, the conquest of Guatemala was nearly complete, with only the Petén Basin remaining outside the Spanish sphere of influence. The last independent Maya kingdoms – the Kowoj and the Itza people – were finally defeated in 1697, as part of the Spanish conquest of Petén.[ citation needed ]

Christopher Columbus Italian explorer, navigator, and colonizer

Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer, navigator, and colonist who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain. He led the first European expeditions to the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, initiating the permanent European colonization of the Americas. Columbus discovered the viable sailing route to the Americas, a continent which was not then known to the Old World. While what he thought he had discovered was a route to the Far East, he is credited with the opening of the Americas for conquest and settlement by Europeans.

Maya civilization Mesoamerican civilization

The Maya civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization developed by the Maya peoples, and noted for its logosyllabic script—the most sophisticated and highly developed writing system in pre-Columbian Americas—as well as for its art, architecture, mathematics, calendar, and astronomical system. The Maya civilization developed in an area that encompasses southeastern Mexico, all of Guatemala and Belize, and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador. This region consists of the northern lowlands encompassing the Yucatán Peninsula, and the highlands of the Sierra Madre, running from the Mexican state of Chiapas, across southern Guatemala and onwards into El Salvador, and the southern lowlands of the Pacific littoral plain.

Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire conflict

The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, or the Spanish–Mexica War (1519–21), was the conquest of the Aztec Empire by the Spanish Empire within the context of the Spanish colonization of the Americas. There are multiple 16th-century narratives of the events by Spanish conquerors, their indigenous allies and the defeated Aztecs. It was not solely a contest between a small contingent of Spaniards defeating the Aztec Empire but rather the creation of a coalition of Spanish invaders with tributaries to the Aztecs, and most especially the Aztecs' indigenous enemies and rivals. They combined forces to defeat the Mexica of Tenochtitlan over a two-year period. For the Spanish, the expedition to Mexico was part of a project of Spanish colonization of the New World after twenty-five years of permanent Spanish settlement and further exploration in the Caribbean.

In 1538, Spain established the Real Audiencia of Panama, which had jurisdiction over all land from the Strait of Magellan to the Gulf of Fonseca. This entity was dissolved in 1543, and most of the territory within Central America then fell under the jurisdiction of the Audiencia Real de Guatemala . This area included the current territories of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Mexican state of Chiapas, but excluded the lands that would become Belize and Panama. The president of the Audiencia, which had its seat in Antigua Guatemala, was the governor of the entire area. In 1609 the area became a captaincy general and the governor was also granted the title of captain general. The Captaincy General of Guatemala encompassed most of Central America, with the exception of present-day Belize and Panama.

The Captaincy General of Guatemala lasted for more than two centuries, but began to fray after a rebellion in 1811 which began in the intendancy of San Salvador. The Captaincy General formally ended on 15 September 1821, with the signing of the Act of Independence of Central America. Mexican independence was achieved at virtually the same time with the signing of the Treaty of Córdoba and the Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire, and the entire region was finally independent from Spanish authority by 28 September 1821.

From its independence from Spain in 1821 until 1823, the former Captaincy General remained intact as part of the short-lived First Mexican Empire. When the Emperor of Mexico abdicated on 19 March 1823, Central America again became independent. On 1 July 1823, the Congress of Central America peacefully seceded from Mexico and declared absolute independence from all foreign nations, and the region formed the Federal Republic of Central America.[ citation needed ]

The Federal Republic of Central America was a representative democracy with its capital at Guatemala City. This union consisted of the provinces of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Los Altos, Mosquito Coast, and Nicaragua. The lowlands of southwest Chiapas, including Soconusco, initially belonged to the Republic until 1824, when Mexico annexed most of Chiapas and began its claims to Soconusco. The Republic lasted from 1823 to 1838, when it disintegrated as a result of civil wars.[ citation needed ]

The territory that now makes up Belize was heavily contested in a dispute that continued for decades after Guatemala achieved independence (see History of Belize (1506–1862). Spain, and later Guatemala, considered this land a Guatemalan department. In 1862, Britain formally declared it a British colony and named it British Honduras. It became independent as Belize in 1981.[ citation needed ]

Panama, situated in the southernmost part of Central America on the Isthmus of Panama, has for most of its history been culturally linked to South America. Panama was part of the Province of Tierra Firme from 1510 until 1538 when it came under the jurisdiction of the newly formed Audiencia Real de Panama. Beginning in 1543, Panama was administered as part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, along with all other Spanish possessions in South America. Panama remained as part of the Viceroyalty of Peru until 1739, when it was transferred to the Viceroyalty of New Granada, the capital of which was located at Santa Fé de Bogotá. Panama remained as part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada until the disestablishment of that viceroyalty in 1819. A series of military and political struggles took place from that time until 1822, the result of which produced the republic of Gran Colombia. After the dissolution of Gran Colombia in 1830, Panama became part of a successor state, the Republic of New Granada. From 1855 until 1886, Panama existed as Panama State, first within the Republic of New Granada, then within the Granadine Confederation, and finally within the United States of Colombia. The United States of Colombia was replaced by the Republic of Colombia in 1886. As part of the Republic of Colombia, Panama State was abolished and it became the Isthmus Department. Despite the many political reorganizations, Colombia was still deeply plagued by conflict, which eventually led to the secession of Panama on 3 November 1903. Only after that time did some begin to regard Panama as a North or Central American entity.[ citation needed ]

