Latin America [a] is a group of countries and dependencies in the Western Hemisphere where Romance languages such as Spanish and Portuguese are predominantly spoken; it is broader than the terms Ibero-America or Hispanic America. The term comes from the fact that the predominant languages of the countries originated with the Latin language. Most of the countries of Latin America speak Spanish and are populated by a mixed-race population. The term "Latin America" was first used in an conference with the title "Initiative of the Americas.
Latin America consists of 20 countries and 14 dependent territories that cover an area that stretches from Saint Pierre and Miquelon to Tierra del Fuego and includes much of the Caribbean. More than 2. There is no universal agreement on the origin of the term Latin America. Some historians believe that the term was created by geographers in the 16th century to refer to the parts of the New World colonized by Spain and Portugal, whose Romance languages derive from Latin.
Others argue that the term arose in s France during the reign of Napoleon IIIas part of the attempt to create a French empire in the Americas. His argument is that French imperialists used the concept of "Latin" America as a way to counter British imperialism, as well as to challenge the German threat to France.
This led to Napoleon's failed attempt to take military control of Mexico in the s. However, though Phelan thesis is still frequently mentioned in the U. So, regarding when the words "Latin" and "America" were combined for the first time in a printed work, the term "Latin America" was first used in in a conference by the Chilean politician Francisco Bilbao in Paris.
Idea for a Federal Congress of Republics. The second event, the Walker affairhappened the same year both works were written: the decision by U. In both Bilbao's and Torres Caicedo's works, the Mexican-American War and Walker's expedition to Nicaragua are explicitly mentioned as examples of dangers for the region.
Both authors also ask for the union of all Latin American countries as the only way to defend their territories against further foreign U. Both rejected also European imperialism, claiming that the return of European countries to non-democratic forms of government was another danger for Latin American countries, and used the same word to describe the state of European politics at the time: "despotism.
He asked Latin American intellectuals to search for their "intellectual emancipation" by abandoning all French ideas, claiming that France was: "Hypocrite, because she [France] calls herself protector of the Latin race just to subject it to her exploitation regime; treacherous, because she speaks of freedom and nationality, when, unable to conquer freedom for herself, she enslaves others instead!
However, in France the term Latin America was used with the opposite intention. It played a role in his campaign to imply cultural kinship of the region with France, transform France into a cultural and political leader of the area, and install Maximilian of Habsburg as emperor of the Second Mexican Empire.
The distinction between Latin America and Anglo-America is a convention based on the predominant languages in the Americas by which Romance-language and English-speaking cultures are distinguished. Neither area is culturally or linguistically homogeneous; in substantial portions of Latin America e.
The term is not without controversy. Historian Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo explores at length the "allure and power" of the idea of Latin America. He remarks at the outset, "The idea of 'Latin America' ought to have vanished with the obsolescence of racial theory But it is not easy to declare something dead when it can hardly be said to have existed," going on to say, "The term is here to stay, and it is important.
Hispanic America with the inclusion of nations that according to him do not share the same pattern of conquest and colonization. Latin America can be subdivided into several subregions based on geography, politics, demographics and culture. If defined as all of the Americas south of the United States, the basic geographical subregions are North AmericaCentral Americathe Caribbean and South America ;  the latter contains further politico-geographical subdivisions such as the Southern Conethe Guianas and the Andean states.
Its occupation dates to some 14, years ago and there is some disputed evidence of even earlier occupation. Over the course of millennia, people spread to all parts of the continents. By the first millennium CESouth America's vast rainforests, mountains, plains and coasts were the home of tens of millions of people. Some groups formed more permanent settlements such as the Chibcha or " Muisca " or "Muysca" and the Tairona groups. These groups are in the circum Caribbean region.
The Chibchas of Colombiathe Quechuas and Aymaras of Bolivia were the three indigenous groups that settled most permanently.This event was moderated by Manuel Orozcodirector of the Migration, Remittances and Development program.
The job sectors that are currently being impacted during the Covid pandemic distinguish this crisis from past economic crises. Coen emphasized that with approximately 75 percent of the Latin American and Caribbean population living off of their day-to-day income, total isolation is not possible for many. Jewers pointed out that foreign-born workers in the United States often have jobs that do not offer health benefits for employees — adding to the already pronounced problem that one in five migrants lack health insurance.
In addition to limited healthcare access, Latino immigrants are known to live in higher populated households, making it harder to exercise self-isolation resulting in increased risk for exposure to the virus. Those who are continuing to send remittances to friends or family will suffer a depletion of their resources, a loss of funds that will take time to recover from. He also projected that 90 percent of those who are unemployed will not send remittances for the next nine months.
