What Makes Latin America So Special?

Latin America is a region of the world that is full of rich and diverse cultures, histories, and people. From the indigenous cultures that have been present for centuries to the European colonization, African slavery, and global immigration that have shaped the region, Latin America is a melting pot of different cultures. This complexity makes it difficult to define its people with a single category or ethnic identifier. In the post-Cold War world, Latin America and the Caribbean have become more important than ever.

The dynamism of the region's cultures, its prodigious agricultural capacity and its vast energy reserves have made the region's place in the world community more significant than at any time since the colonial era. Indigenous, African and European peoples make up the bulk of this culture. As a result of this mixture, religions such as Santeria in Cuba and Candomble in Brazil have been created. These religions have African roots, but they also contain elements of European Catholicism.

Another example of mixing can be found in Mexican music known as 'son'. This term is given to a category of Mexican folk music that encompasses a variety of styles that vary by region. However, these styles share a series of common characteristics in their rhythms, lyrics and dance. The music is a mixture of Spanish, African and indigenous elements, which were mixed at least in the 18th century. Latin America is an incredible place.

While it's hard to define, it's easy to enjoy. The extraordinary diversity found within its borders has been the source of so many spectacular social and cultural expressions over the years. You could say that this is also the source of their many contradictions. Latin America covers a vast and very diverse area of the world. The region's main natural features include the southern cone pampas grasslands, the Andean mountain range, the Amazon rainforest, the forests and volcanoes of Central America and some of the tropical islands of the Caribbean.

Of all these languages, the most influential linguistic forces in Latin America are Spanish, Portuguese and French. The history of Latin American culture is extraordinarily rich, complex and diverse, with many historical characteristics, countries, peoples and languages that exist within its borders. These territories include almost all of Mexico, Central and South America, with the exception of English- or Dutch-speaking territories. Some typical products of Latin American cuisine include dishes and beverages based on corn (tortillas, tamales, arepas, pupusas, chicha morada, chicha de jora) and various sauces and other condiments (guacamole, pico de gallo, mole). South America has three main habitats: the high Andes mountain range, the lush rainforests of the Amazon and the dry grasslands of the 'southern cone'. Many of the African slaves in Latin America mixed with Europeans and their descendants (known as mulattos) make up the majority of the population in some countries such as the Dominican Republic and large percentages in Brazil and Colombia. Latin American music comes in many varieties from simple rural music from northern Mexico to sophisticated Havana music from Cuba.

From symphonies by Heitor Villa-Lobos to simple yet moving Andean flutes. Interestingly French-speaking countries and dependencies are not considered part of Latin American culture due to continued domination by French culture within them. That said Latin America is also a wonderfully diverse group of countries as well as a growing political and economic force. Evangelical missionaries from other Christian denominations have made some progress (especially in Central America) in recent times including those from Mormon Church. Andean music for example includes countries in western South America typically Colombia Peru Bolivia Ecuador Chile and Venezuela while Central American music includes Nicaragua El Salvador Belize Guatemala Honduras and Costa Rica. But people in this region always greet each other with hugs and kisses as a way to show respect for each other. Latin American cinema flourished after introduction of sound adding language barrier to export of Hollywood films south of border. Walter Mignolo's book The Idea Of Latin America exposes how idea of Latin America and Latin American philosopher were formed and propagated as precursor to Latin philosophy. From Mexican tacos to Guatemalan chuchitos and Venezuelan arepas entire tortilla culture in Latin America has solid similarity which is corn. But people in Latin America always recognize each other regardless if they know each other or not.

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