Latin America is an ethnographic term that emerged in the 19th century to identify a region of the American continent with a majority speaking languages derived from Latin (mainly Spanish or Portuguese, to a lesser extent French).
The precise definition of the region's boundaries is variable. In all cases, countries whose official language is Spanish or Portuguese are included (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay , Honduras and Chile). Some include French-speaking countries such as Haiti, without considering cultural aspects, for the same reason and Belize (an English-speaking country but with a strong presence of Spanish language and culture), the French-speaking region of Canada, also discussed., the Spanish-speaking countries and US possessions, especially Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands and the French possessions in the Americas and the Caribbean (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Maarten and French Guiana).
Of the three languages that define Latin America, Spanish and Portuguese are predominant, leaving French as the language of only 3% of the region's population. The word Latino is extended and refers to people representing the Latin American culture.
The region covers an area of more than twenty million square kilometers, which corresponds to approximately 13.5% of the planet's landmass. Because of its size, Latin America has great geographic and biological diversity. The region experiences all the climatic conditions in the world and is home to numerous animal and plant species. It is also home to some of the world's largest rivers and important food, energy and mineral resources, notably its deposits of oil, copper, lithium and silver.
The term Latin culturally refers to the European peoples whose language and civilization originated in Latin Europe, the area under Roman rule, and who use Romance languages (Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania and some regions of Belgium and Switzerland)[ 4] and in addition to the peoples of other continents who share this cultural heritage. In the case of the Americas, the regions that were under the colonial rule of Spain, Portugal, and France are where this Latin culture established itself, mixing with local and sub-Saharan African influences. The declaration of independence and migration flows of the 19th and 20th centuries contributed millions of Spanish, Portuguese and Italian immigrants who added more elements to the Latin character (especially in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil). However, there is also an important migration movement of persons bearing other European, Asian or African cultures.