By the 1930s the United Fruit Company owned 3.5 million acres of land in Central America and the Caribbean and was the single largest land owner in Guatemala. Such holdings gave it great power over the governments of small countries. That was one of the factors that led to the coining of the phrase Banana republic. [7]

After more than two hundred years of social unrest, violent conflict and revolution, Central America today remains in a period of political transformation. Poverty, social injustice and violence are still widespread. [8] Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere (only Haiti is poorer). [9]

Geography

The seven countries of Central America and their capitals Map of Central America.png
The seven countries of Central America and their capitals

Central America is the tapering isthmus of southern North America, with unique and varied geographic features. The Pacific Ocean lies to the southwest, the Caribbean Sea lies to the northeast, and the Gulf of Mexico lies to the north. Some physiographists define the Isthmus of Tehuantepec as the northern geographic border of Central America, [10] while others use the northwestern borders of Belize and Guatemala. From there, the Central American land mass extends southeastward to the Atrato River, where it connects to the Pacific Lowlands in northwestern South America.

Of the many mountain ranges within Central America, the longest are the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, the Cordillera Isabelia and the Cordillera de Talamanca. At 4,220 meters (13,850 ft), Volcán Tajumulco is the highest peak in Central America. Other high points of Central America are as listed in the table below:

High points in Central America

CountryNameElevation (meters)Range
Flag of Belize.svg  Belize Doyle's Delight 1124 Cockscomb Range
Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica Cerro Chirripó 3820 Cordillera de Talamanca
Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador Cerro El Pital 2730 Sierra Madre de Chiapas
Flag of Guatemala.svg  Guatemala Volcán Tajumulco 4220 Sierra Madre de Chiapas
Flag of Honduras.svg  Honduras Cerro Las Minas 2780 Cordillera de Celaque
Flag of Nicaragua.svg  Nicaragua Mogotón 2107 Cordillera Isabelia
Flag of Panama.svg  Panama Volcán Barú 3474 Cordillera de Talamanca

Between the mountain ranges lie fertile valleys that are suitable for the raising of livestock and for the production of coffee, tobacco, beans and other crops. Most of the population of Honduras, Costa Rica and Guatemala lives in valleys. [11]

Trade winds have a significant effect upon the climate of Central America. Temperatures in Central America are highest just prior to the summer wet season, and are lowest during the winter dry season, when trade winds contribute to a cooler climate. The highest temperatures occur in April, due to higher levels of sunlight, lower cloud cover and a decrease in trade winds. [12]

Biodiversity

El Chorreron in El Salvador El Chorreron, San Fernando, El Salvador.jpg
El Chorreron in El Salvador

Central America is part of the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot, boasting 7% of the world's biodiversity. [13] The Pacific Flyway is a major north-south flyway for migratory birds in the Americas, extending from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. Due to the funnel-like shape of its land mass, migratory birds can be seen in very high concentrations in Central America, especially in the spring and autumn. As a bridge between North America and South America, Central America has many species from the Nearctic and the Neotropic ecozones. However the southern countries (Costa Rica and Panama) of the region have more biodiversity than the northern countries (Guatemala and Belize), meanwhile the central countries (Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador) have the least biodiversity. [13] The table below shows recent statistics:

Biodiversity in Central America (number of different species of terrestrial vertebrate animals and vascular plants)

CountryAmphibian
species
Bird
species
Mammal
species
Reptile
species
Total terrestrial
vertebrate species
Vascular plants
species
Biodiversity
Belize [14] 4654414714087728943771
Costa Rica [15] 18383823225815111211913630
El Salvador [16] 3043413710670729113618
Guatemala [17] 133684193236124686819927
Honduras [18] 101699201213121456806894
Nicaragua [19] 61632181178105275908642
Panama [20] 1829042412421569991511484

Over 300 species of the region's flora and fauna are threatened, 107 of which are classified as critically endangered. The underlying problems are deforestation, which is estimated by FAO at 1.2% per year in Central America and Mexico combined, fragmentation of rainforests and the fact that 80% of the vegetation in Central America has already been converted to agriculture. [21]

Efforts to protect fauna and flora in the region are made by creating ecoregions and nature reserves. 36% of Belize's land territory falls under some form of official protected status, giving Belize one of the most extensive systems of terrestrial protected areas in the Americas. In addition, 13% of Belize's marine territory are also protected. [22] A large coral reef extends from Mexico to Honduras: the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. The Belize Barrier Reef is part of this. The Belize Barrier Reef is home to a large diversity of plants and animals, and is one of the most diverse ecosystems of the world. It is home to 70 hard coral species, 36 soft coral species, 500 species of fish and hundreds of invertebrate species. So far only about 10% of the species in the Belize barrier reef have been discovered. [23]

