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Published byEileen Caldwell Modified over 7 years ago
7 countries: Guatamala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama Spanish is the official language of each, except Belize (English) Religion: Roman Catholic People are generally mestizo or mulatto (European & African mix)
USCA? After independence from Spain (1821), formed the United Provinces of Central America, modeled after the USA Lasted only 15 years before civil war dissolved the union
Central America relies heavily on export of coffee and bananas “Banana Republics” Sugar, cotton, and cacao are also important Most wealthy families in the region have long-standing ties to foreign companies and to their own armies
Guatemala Roughly the size of Tennessee, 2/3 of country is mountainous 32 active volcanoes Deforestation a severe problem A series of military dictatorships and civil wars since independence in 1840 has kept country unstable and poverty-ridden Highest population in region (the most Indians, too)
Costa Rica Costa Ricans known as ticas One of the largest banana producers in the world The most consistent history of democracy in the region – highest per capita GDP Most of the population is of European (Spanish) descent Strong tourism industry due its natural beauty (ecotourism) Belief in peace above all else… has no army
Nicaragua Largest and poorest country in region Corruption and political upheaval are to blame (communists – Sandinistas – ruled until democratic reforms in 1990) Was a candidate for the canal
Belize Only Central American nation with British background Only achieved independence in 1981 – previously, it was “British Honduras” Only Central American nation with no Pacific coastline Tourism and agriculture (sugar, citrus, bananas) are main economic activities
El Salvador Smallest country in Central America – only one with no Caribbean coastline History of oppressive dictatorships Brutal 12-year civil war ended in 1992 Damaging hurricanes and earthquakes have prevented any progress since Economy is based around money sent home by Salvadorans in the U.S.
Panama U.S. helped it secede from Columbia – then signed treaty allowing U.S. to build canal there U.S. invaded Panama in 1989 to oust dictator Manuel Noriega – who is still in a U.S. prison on drug charges Service based economy is 2 nd strongest in region
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