Mexico is part of Latin America
From a European perspective, Central and South America are often perceived as a single cultural region. This may have something to do with the fact that most of the countries of Latin America went through a similar historical and thus cultural development as a result of European (and especially Spanish) colonization. And certainly there are still many similarities across national borders, but also many typical cultural peculiarities of the individual regions. We present both in this article: What is typical for all of Latin America, and some regional or country-specific cultural peculiarities. You will see that there is a lot to discover between Mexico and Tierra del Fuego!
Football, favelas and megacities shape our image of Latin American society. Of course you are part of it. However, this cultural area has a lot more to offer. In order to discover all the cultural facets of a country, it is best to immerse yourself in Latin American culture.
Portuguese is spoken in Brazil and Spanish in the rest of Latin America. Right. But only in part. Because over 900 languages are spoken in Latin America. Hundreds of indigenous communities have their own language. In some countries they are an integral part of the school curriculum and also an official language. Then there are the regional characteristics of the Spanish and Portuguese languages, which even native speakers sometimes have to listen to very carefully.
Music & dance
The Latin American rhythms have long been an integral part of western pop culture. And not just with singers like Shakira. Many American and European artists also use elements of Latin American music. The folk music differs greatly from region to region. In the Andean regions, wind instruments such as the panpipe are often used. In contrast, there is the typical reggae of the Caribbean or the hot rhythms of the Brazilian samba.
Latin America knows independence movements, revolutions, military coups and drug wars. Charismatic leaders like Ernesto Che Guevara or Juan Perón captured the hearts of their followers and drew the contempt of their enemies. After the time of the military dictatorships, a process of democratization began. A modern middle class has developed in many countries. Yet corruption and poverty are still dominant issues in Latin American politics.
A lot in Latin American cuisine runs through staples like rice, beans, and corn, which can be found in almost every meal. Arroz con Pollo (rice with chicken) is hard to avoid. But regionally there are many different things: a lot of meat, exotic fruits or fish dishes. While the beef steaks have become a classic in the Argentine countryside, there are a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in the tropical rainforests of the Amazon basin.
Football is the most popular sport in Latin America. Argentina and Brazil not only celebrated important successes at major tournaments. They also produced some of the greatest footballers in the world: Pelé, Diego Maradona or Lionel Messi. In the streets of Rio or Buenos Aires, children learn ball technique from an early age. Volleyball and basketball are also very popular in Latin America. At the Olympic Games and World Championships, the Brazilian teams in particular shone in this area.
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