Flora

One of the hanging bridges of the skywalk at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Monteverde, Costa Rica disappearing into the clouds Costa rica santa elena skywalk.jpg
One of the hanging bridges of the skywalk at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Monteverde, Costa Rica disappearing into the clouds

From 2001 to 2010, 5,376 square kilometers (2,076 sq mi) of forest were lost in the region. In 2010 Belize had 63% of remaining forest cover, Costa Rica 46%, Panama 45%, Honduras 41%, Guatemala 37%, Nicaragua 29%, and El Salvador 21%. Most of the loss occurred in the moist forest biome, with 12,201 square kilometers (4,711 sq mi). Woody vegetation loss was partially set off by a gain in the coniferous forest biome with 4,730 square kilometers (1,830 sq mi), and a gain in the dry forest biome at 2,054 square kilometers (793 sq mi). Mangroves and deserts contributed only 1% to the loss in forest vegetation. The bulk of the deforestation was located at the Caribbean slopes of Nicaragua with a loss of 8,574 square kilometers (3,310 sq mi) of forest in the period from 2001 to 2010. The most significant regrowth of 3,050 square kilometers (1,180 sq mi) of forest was seen in the coniferous woody vegetation of Honduras. [24]

The Central American pine-oak forests ecoregion, in the tropical and subtropical coniferous forests biome, is found in Central America and southern Mexico. The Central American pine-oak forests occupy an area of 111,400 square kilometers (43,000 sq mi), [25] extending along the mountainous spine of Central America, extending from the Sierra Madre de Chiapas in Mexico's Chiapas state through the highlands of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras to central Nicaragua. The pine-oak forests lie between 600–1,800 metres (2,000–5,900 ft) elevation, [25] and are surrounded at lower elevations by tropical moist forests and tropical dry forests. Higher elevations above 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) are usually covered with Central American montane forests. The Central American pine-oak forests are composed of many species characteristic of temperate North America including oak, pine, fir, and cypress.

Laurel forest is the most common type of Central American temperate evergreen cloud forest, found in almost all Central American countries, normally more than 1,000 meters (3,300 ft) above sea level. Tree species include evergreen oaks, members of the laurel family, and species of Weinmannia , Drimys , and Magnolia . [26] The cloud forest of Sierra de las Minas, Guatemala, is the largest in Central America. In some areas of southeastern Honduras there are cloud forests, the largest located near the border with Nicaragua. In Nicaragua, cloud forests are situated near the border with Honduras, but many were cleared to grow coffee. There are still some temperate evergreen hills in the north. The only cloud forest in the Pacific coastal zone of Central America is on the Mombacho volcano in Nicaragua. In Costa Rica, there are laurel forests in the Cordillera de Tilarán and Volcán Arenal, called Monteverde, also in the Cordillera de Talamanca.

The Central American montane forests are an ecoregion of the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests biome, as defined by the World Wildlife Fund. [27] These forests are of the moist deciduous and the semi-evergreen seasonal subtype of tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests and receive high overall rainfall with a warm summer wet season and a cooler winter dry season. Central American montane forests consist of forest patches located at altitudes ranging from 1,800–4,000 metres (5,900–13,100 ft), on the summits and slopes of the highest mountains in Central America ranging from Southern Mexico, through Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, to northern Nicaragua. The entire ecoregion covers an area of 13,200 square kilometers (5,100 sq mi) and has a temperate climate with relatively high precipitation levels. [27]

Fauna

Ecoregions are not only established to protect the forests themselves but also because they are habitats for an incomparably rich and often endemic fauna. Almost half of the bird population of the Talamancan montane forests in Costa Rica and Panama are endemic to this region. Several birds are listed as threatened, most notably the resplendent quetzal (Pharomacrus mocinno), three-wattled bellbird (Procnias tricarunculata), bare-necked umbrellabird (Cephalopterus glabricollis), and black guan (Chamaepetes unicolor). Many of the amphibians are endemic and depend on the existence of forest. The golden toad that once inhabited a small region in the Monteverde Reserve, which is part of the Talamancan montane forests, has not been seen alive since 1989 and is listed as extinct by IUCN. The exact causes for its extinction are unknown. Global warming may have played a role, because the development of that frog is typical for this area may have been compromised. Seven small mammals are endemic to the Costa Rica-Chiriqui highlands within the Talamancan montane forest region. Jaguars, cougars, spider monkeys, as well as tapirs, and anteaters live in the woods of Central America. [26] The Central American red brocket is a brocket deer found in Central America's tropical forest.

Geology

Central America and the Caribbean Plate Tectonic plates Caribbean.png
Central America and the Caribbean Plate

Central America is geologically very active, with volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occurring frequently, and tsunamis occurring occasionally. Many thousands of people have died as a result of these natural disasters.