Coen mentioned that AirPak is estimating an impact on remittances of 15 to 25 percent. He also pointed out that countries that have been enforcing stricter social distancing measures, such as like Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Honduras, are currently experiencing short-term declines in their remittance transfers.
This contrasts with countries such as Mexico and Nicaragua that have taken lighter measures where remittance transactions have been increasing. The combination of individuals having to stay home and the temporary closures of remittance sending businesses has motivated people to transition to online remittance sending — sooner than some remittance senders had anticipated.
Mobile wallets are not only more affordable at approximately a one percent sending fee but they are completely digital, providing parties the ability to send money across country borders to the recipient of their choosing, without anyone having to leave their home. Mobile wallets also promote financial inclusion through their relationships with banks and their ability to transfer money directly into checking or savings accounts.
Nigro explained that the switch to mobile wallets linked to large banking institutions will contribute to greater financial inclusion worldwide. Jewers was able to offer participants insight on actions that the community and the US government can take in order to lessen the hardships migrants and Latin American and Caribbean countries are facing.
While there is some relief available to migrants through local health services and community organizations, it is imperative that individuals make themselves knowledgeable and available to nonprofits and health centers in their communities that are specifically working to provide medical help to undocumented populations. Currently, it is being tied to social security numbers, which does not include undocumented workers that pay taxes to the United States.
Economic and Health Impacts The job sectors that are currently being impacted during the Covid pandemic distinguish this crisis from past economic crises. Digital Vehicles for Sending Remittances The combination of individuals having to stay home and the temporary closures of remittance sending businesses has motivated people to transition to online remittance sending — sooner than some remittance senders had anticipated.
Path Forward Jewers was able to offer participants insight on actions that the community and the US government can take in order to lessen the hardships migrants and Latin American and Caribbean countries are facing.Despite the global financial crisis, the region averaged a three percent annual increase in economic growth between and Political advances have been notable, as well: free elections, vibrant civil society, and responsive governments are mostly the norm.
While these are impressive gains, the region still faces significant challenges. Latin America and the Caribbean continue to have some of the highest rates of income inequality in the world and economies have slowed.
Severe, chronic drought threatens lives and livelihoods. Regional progress in health masks inequalities between and within countries.
Worsening citizen security, fueled by a violent transnational drug trade, is hindering growth and undermining democratic institutions in parts of the region. Climate change poses risks, especially in Central America and the Caribbean.
And some countries are restricting political rights. Economic and political stability in the Western Hemisphere are vital for the United States. Drug trafficking and violence that afflict our southern neighbors can penetrate our borders and impact U. Latin America and the Caribbean are also important and growing markets for American companies--a quarter of U. In LAC, USAID helps to make the United States and the Western Hemisphere more peaceful, secure, and prosperous by strengthening the capacity of governments and private entities to combat crime, improve governance, address climate change, and create an economic environment in which the private sector can flourish and create jobs.
Our programs in LAC help to generate economic prosperity, reduce crime and violence, support civil society, defend universal rights, and protect the environment. Government agencies, civil society, the private sector, development banks, and international organizations to help achieve enduring results. We are dedicated to crafting and executing programs that strengthen the LAC region as a whole while meeting the diverse long- and short-term needs of individual partners in the region.
Skip to main content. Agency for International Development. Search Fusion Enter the terms you wish to search for. Latin America and the Caribbean. Find out more about our work in Latin America and the Caribbean by visiting our interactive map. Share This Page. Act Learn how you can get involved and lend a hand. Partner Find business and funding opportunities.
Comment Make a general inquiry or suggest an improvement. Connect Facebook. Stay Connected.It is estimated to attribute for over billion dollars that form the core for economic stabilityhowever, few countries, notably Venezuelaare parts of the OPEC. The region has a unique history and varied between stability to instability, included various deadly conflicts, though its level remains conflicted. The two deadliest conflicts in the region are Colombian conflict and Mexican Drug War ; and more recently, the crisis in Venezuela.
Some other bloody conflicts also include the Internal conflict in Peru and gang wars in Brazil, Honduras and Argentina. These conflicts, however, have received lesser attentions from international media, and varied by time, with Colombia in headline in s, Mexico in the s and currently, Venezuela. Most countries are dominated by Christianitythe largest being Roman Catholic. Smaller groups include Orthodoxy and Protestantism.
