Latin America was a terms that was initially used by French geographers to differentiate between Romance (Latin based) and Anglo based Anglo languages. The present day Latin America refers to countries found in South America. The division of Latin America is by language and location. The parts of Central and South America within the Latin America region is made up of Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries, while the portions of Central and South America within the Caribbean region is made up of Dutch, English, and French speaking countries (Barton).
The physical geography of Latin America comprises the western boundary that defines the Pacific Ocean with s number of islands where by the major islands are under the control of Latin American nations. Such islands include Easter Island controlled by Chile, and Galapagos under the control of Ecuador. TO the Southern part of Latin American border is Cape Horn. Countries of Latin America also claim the Antarctica region. However, the Antarctic Treaty in 1959 suspended any claims on the region which currently has 25 members bounded by the treaty and also other 14 observers. Countries such as Chile, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay have bases on the continent and Argentina and Chile have major claims on the continent (Jackiewicz).
Latin America’s eastern border is marked by a series of possessions claimed by the British in the Atlantic. The major claim by the British is the Falkland Islands which even led to war between Argentina and Britain, Helena, Tristan da Cunha, and Ascension. Latin America northern regions has several islands which are located in the Caribbean regions. The islands also include small islands of the Lesser Antilles, including Jamaica and Western Hispaniola which are non-Portuguese or non-Spanish in culture (Barton). To the north of Cuba is the Bahamas which is now an independent English speaking country. Latin America countries are mostly considered to be the countries south of the United States.
The cultural aspects of Latin American countries comprised a mixture of people from Africa, Europe and Asia. Latin America was a region of empires and civilizations. The region is believed to be the greatest contributor of basic crops which are in the common modern diet such as potatoes, Corn, beans, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and peanuts. Latin American culture is also believed to have contributed some spices some spices such peppers, chili, chocolate, and vanilla and also drugs such as tobacco, quinine, and coca. The region has the largest number of groups of Native American origin in the world (Jackiewicz).
The largest concentrations of people who speak romance languages such as Spanish, and Portuguese is found in Latin America thus the name Latin America (Kent). In terms of religion, Latin America has the highest number of Catholics in the world and it is expected that it will be the region with the highest number of Christians. In addition, Latin America has the highest number of Africans outside Africa, more even in the US, and Europe combined and also the highest number of Japanese outside Japan. The region is rich in tradition and is a scene of exciting modern and postmodern cultural development (Barton). Furthermore, football or soccer, is the most popular sport in the region and some countries such as Brazil and Argentina, are considered powerhouse football countries in the world.
The population of Latin America is about 500 million people with more than half of the population living in Brazil and Mexico. The region has been recording a declining fertility rate. In 1960, an average of 6 children per woman was recorded, but it has declined to 3 children per woman in 2000. Most of the population in the region is highly urbanized with more the three quartet of the people living in cities. Some notable cities in region include Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo, and Mexico City (Jackiewicz).