Most of Central America rests atop the Caribbean Plate. This tectonic plate converges with the Cocos, Nazca, and North American plates to form the Middle America Trench, a major subduction zone. The Middle America Trench is situated some 60–160 kilometers (37–99 mi) off the Pacific coast of Central America and runs roughly parallel to it. Many large earthquakes have occurred as a result of seismic activity at the Middle America Trench. [28] For example, subduction of the Cocos Plate beneath the North American Plate at the Middle America Trench is believed to have caused the 1985 Mexico City earthquake that killed as many as 40,000 people. Seismic activity at the Middle America Trench is also responsible for earthquakes in 1902, 1942, 1956, 1982, 1992, 2001, 2007, 2012, 2014, and many other earthquakes throughout Central America.

The Middle America Trench is not the only source of seismic activity in Central America. The Motagua Fault is an onshore continuation of the Cayman Trough which forms part of the tectonic boundary between the North American Plate and the Caribbean Plate. This transform fault cuts right across Guatemala and then continues offshore until it merges with the Middle America Trench along the Pacific coast of Mexico, near Acapulco. Seismic activity at the Motagua Fault has been responsible for earthquakes in 1717, 1773, 1902, 1976, 1980, and 2009.

Another onshore continuation of the Cayman Trough is the Chixoy-Polochic Fault, which runs parallel to, and roughly 80 kilometers (50 mi) to the north, of the Motagua Fault. Though less active than the Motagua Fault, seismic activity at the Chixoy-Polochic Fault is still thought to be capable of producing very large earthquakes, such as the 1816 earthquake of Guatemala. [29]

Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, was devastated by earthquakes in 1931 and 1972.

Volcanic eruptions are also common in Central America. In 1968 the Arenal Volcano, in Costa Rica, erupted killing 87 people as the 3 villages of Tabacon, Pueblo Nuevo and San Luis were buried under pyroclastic flows and debris. Fertile soils from weathered volcanic lava have made it possible to sustain dense populations in the agriculturally productive highland areas.

Demographics

The population of Central America is estimated at 47,448,333 as of 2016. [30] With an area of 523,780 square kilometers (202,230 sq mi), [2] it has a population density of 91 per square kilometer (240/sq mi). Human Development Index values are from the estimates for 2017. [31]

Countries of Central America
Name of territory,
with flag
Area
(km²) [32]
Population
(2016 est.) [30]
Population
density

(per km²)
Capital Official
language
Human Development Index
Belize 22,966366,95413 Belmopan English0.708 High
Costa Rica 51,1004,857,27482 San José Spanish0.794 High
El Salvador 21,0406,344,722292 San Salvador Spanish0.674 Medium
Guatemala 108,89016,582,469129 Guatemala City Spanish0.650 Medium
Honduras 112,0909,112,86767 Tegucigalpa Spanish0.617 Medium
Nicaragua 130,3736,149,92844 Managua Spanish0.658 Medium
Panama 78,2004,034,11944 Panama City Spanish0.789 High
Total523,78047,448,33380--0.699
Largest metropolitan areas in Central America
CityCountryPopulationCensus Year% of National
population
(1) Guatemala City Guatemala 5,700,000201026%
(2) San Salvador El Salvador 2,415,217200939%
(3) Managua Nicaragua 1,918,000201234%
(4) Tegucigalpa Honduras 1,819,000201024%
(5) San Pedro Sula Honduras 1,600,000201021%+4
(6) Panama City Panama 1,400,000201037%
(7) San José Costa Rica 1,275,000201330%

Languages

Linguistic variations of classic Central American Spanish. Espanol centroamericano.png
Linguistic variations of classic Central American Spanish.

The official language majority in all Central American countries is Spanish, except in Belize, where the official language is English. However, the majority of Belizeans speak Spanish at home. Mayan languages constitute a language family consisting of about 26 related languages. Guatemala formally recognized 21 of these in 1996. Xinca and Garifuna are also present in Central America.

Languages in Central America (2010)
Pos.CountriesPopulation% Spanish% Mayan languages% English% Xinca% Garifuna
1Guatemala17,284,00064.7%34.3%0.0%0.7%0.3%
2Honduras8,447,00097.1%2.0%0.0%0.0%0.9%
3El Salvador6,108,00099.0%1.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%
4Nicaragua6,028,00087.4%7.1%5.5%0.0%0.0%
5Costa Rica4,726,00097.2%1.8%1.0%0.0%0.0%
6Panamá3,652,00086.8%9.2%4.0%0.0%0.0%
7Belize334,00052.1%8.9%37.0%0.0%2.0%

Ethnic groups

Central America map of indigenous people before European contact Centroamerica prehispanica siglo XVI.svg
Central America map of indigenous people before European contact

This region of the continent is very rich in terms of ethnic groups. The majority of the population is mestizo, with sizable Mayan and White populations present, including Xinca and Garifuna minorities. The immigration of Arabs, Jews, Chinese, Europeans and others brought additional groups to the area.