The region is extremely popular for its own distinct music which can't be found somewhere in the world. Began since the conquest of Spain, France, Britain, the Netherlands and Portugal in 15th century, due to the greater diversification including indigenous, Asian, African and European population merged together, it expanded popularity of their music, dated from s and rampant globalization, music from the region has become widely noticed, and has been nominated for several music awards.
The region is very rich at sporting activites, especially in association footballwhich have some of the world's strongest football teams like BrazilArgentinaUruguayetc; though baseballtenniscyclingvolleyballrugby unionbasketballhockeycricketalso gain recent popularity.
These three island territories form the Virgin Islands. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Central America. Main article: South America. Main article: West Indies. Main article: Caribbean. Main article: Lucayan Archipelago. West Indies. Dominican Republic Haiti. Virgin Islands. Federal Dependencies of Venezuela Nueva Esparta. Bahamas Turks and Caicos Islands. Colombia Venezuela. Territories in italics are parts of transregional sovereign states or non-sovereign dependencies.
Usually grouped with Northern American countries based on proximity; sometimes grouped with the West Indies culturally.
Afro-Caribbean Territorial evolution. Category Portal. Earth 's primary regions and subregions.While the pandemic continues to spread across the region, countries are facing the worst economic recession since countries started producing national accounts statistics in the s. The challenging external environment, coupled with much-needed measures to contain the pandemic, have led to a plummeting of economic activity across Latin America—where growth is poised to contract by 5.
Given the dramatic contraction in and as countries implement polices to contain the pandemic and to support their economies—as emphasized in our previous blog —a sharp recovery in can be expected.
By now, most of Latin America has taken significant public health measures to contain the spread of the virus. With atypical supply and demand shocks, a health crisis, and high financing costs across Latin America, the required actions to mitigate the human and economic costs of this crisis will be quite daunting and will require an unprecedented approach.
Although with different speed, by now most countries in the region have taken significant public health measures to contain the spread of the virus, such as social distancing and restrictions on nonessential activities. They have also increased the amount of fiscal resources allocated to healthcare, including tests, beds, respirators, and other equipment, which is an overarching priority given that many countries are still underprepared to face the worst of the pandemic.
On the economic policy front, actions have varied. Countries have relied on direct transfers to vulnerable households including an expansion of existing programsrelaxation of access requirements and expansion of unemployment insurance schemes, employment subsidies, temporary tax breaks and deferrals, and credit guarantees. Sizeable packages have been announced by Brazil, Chile, and Peru, and others are expected to follow or enhance existing measures.
Countries with better credit quality, as reflected in market spreads, have generally been more aggressive in their response to the pandemic. Central banks in the region have reduced policy rates and taken measures to support liquidity and to counteract disorderly conditions in domestic financial markets.
To ensure adequate liquidity conditions, some central banks have expanded the size of their liquidity provision operations, sometimes also allowing the participation of nonbank financial intermediaries and the use of highly-rated private sector securities.
Several central banks Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Peru have also intervened in foreign exchange and other financial markets to address disorderly conditions. Moreover, bank regulators have taken a number of measures to facilitate the continued provision of credit in an uncertain and recessionary environment. Public banks in Brazil and Colombia have extended credit to small and medium-sized enterprises and firms in sectors particularly affected by the lockdowns, while Brazil, Chile, Peru and other countries have provided loan guarantees to help affected firms maintain and gain access to credit.
Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean:
While we are in uncharted territory and policy responses are still evolving, policymakers are facing significant implementation challenges. For example, governments might be unable to reach vulnerable households through traditional transfers where there are no extensive social assistance systems already in place and where informality is prevalent.
Moreover, smaller firms and those in the informal sector are harder to reach. Given the high level of informality in the region, countries should use all possible registries and methods to reach smaller firms and informal workers and firms.
Additionally, given that the pandemic, the recession, and the required policy responses will cause significant increases in public deficits and debt, countries will need to create fiscal space in the budget by reducing nonpriority expenditure and increasing the efficiency of spending.
Countries will need to ensure that policies taken in response to the crisis are not perceived as permanent and become entrenched and generate distortions—especially regarding targeted assistance to certain sectors. To provide much needed additional revenue to help finance all these initiatives, increased taxation of petroleum products at a time when world prices are lower could be appropriate insofar that they do not increase domestic prices to end users.
Moreover, the tension between what is needed and what is possible is also subject to change by policy action. Those countries that can credibly commit to a sustainable fiscal policy by changing their tax, expenditure, and fiscal frameworks that guarantee corrections once the economy is back on track, will unlock significant fiscal space in the present to address the fall out. There is scope for further cuts in policy rates and liquidity support.
Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Migrants and Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean
Large output gaps and lower-for-longer rates in advanced economies suggest some central banks in the region could cut rates further, but large capital outflows may pose constraints on further policy easing. Commercial banks may be wary to lend to risky sectors in a deep recession, so credit risk could be mitigated by direct lending or explicit guarantees provided by the government through development banks or special purpose vehicles set up to fulfill this objective.
Prudent and temporary use of regulatory flexibility, such as providing debtors some breathing space before classifying loans as past due and postponing associated costly provisionshas been applied in some countries to facilitate rollovers. Several countries in the region will not be able to access sufficient resources on their own to cover the large external financing. So far, out of close to a countries that have requested emergency financing from the IMF, 16 are from Latin America and the Caribbean.
Additionally, other Latin American and Caribbean countries have requested new programs or the augmentation of existing ones, such as Honduras. As this is an unprecedent crisis, the IMF is actively engaged and fully committed to help our member countries fill this gap through several tools. These include using its 1-trillion-dollar balance sheetexpediting the approval of lending facilitiesincreasing the limits of existing facilities, and providing debt relief to the poorest and most vulnerable member countries hit by the pandemic under the revised Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust.
Besides the emergency facilities, the Fund is ready to deploy its more traditional arrangements such as Stand-by and Extended Fund Facilities as well as its contingent credit lines such as flexible credit lines and precautionary credit lines. As our Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, has noted, saving lives and protecting livelihoods ought to go hand in hand. We cannot do one without the other. We at the IMF are working on making sure that there is a strong response to the health crisis as well as protecting the strength of economies.According to IMF estimates, the region will experience a 5.
The Bank recommended increased social assistance programs in anticipation of a 4. The IMF also announced country-specific estimates, including a 5. Mexico is also expected to face a 6. Witzel said that he will keep working in the Laranjeiras Palace, abiding to medical and public health recommendations. Major U. Although the Guatemalan government requested that the U. As they combat illegal immigration to the U. The same day, U. The Institute of Social Security reported that medical personnel have been infected.
Vez Lira was well known for his conservation and environmental work in this state of Veracruz and his hometown of Actopan.
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Learn how your comment data is processed. Did you know only three cents of every philanthropic dollar goes to media nonprofits, and only one cent goes to Latino nonprofits?
Your donation to Latino USA will make a difference. Skip to content Politics. Search for:. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Support Independent Media Did you know only three cents of every philanthropic dollar goes to media nonprofits, and only one cent goes to Latino nonprofits?The Population of Latin America and the Caribbean - chart plots the total population count as of July 1 of each year, from to Population : Overall total population both sexes and all ages in the region as of July 1 of the year indicated, as estimated by the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division.
World Population Prospects: The Revision. For forecasted years, the U. For all other years: latest year annual percentage change equivalent assuming homogeneous change in the preceding five year period, calculated through reverse compounding.
Yearly Change : For absolute change in total population increase or decrease in number of people over the last year from July 1, to June 30 For all other years: average annual numerical change over the preceding five year period.Geography Now! Argentina
Migrants net : The average annual number of immigrants minus the number of emigrants over the preceding five year period running from July 1 to June 30 of the initial and final yearsor subsequent five year period for data. A negative number means that there are more emigrants than immigrants. Median Age : age that divides the population into two numerically equal groups: half of the people are older than the median age indicated and half are younger.
This parameter provides an indication of age distribution. It is calculated as the average number of children an average woman will have during her reproductive period 15 to 49 years old based on the current fertility rates of every age group in the countries within Latin America and the Caribbean, and assuming she is not subject to mortality. Urban Population : Population living in areas classified as urban according to the criteria used by each country.
Global Rank : Position held by Latin America and the Caribbean in the list of all regions worldwide ranked by population from the highest population to the lowest population as of July 1 of the year indicated. Coronavirus Population. Latin America and the Caribbean Population - The current population of Latin America and the Caribbean isas of Sunday, April 19,based on the latest United Nations estimates.
Latin America and the Caribbean population is equivalent to 8. Latin America and the Caribbean ranks number 4 among regions of the world roughly equivalent to "continents"ordered by population.
The population density in Latin America and the Caribbean is 32 per Km 2 84 people per mi 2. The total land area is 20, Km2 7, sq. Source: Worldometer www. Medium-fertility variant. South America. Central America.