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Central American States Outline

Central America Outline Map

Central American States - Outline

Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama

Central America (Spanish: Centroamérica or América Central) is a central geographic region of the Americas. It is variably defined either as the southern portion of North America, which connects with South America on the southeast, or a region of the Americas in its own right.

Physiographically, Central America is a narrow isthmus of southern North America extending from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico southeastward to the Isthmus of Panama where it connects to the Colombian Pacific Lowlands in northwestern South America. Alternatively, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt delimits the region on the north. Central America has an area of some 592,000 square kilometers. The Pacific Ocean lies to the southwest, the Caribbean Sea lies to the northeast, and the Gulf of Mexico lies to the north.

Most of Central America rests atop the Caribbean Plate. The region is geologically active, with volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occurring from time to time. Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, was devastated by earthquakes in 1931 and 1972, and in 2001 two earthquakes devastated El Salvador. Fertile soils from weathered volcanic lavas have made it possible to sustain dense populations in the agriculturally productive highland areas.

Culturally and geographically diverse, Central America faces a number of environmental and political challenges. Internal rebellions have wracked many of its countries and most are making the transition from agricultural to urban industrial economies. Rain forests in Central America continue to fall to loggers and farmers. Many nations still depend on one or a few cash crops—a legacy of the colonial slave plantation era. While civil wars and natural disasters have plagued many nations in this region, the rich and vibrant cultures of its people endure.

Central American States Outline




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"It appears fashionable these days, and almost politically correct, to blame hard-working immigrants,

especially those from Mexico and Central America, for the social and economic ills of our state and nation."
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