Central America is a connecting link between North and South America. Although there is no definitive agreement, it is considered a part of North America. It is about 1,140 miles long and divides the Pacific Ocean from the Caribbean Sea.
Several nations in the area have a similar history of the Spanish invasion. They do, however, have distinct political and economic systems. Civil conflicts have erupted often in certain nations, while others have stayed relatively quiet. Here are five facts about Central America that you should know.
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1. The Countries That Makeup Central America
The Countries That Makeup Central America Guatemala is the most populous nation in the world, with about 18 million people. El Salvador is the smallest nation in terms of size, but it has the highest population density, with an average of 811 persons per square mile.
Costa Rica is one of Central America’s most politically stable nations. It also doesn’t have a standing army.
Belize was a British colony that is still part of the Commonwealth, and it was the sole British colony in Central America, along with a previous colony called the Mosquito Coast that is now part of Honduras and Nicaragua.
Belize is the only nation in the area where English is the official language, although its residents are often multilingual, speaking Creole, Spanish, or a Mayan language such as Yucatec or Mopán.
2. It Is On The Land Of The Mayan Empire
Before the Spanish invasion in the 16th century, the Mayan Kingdom was one of Mesoamerica’s most powerful indigenous civilizations. Around 6 million people in modern-day Central America and Mexico speak one of the roughly 25 Mayan languages that are still spoken today.
Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, and El Salvador are all home to Maya descendants. Guatemalans of Mayan heritage make up around 40% of the population.
The first Mayan settlements date from roughly 1800 BCE, but the Classic Period, which started around 250 AD, was the most prosperous.
During this time, the civilization expanded to some 40 towns, many of which flourished and had populations of 5,000 to 50,000 people. The Maya population reached over 2 million individuals at its height.
It is unclear how it fell into decline, but by the time the Spanish explorers came, the people of the region were largely living in tiny agricultural communities rather than the enormous metropolis they had formerly inhabited.
3. Five different countries Once upon a time, a large country was formed.
The Federal Republic of Central America was a short-lived government that included Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica. It was founded in 1823. The area (together with the Mexican state of Chiapas) was once part of the viceroyalty of New Spain.
There was continual infighting between the Liberals and Conservatives once the country was created. This dispute ended in a civil war, which led to the union’s collapse in 1840. The republic was split up into the nations that now make up Central America.
4. Pedro Arias Davila Was An Important Historical Figure
Pedrarias, or Pedro Arias Davila, was a Spanish soldier who led the first Spanish attempt to establish permanent colonies on the American continent. He sent some of his warriors to what is now Costa Rica and Nicaragua on conquering operations.
His accomplishments include the creation of Panama City, the establishment of colonies in what is now Panama and Nicaragua, and serving as governor of both nations.
5. The Pan-American Highway Is Incomplete Due To A Gap
The Pan-American Highway extends approximately 30,000 miles from Alaska to Argentina’s southern point. The Pan-American Highway, however, cannot travel through the Darien Gap, a vast tropical rainforest that runs from Panama to Colombia.
Travelers must put their automobiles onto a boat to enter Colombia after they reach the gap’s entry in Panama.
Due to its difficult terrain, toxic wildlife, and armed guerilla patrols, the Darien Gap is considered one of the most hazardous areas in the Western Hemisphere.
Due to the area’s terrain and conflict with the indigenous inhabitants, attempts to establish a route have been unsuccessful. In reality, many years later, vestiges of the British effort to construct a railroad in this area are still rusting away in the forest.
Central America is a universe unto itself, with historical sites stretching back longer in time than Europe and just as much cultural depth.
It is neither North nor South America. It provides adventurers with a plethora of options, ranging from trekking to beaches, and history to nightlife. Just remember to pack your rain jacket; the rainy season in this part of the world is severe!