Ethnic groups in Central America (2010)
CountryPopulation1%  Amerindian %  White %  Mestizo/Mixed%  Black % Other
Belize324,5286.3%5.0%49.6%32.0%4.1%
Costa Rica4,301,7124.0%65.8%13.8%7.2%9.0%
El Salvador6,340,8891.0%12.0%86.0%0.0%1.0%
Guatemala15,700,00038.5%18.5%40.0%1.0%2.0%
Honduras8,143,5646.0%5.5%82.0%6.0%0.5%
Nicaragua5,815,5005.0%17.0%69.0%9.0%0.0%
Panama3,474,5626.0%10.0%65.0%14.0%5.0%
Total42,682,19016.24%20.18%58.05%4.43%1.17%

Religious groups

The predominant religion in Central America is Christianity (95.6%). [33] Beginning with the Spanish colonization of Central America in the 16th century, Roman Catholicism became the most popular religion in the region until the first half of the 20th century. Since the 1960s, there has been an increase in other Christian groups, particularly Protestantism, as well as other religious organizations, and individuals identifying themselves as having no religion. [34]

Countries
% Roman Catholicism
(2010)
% Protestantism
(2010)
% Non-affiliated
(2010)
% Other
(2010)
Belize40%31%15%14%
Costa Rica69%17%11%3%
El Salvador46%29%24%1%
Guatemala47%39%12%2%
Honduras52%35%10%3%
Nicaragua58%23%13%4%
Panama70%21%6%3%

Culture

Sport

Politics

Integration

Sistema de
Integración Centroamericana

SICA ZP.svg
Coat of arms
Motto: "Peace, Development, Liberty and Democracy"
Anthem: La Granadera
Countries
  • Belize
  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Dominican Republic
Area
 Total
560,988 km2 (216,599 sq mi)
Population
 Estimate
50,807,778

Central America is currently undergoing a process of political, economic and cultural transformation that started in 1907 with the creation of the Central American Court of Justice.

In 1951 the integration process continued with the signature of the San Salvador Treaty, which created the ODECA, the Organization of Central American States. However, the unity of the ODECA was limited by conflicts between several member states.

In 1991, the integration agenda was further advanced by the creation of the Central American Integration System (Sistema para la Integración Centroamericana, or SICA). SICA provides a clear legal basis to avoid disputes between the member states. SICA membership includes the 7 nations of Central America plus the Dominican Republic, a state that is traditionally considered part of the Caribbean.

On 6 December 2008, SICA announced an agreement to pursue a common currency and common passport for the member nations. [35] No timeline for implementation was discussed.

Central America already has several supranational institutions such as the Central American Parliament, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration and the Central American Common Market.

On 22 July 2011, President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador became the first president pro tempore to SICA. El Salvador also became the headquarters of SICA with the inauguration of a new building. [36]

Foreign relations

Until recently,[ when? ] all Central American countries have maintained diplomatic relations with Taiwan instead of China. President Óscar Arias of Costa Rica, however, established diplomatic relations with China in 2007, severing formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan. [37] After breaking off relations with the Republic of China in 2017, Panama established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. [38] In August 2018, El Salvador also severed ties with Taiwan to formally start recognizing the People's Republic of China as the sole China, a move many considered lacked transparency due to its abruptness and reports of the Chinese government's desires to invest in the department of La Union while also promising to fund the ruling party's reelection campaign. [39]

Parliament

Flag of the Central American Parliament Flag of the Central American Parliament.png
Flag of the Central American Parliament

The Central American Parliament (also known as PARLACEN) is a political and parliamentary body of SICA. The parliament started around 1980, and its primary goal was to resolve conflicts in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Although the group was disbanded in 1986, ideas of unity of Central Americans still remained, so a treaty was signed in 1987 to create the Central American Parliament and other political bodies. Its original members were Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras. The parliament is the political organ of Central America, and is part of SICA. New members have since then joined including Panama and the Dominican Republic.

Costa Rica is not a member State of the Central American Parliament and its adhesion remains as a very unpopular topic at all levels of the Costa Rican society due to existing strong political criticism towards the regional parliament, since it is regarded by Costa Ricans as a menace to democratic accountability and effectiveness of integration efforts. Excessively high salaries for its members, legal immunity of jurisdiction from any member State, corruption, lack of a binding nature and effectiveness of the regional parliament's decisions, high operative costs and immediate membership of Central American Presidents once they leave their office and presidential terms, are the most common reasons invoked by Costa Ricans against the Central American Parliament.[ citation needed ]

Economy

Signed in 2004, the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) is an agreement between the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. The treaty is aimed at promoting free trade among its members.

Guatemala has the largest economy in the region. [40] [41] Its main exports are coffee, sugar, bananas, petroleum, clothing, and cardamom. Of its 10.29 billion dollar annual exports, [42] 40.2% go to the United States, 11.1% to neighboring El Salvador, 8% to Honduras, 5.5% to Mexico, 4.7% to Nicaragua, and 4.3% to Costa Rica. [43]

Economic growth in Central America is projected to slow slightly in 2014–15, as country-specific domestic factors offset the positive effects from stronger economic activity in the United States. [44]

Economy size for Latin American countries per Gross domestic product
CountryGDP (nominal) [40] [lower-alpha 1] GDP (nominal) per capita [45] [46] GDP (PPP) [41] [lower-alpha 1]
Belize1,552$4,6022,914
Costa Rica44,313$10,43257,955
El Salvador24,421$3,87546,050
Guatemala50,303$3,51278,012
Honduras18,320$2,32337,408
Nicaragua7,695$1,83919,827
Panama34,517$10,83855,124

Tourism

The Great Blue Hole off the coast of Belize is a prime ecotourism destination. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site Great Blue Hole.jpg
The Great Blue Hole off the coast of Belize is a prime ecotourism destination. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Semuc Champey, Guatemala. Semuc Champey, Guatemala.jpg
Semuc Champey, Guatemala.

