Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Latin America ( No Answer,   8 Comments )
Subject: Latin America
Category: Reference, Education and News > Homework Help
Asked by: kemlo-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 27 Sep 2006 11:59 PDT
Expires: 30 Sep 2006 01:43 PDT
Question ID: 768958
Which part of the Americas is Latin America and why is it called that?

Clarification of Question by kemlo-ga on 28 Sep 2006 16:05 PDT
Does Latin America include Belize & Guyana?
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Latin America
From: elids-ga on 27 Sep 2006 12:36 PDT
All nations that speak a 'Latin' derived language are considered to be
part of 'Latin America'.

In America we speak Spanish, Portuguese, French and English, this last
one is not a 'Latin' derived language, so all of America is 'Latin
American' except the nations that speak English, namely the U.S.,
Canada, Greenland and British Guyana.
Subject: Re: Latin America
From: elids-ga on 27 Sep 2006 12:40 PDT
whoops... clicked 'post' too fast, meant to put a note stating
Greenland does not speak English, but it also does not speak a Latin
derived language, so it would not be part of Latin America.
Subject: Re: Latin America
From: pinkfreud-ga on 27 Sep 2006 12:43 PDT
Some of the info in this answer (particularly the second half of the
answer) may be of interest:
Subject: Re: Latin America
From: elids-ga on 28 Sep 2006 08:02 PDT
That answer was Interesting, however it is incorrect. 

America, is one continent, we now know that ?America? in fact rests
not on one but on three different continental plates, the North
American that ends just south of Mexico, the South American that ends
just north of Colombia, and the Atlantic that holds most of Central
America and the Carribean.

The continents were identified long before we had this level of
scientific knowledge (identifying continental plates), at the time all
continents were defined as land masses separated from others by bodies
of water, the only exception to that rule was Europe and Asia that are
separated by a mountain range. To further drive the point home, from a
continental plate point of view Europe and Asia are ONE continent they
sit on the same plate, there is no division. India is not part of the
Asian continental plate but a subcontinent that is pushing northward
on what would be the Eurasian continent, but we don?t identify it as a
continent, we think of it as part of Asia. Siberia IS NOT part of
Asia, Siberia sits on it?s own continental plate but we identify it as
part of Asia. So America is ONE continent.

That said, if we must make the divisions they should be made along
continental plates, North America would then end just south of Mexico,
South America would end just north of Colombia and everything else
would be Central America.
Subject: Re: Latin America
From: barneca-ga on 28 Sep 2006 15:21 PDT
the definition of "latin america" is not precise, but somewhat fluid. 
however, the most commonly accepted definition is elids' definition in
his/her first two comments.

as far as the slightly-off-topic discussion on continents, they are
historical and social constructs, not scientific.  there is certainly
no single rational method for determining their boundaries.  most
north americans consider north and south america separate continents. 
i am told that in some portions of latin america (not sure if almost
all or almost none, but at least some portion) north and south america
are considered one continent.  there is no "correct" answer.

i've found that many people who were taught that they are separate
continents think those that think they are one continent are stupid
and/or crazy, and vice versa, but neither one can "prove" they're

i'd be interested to know what the "typical" european view is on north
and south america: one continent or two? based on the number of
olympic rings, i guess most think it's one?


Subject: Re: Latin America
From: barneca-ga on 28 Sep 2006 16:44 PDT
again keeping in mind the caveat that these definitions are fuzzy, i
guess i disagee slightly with elids.  i believe belize is borderline,
and could be considered part of latin america if you wanted to;
english is the official language, but spanish is pretty common there
too (according to wikipedia, 50% of the population is mestizo).

all three guyanas (british, french, and dutch (suriname)) are, i am
fairly confident, NOT typically considered part of latin america. 
none has a significant mestizo population, and spanish/portuguese
isn't that common in any of the three.  i know french is a romance
language, but i don't know many people that consider french speakers
(quebecoise or french guyanese) to be "latin".

Subject: Re: Latin America
From: barneca-ga on 29 Sep 2006 05:15 PDT
i'm told by my wife that many latinos actually consider EVERYTHING
from mexico to tierra del fuego to be "latin america", it's just that
the small parts of it mentioned above happen to be occupied by

Subject: Re: Latin America
From: elids-ga on 29 Sep 2006 08:06 PDT
Hi Barneca, 

First I?ll clarify I?m a male, Eli is usually a male name although
some use it as an abbreviation for Elizabeth or other female names,
Ely is a female name.

The simplest proof that America has always been thought of as one
continent and not two or three comes from the name of the United
States of America, notice it does not say of ?North? America but of
America. When the issue of United Statesians calling themselves
Americans raised it?s ugly head for the first time, United Statesians
came up with a simple way to skirt it, basically saying there is not
one but two continents North and South America when referring to
themselves instead of using United Statesians they would erroneously
se ?Americans? when referring to Americans they would say ?of the
Americas? implying there are two not one. :-) cute but they forgot to
change the name of the US to reflect this....

You are right about Dutch Guyana I failed to include it. French is a
Latin derived language, therefore French speaking people are Latin and
so are Italians (think of ?Latin Lover? it includes French and

Belize is part of Latin America, it was however conquered by British
troops and English became the dominant language later on, but it?s
ancestry is Spaniard, therefor it is included in the term ?Latin?,
much like most of southern US it too is part of Latin America, however
over the last century the Spanish speaking population has been
assimilated into the English culture so it is not readily visible. The
term Latin much like Hispanic, is all encompassing that?s why many
Native Americans in Latin America that even today don?t speak Spanish
or Portuguese are Latin Americans.

Your wife?s definition is typical of what most Latin Americans
believe, although it is inaccurate, technically neither British nor
Dutch Guyana are part of Latin America.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy