Central America is a geographical region, which occupies the southern-most part of mainland North America. It covers the territory between Mexico and Colombia. Central America borders the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east. The region consists of seven independent states – Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Honduras. It occupies an area of 521,097 sq.km. and is a natural bridge between North and South America.
Central America falls within the tropics and therefore the weather is all year round hot with seasonal precipitation. Most of the region is covered with dense rainforest. There is also a wide variety of plant and animal species.
Local forests are inhabited by jaguars, crocodiles, pumas and small colorful frogs, which are well known for their powerful poison. Central American coastlines are beautiful, and in some places there are wonderful beaches.
Close to the Caribbean coast of region is located the second largest coral reef on the planet. It is known for its extraordinary diversity of corals, colorful fish and other sea creatures.
The interior of the region is occupied by tall mountains which are part of the American Cordillera – one of the largest mountain ranges on earth. Many of the peaks are actually active volcanoes.
Central America has a population of about 41.5 million people. Most of them speak Spanish. The only country in the region, whose official language is other than Spanish, is Belize (Belizean people speak English).
The majority of the population of Central American countries consists of mixed race, called mestizo. These are descendants of immigrants from Europe and local Indian tribes. Central America is also home to many black people.
Their number is highest in Belize, where they represent more than 30% of the residents. The population of Central America consists mainly of Christians, mostly Catholics. An interesting fact is that the people of the region for the most part are very religious.
Central America has a growing economy. Most countries of the region are very poor and have suffered long years of internal conflicts and political instability.
Against the background of its neighbors, Costa Rica is characterized as exceptionally peaceful, stable and prosperous country.
Central America is a global producer of coffee, cocoa, sugar cane and a huge number of exotic tropical fruits, especially bananas.
The importance of tourism industry for local economy increases rapidly. The warm climate and beautiful beaches attract more and more tourists from all around the world.
The location of this region is extremely strategic. Through the territory of Panama passes the only waterway between the Caribbean and the Pacific – the Panama Canal. The alternative is to bypass the continent of South America from its southern side, through the Strait of Drake.
Between some Central American countries are undergoing processes of trade and economic integration. CACM is the abbreviation of the Central American Common Market.
The organization was founded in the 60s from Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras. Soon after the establishment of CACM, Costa Rica joined to the community.