Tourism in Belize has grown considerably in more recent times, and it is now the second largest industry in the nation. Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow has stated his intention to use tourism to combat poverty throughout the country. [47] The growth in tourism has positively affected the agricultural, commercial, and finance industries, as well as the construction industry. The results for Belize's tourism-driven economy have been significant, with the nation welcoming almost one million tourists in a calendar year for the first time in its history in 2012. [48] Belize is also the only country in Central America with English as its official language, making this country a comfortable destination for English-speaking tourists. [49]

Costa Rica is the most visited nation in Central America. [50] Tourism in Costa Rica is one of the fastest growing economic sectors of the country, [51] having become the largest source of foreign revenue by 1995. [52] Since 1999, tourism has earned more foreign exchange than bananas, pineapples and coffee exports combined. [53] The tourism boom began in 1987, [52] with the number of visitors up from 329,000 in 1988, through 1.03 million in 1999, to a historical record of 2.43 million foreign visitors and $1.92-billion in revenue in 2013. [50] In 2012 tourism contributed with 12.5% of the country's GDP and it was responsible for 11.7% of direct and indirect employment. [54]

Tourism in Nicaragua has grown considerably recently, and it is now the second largest industry in the nation. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has stated his intention to use tourism to combat poverty throughout the country. [55] The growth in tourism has positively affected the agricultural, commercial, and finance industries, as well as the construction industry. The results for Nicaragua's tourism-driven economy have been significant, with the nation welcoming one million tourists in a calendar year for the first time in its history in 2010. [56]

Transport

Roads

The Inter-American Highway is the Central American section of the Pan-American Highway, and spans 5,470 kilometers (3,400 mi) between Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and Panama City, Panama. Because of the 87 kilometers (54 mi) break in the highway known as the Darién Gap, it is not possible to cross between Central America and South America in an automobile.

Waterways

Ports and harbors

Airports

Railways

City rail in La Ceiba, Honduras is one of the few remaining passenger train services in Central America Train LaCeiba1.JPG
City rail in La Ceiba, Honduras is one of the few remaining passenger train services in Central America

Education

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 Values listed in millions USD.

Related Research Articles

History of Central America aspect of history

The history of Central America is the study of the region known as Central America.

Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists organization

The Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists is a sub-entity of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which oversees the Church's work in the nations of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands, and Venezuela. Its headquarters, which is the only division of the church whose headquarters is outside its territory, is in Miami, Florida. The Division membership is 3,835,017 as of June 30, 2018.

Caribbean Basin

The Caribbean Basin is generally defined as the area running from Florida westward along the Gulf coast, then south along the Mexican coast through Central America and then eastward across the northern coast of South America. This region includes the islands of the archipelago of the West Indies. Bermuda is also included within the region even though it is in the west-central Atlantic, due to its common cultural history created by European colonization of the region, and in most of the region by the presence of a significant group of African descent.

The Central American Bank for Economic Integration - CABEI was founded in 1960. Is an international multilateral development financial institution. Its resources are invested in projects that foster development to reduce poverty and inequality; strengthen regional integration and the competitive insertion of its member countries in the global economy; providing special attention to environmental sustainability. Its headquarters are in Tegucigalpa(Honduras) and has regional offices in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

<i>Drymobius</i> genus of reptiles

Drymobius is a genus of colubrid snakes commonly referred to as neotropical racers, which are endemic to the Americas. There are four species recognized in the genus.

Ethnic groups in Central America

Central America is a region of North America formed by six Latin American countries and one (officially) Anglo-American country, Belize. As an isthmus it connects South America with the remainder of mainland North America, and comprises the following countries : Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.

The Central America bioregion is a biogeographic region comprising southern Mexico and Central America.

Central American Integration System economic and political organization of Central American states

The Central American Integration System has been the economic and political organization of Central American states since February 1, 1993. On December 13, 1991, the ODECA countries signed the Protocol of Tegucigalpa, extending earlier cooperation for regional peace, political freedom, democracy and economic development. SICA's General Secretariat is in El Salvador.

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) is an independent fund administered by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), created in 1993 to support private sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean. In partnership with business organizations, governments, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), MIF's stated goal is to provide technical assistance and investments to support micro and small business growth, build worker skills, and to improve markets and access to finance.

