The Central America is the part of the American continent located between the southern border of the Mexico, in North America, and the north-western border of the Colombia, in South America. It is to be differentiated from the Mésoamérique which, from a historical point of view, extended in the areas from the South from the Mexico until North from the Costa Rica via the coast Pacifique from the Nicaragua before the Spanish conquest.
The difference between the administrative geographical borders and borders, as well as the cultural colonial history and resemblances and differences in the area vary the definition of the Central America according to the context.
In its most common definition, the Central America includes/understands the following countries:
One can in certain cases add to these countries the Antilles.
The Central America extends from the Isthme of Tehuantepec (Southern Mexico) in north with the Golfe of Aruba (Colombia) in the south; it is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea in the east and by the Pacific Ocean in the west.
Historical and political definition
With the colonial time the Central America was partially controlled by the general Capitainerie of Guatemala which recovered the areas now occupied by Guatemala, the Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. With independence (1821 - 1822), the Harbor office deveint the plain Provinces of Central America then the Federal republic of Central America. The States which one knows today became independent of this federation in the years 1830.
This past, excluding Panama attached to the Colombian history and the Belize very quickly colonized by English, made it possible an center-American identity to develop in these countries. Besides there exists a Spanish difference between the geographical definition, “América Central” (Central America), and the historical and political definition, “Centroamérica” (Center-America).
There exist regional organizations today resulting from this past, like the Common Market of Central America (CACM) or the Système of Center-American Integration (SICA), whose Member States founder are the five countries " historiques" : Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. By simplification, one often defines these five countries as the Central America; the Belize and Panama are then regarded as caribéens (following the example three Guyana) or South American (for Panama).
But it should be noted that Panama integrated the Parliament center-American in 1992 and has like project to be integrated to the SICA in the next years. The Belize, is to him already member of the SICA but not CACM, preferring CARICOM. When at the Parliament center-American, it accommodates since 2004 of the deputies of the Dominican Republic (this country being integrated economically and politically more and more into the Central America). One can thus realize that the political definition of the Central America is still very fuzzy.
Cultural definition and simplifications
Mexico being very near culturally to the countries center-American, one includes it incorrectly some time at the area to oppose Anglo-Saxon America to the Central America. In these cases there, and in spite of its culture caribéenne and Anglo-Saxon, the Belize can or not belong to the Central America (its incorporation in is not often clarified any more).
If this cultural definition can be used in a neutral way, it is also often employed in the political discourses: with the the United States in the debates on the Immigration and in Mexico in the debates on “American imperialism” (Mexicans then being able to define American as “estadounidenses” - states-unien or étasunien-).
It should be noted that Mexico can also be integrated into the Central America at the time of economic studies, this practice disappears however little by little since the signature from ALENA (Mexico joint then in the United States and Canada).
The countries of Central America having a demographic and economic weight relatively weak, one can in certain cases see them gathered with the countries of the Caribbean or included in North America or South America. That makes it possible to simplify world division by reducing the areas of the world.
General informationThe Central America is crossed by a mountainous system called “the central Cordillera” whose tops can exceed the 4000 meters. Located at the intersection of the Caribbean Plate, the North-American Plate and the Plate of the Coconuts, a volcanic chain skirts the Pacifique coast to the north of the area and the Caribbean coast to the south.
The Caribbean coast consists of a Tropical forest, which is actually only the prolongation of the Amazonia, far from hospital. Thanks to this tropical forest, the Central America shelters 7% of the world Biodiversité. The Peaceful coast, hospital because drier thanks to the relief protecting it from the climate caribéen, shelters when with it the major part of the center-American population.
CharacteristicsThe central Cordillera is stopped in Nicaragua by two lakes: the Lake Nicaragua and the Lake Managua. The lake Nicaragua, the second plus big lake of Latin America after the Lake Titicaca and the tenth plus big lake of the world, were inhabited by Requins of fresh water whose their survival is disputed (on the other hand, of the sharks coming from the Pacific still live there).
The Isthme of Panamá is the narrowest area of the American continent: the Pacific is separated from the sea Caraïbe only by one strip of land of 20 km.
Beats-smg: Centrėnė Amerėka Simple: Exchange America Zh-min-nan: Tiong Bí-chiu
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