Index of Central America-related articles

This is an Index of Central America-related articles. This index defines Central America as the seven nations of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

The 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games Preliminary Round was a preliminary round contested by some CONCACAF teams that determined the qualified teams to the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games. Six teams were drawn into 3 matchups that were contested in a two-legged tie. The first leg of each of the Preliminary Round matchups was played on March 21, 2010, and the second leg was played on March 27–28. Costa Rica did not participate in the first part, being the strongest team, they got an automatic spot into an extra playoff series against the best losing team of the two-legged series. Nicaragua, having the best result, played against Costa Rica. All 7 Central American associations took part of the qualifying process.

The Men's Association football competition at the 2001 Central American Games took place from 22 November to 2 December at the Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City. This was the seventh Football edition since 1973.

Football was contested for men only at the 1950 Central American and Caribbean Games in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

<i>Echites</i> genus of plants

Echites is a genus of flowering plants in the family Apocynaceae, first described as a genus in 1756. It is primarily native to Mexico, Central America, the West Indies, and the US State of Florida.

Economy of Central America

The economy of Central America is the eleventh-largest economy in Latin America, behind Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Colombia, According to the World Bank, the nominal GDP of Central America reached 204 billion US dollar in 2010, as recovery from the crisis of 2009, where gross domestic product (GDP) suffered a decline to 3.8%. The major economic income are the agriculture and tourism, although the industrial sector is in strong growth, mainly in Panama.

This is a list of the Honduras national football team results from 2000 to 2009.

References

  1. 1 2 "Central America". central-america.org. Retrieved 4 September 2016. Central America is located between North and South America and consists of multiple countries. Central America is not a continent but a subcontinent since it lies within the continent America. It borders on the northwest to the Pacific Ocean and in the northeast to the Caribbean Sea. The countries that belong to the subcontinent of Central America are Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.
  2. 1 2 IBP, Inc (2009). Central America Economic Integration and Cooperation Handbook Volume 1 Strategic Information, Organizations and Programs. p. 8. ISBN   978-1-4387-4280-9.
  3. Index Mundi (2012). "Population – Central America & the Caribbean". Index Mundi. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  4. United Nations Statistics Division (2013). "Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings". New York City: United Nations Statistics Division. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  5. Augelli, JP (1962). "The Rimland-Mainland concept of culture areas in Middle America". Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 52 (2): 119–29. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8306.1962.tb00400.x. JSTOR   2561309.
  6. Hoopes, John W. and Oscar Fonseca Z. (2003). Goldwork and Chibchan Identity:Endogenous Change and Diffuse Unity in the Isthmo-Colombian Area (PDF). Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks. ISBN   978-0-82631-000-2. Archived from the original (Online text reproduction) on 25 February 2009.
  7. Livingstone, Grace (2013). America's Backyard: The United States and Latin America from the Monroe Doctrine to the War on Terror. Zed Books Ltd. p. 31. ISBN   978-1-84813-611-3.
  8. Argueta, O; Huhn, S; Kurtenbach, S; Peetz, P (2011). "Blocked democracies in Central America" (PDF). GIGA Focus International Edition (5): 1–8. ISSN   1862-3581.
  9. "Extreme poverty increases in Nicaragua in 2013, study finds". American Free Press . 13 November 2014. Retrieved 2015-01-02.
  10. "Central America". Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary . Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  11. IBP, Inc. (2015). Central American Countries Mineral Industry Handbook Volume 1 Strategic Information and Regulations. pp. 7, 8. ISBN   978-1-329-09114-6.
  12. Taylor, MA; Alfaro, EJ (2005). "Central America and the Caribbean, Climate of". In Oliver, JE. Encyclopedia of world climatology. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series (1st ed.). New York: Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 183–9. doi:10.1007/1-4020-3266-8_37. ISBN   978-1-4020-3264-6.
  13. 1 2 "Central America" (PDF). Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2016-12-08.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  14. Butler, RA (2006). "Belize forest information and data". Tropical rainforests: deforestation rates tables and charts. Menlo Park, California: Mongabay.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  15. Butler, RA (2006). "Costa Rica forest information and data". Tropical rainforests: deforestation rates tables and charts. Menlo Park, California: Mongabay.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  16. Butler, RA (2006). "El Salvador forest information and data". Tropical rainforests: deforestation rates tables and charts. Menlo Park, California: Mongabay.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  17. Butler, RA (2006). "Guatemala forest information and data". Tropical rainforests: deforestation rates tables and charts. Menlo Park, California: Mongabay.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  18. Butler, RA (2006). "Honduras forest information and data". Tropical rainforests: deforestation rates tables and charts. Menlo Park, California: Mongabay.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  19. Butler, RA (2006). "Nicaragua forest information and data". Tropical rainforests: deforestation rates tables and charts. Menlo Park, California: Mongabay.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  20. Butler, RA (2006). "Panama forest information and data". Tropical rainforests: deforestation rates tables and charts. Menlo Park, California: Mongabay.com. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  21. Harvey, CA; Komar, O; Chazdon, R; Ferguson, BG (2008). "Integrating agricultural landscapes with biodiversity conservation in the Mesoamerican hotspot". Conservation Biology. 22 (1): 8–15. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00863.x. PMID   18254848.
  22. Ramos, A (2 July 2010). "Belize protected areas 26% – not 40-odd percent". Amandala . Belize City. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  23. Belize Barrier Reef case study. Westminster.edu. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
  24. Redo, DJ; Grau, HR; Aide, TM; Clark, ML (2012). "Asymmetric forest transition driven by the interaction of socioeconomic development and environmental heterogeneity in Central America". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 109 (23): 8839–44. Bibcode:2012PNAS..109.8839R. doi:10.1073/pnas.1201664109. PMC   3384153 . PMID   22615408.
  25. 1 2 "Central American pine-oak forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  26. 1 2 "Talamancan montane forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2014-10-19.
  27. 1 2 "Central American montane forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
  28. Astiz, L; Kanamori, H; Eissler, H (1987). "Source characteristics of earthquakes in the Michoacan seismic gap in Mexico" (PDF). Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 77 (4): 1326–46.
  29. White, RA (1985). "The Guatemala earthquake of 1816 on the Chixoy-Polochic fault". Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 75 (2): 455–73.
  30. 1 2 "World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision". ESA.UN.org (custom data acquired via website). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  31. "2018 HDI Statistical Update". 14 September 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  32. Central Intelligence Agency (2014). "The world factbook". Washington, D.C.: Central Intelligence Agency.
  33. Christianity in its Global Context Archived 29 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  34. Holland, CL (November 2005). Ethnic and religious diversity in Central America: a historical perspective (PDF). 2005 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. pp. 1–34. Retrieved 2015-01-04.
  35. "Central American leaders agree on common currency". France 24. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  36. British Embassy San Salvador (10 June 2013). "Extra-Regional Observer of Central American Integration System". Strengthening UK relationships with El Salvador. London: Government Digital Service. Retrieved 2015-01-04.
  37. "Taiwan cuts ties with Costa Rica over recognition for China". The New York Times . Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  38. "In historic move, Panama and China establish diplomatic relations". America.cgtn.com. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  39. Ramzy, Austin (24 August 2018). "White House Criticizes China over el Salvador Recognition". The New York Times.
  40. 1 2 International Monetary Fund (2012). "Report for selected countries and subjects". World economic outlook database, April 2012. Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  41. 1 2 International Monetary Fund (2012). "Gross domestic product based on purchasing-power-parity (PPP) valuation of country GDP". World economic outlook database, April 2012. Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  42. Central Intelligence Agency (2014). "World exports by country". The world factbook. Washington, D.C.: Central Intelligence Agency.
  43. Central Intelligence Agency (2014). "Export partners of Guatemala". The world factbook. Washington, D.C.: Central Intelligence Agency.
  44. International Monetary Fund (2014). World economic outlook October 2014: legacies, clouds, uncertainties (PDF). World economic and financial surveys. Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund. ISBN   978-1-48438-0-666 . Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  45. Data mostly refers to IMF staff estimates for the year 2013, made in April 2014. World Economic Outlook Database-April 2014, International Monetary Fund. Accessed on 9 April 2014.
  46. Data refers mostly to the year 2012. World Development Indicators database, World Bank. Database updated on 18 December 2013. Accessed on 18 December 2013.
  47. Cuellar, M (1 March 2013). "Foreign direct investments and tourism up". Channel 5 Belize. Belize: Great Belize Productions Ltd. Retrieved 2015-01-04.
  48. "2012: a remarkable year for Belize's tourism industry". The San Pedro Sun . San Pedro, Belize. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 2015-01-04.
  49. "Belize | Tours & Activities – Project Expedition". Project Expedition. Retrieved 2016-06-30.
  50. 1 2 Rodríguez, A (16 January 2014). "Costa Rica registró la llegada de más de 2,4 millones de turistas en 2013" [Costa Rica registered the arrival of more than 2.4 million tourists in 2013]. La Nación (in Spanish). San José, Costa Rica. Retrieved 2015-01-02.
  51. Rojas, JE (29 December 2004). "Turismo, principal motor de la economía durante el 2004" [Tourism, the principal engine of the economy in 2004]. La Nación (in Spanish). San José, Costa Rica. Retrieved 2015-01-02.
  52. 1 2 Inman, C (1997). "Impacts on developing countries of changing production and consumption patterns in developed countries: the case of ecotourism in Costa Rica" (PDF). Alajuela, Costa Rica: INCAE Business School . Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  53. Departamento de Estadísticas ICT (2006). "Anuário estadísticas de demanda 2006" (PDF) (in Spanish). Intituto Costarricense de Turismo. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 March 2011. Retrieved 2008-06-13.
  54. Jennifer Blanke and Thea Chiesa, Editors (2013). "Travel & tourism competitiveness report 2013" (PDF). World Economic Forum, Geneva, Switzerland. Retrieved 2013-04-14.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  55. Carroll, R (6 January 2007). "Ortega banks on tourism to beat poverty". The Guardian . London: theguardian.com . Retrieved 2015-01-03.
  56. "Nicaragua exceeds one mn foreign tourists for first time". Sify.com. Retrieved 2019-01-30.

Further reading