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central american countries

central american countries

central american countries

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central american countries

Central America is a narrrow, southernmost region (c.202,200 sq mi/523,698 sq km) of the continent of North America, linked to South America at Colombia. It separates the Caribbean from the Pacific. Historically, geographers considered it to extend from the natural boundary of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, S Mexico, to that of the Isthmus of Panama. Generally, it is considered to consist of the seven republics (1990 est. pop. 29,000,000) of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. The mountains of N Central America are an extension of the mountain system of W North America and are related to the islands of the West Indies.

The middle portion of Central America is an active zone of volcanoes and earthquakes it contains the Nicaragua Depression, which includes the huge lakes Nicaragua and Managua. The ranges of S Central America are outliers of the Andes Mts. of South America. Tajumulco (13,846 ft/4,210 m high), a volcano in Guatemala, is the region’s highest peak. Central America’s climate varies with altitude from tropical to cool. The eastern side of the region receives heavy rainfall. Bananas, coffee, and cacao are the chief crops of Central America, and gold and silver are mined there. The economies of the countries in the region are becoming increasingly diversified. Though agriculture is still the largest employer, more technical positions are being produced as the industrial and service sectors develop. The Inter-American Highway traverses W Central America.

central american countries
central american countries

Central American Countries According to Middle America

Through the eyes of Middle American views, Central America is thought of as, first and foremost, being inclusive of every part of Mexico. All of the countries that lie to the south of Mexico are understood to be part of Central America, as are the South American countries of Venezuela and Colombia.  As you can see, this viewpoint defines Central America as involving all of the states in between — or in the middle of — North America and South America, with the addition of the two aforementioned South American countries.

What Countries are in Central America?

Central America (Spanish: América Central or Centroamérica) is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast.

Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

Central America is part of the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot, which extends from northern Guatemala through central Panama. It is bordered by Mexico to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the east, the North Pacific Ocean to the west, and Colombia to the south-east.

Central America is an area of 524,000 square kilometers (202,000 sq mi), or almost 0.1% of the Earth’s surface.  It has a density of 77 people per square kilometer.


Located on the northern Caribbean coast of Central America, Belize has a population of approximately 380,000 inhabitants. Its capital is the city of Belmopán, and the most populated city is the City of Belize. The encounter between the Caribbean natives and the Africans who were taken to Belize as slaves by the European colonizers, gave birth to a new

ethnic group: the Garífuna. Belize was part of the Mayan Empire that extended from southern Mexico to Guatemala and Honduras.

Belize is part of the important Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, with great biological diversity, in both marine and mainland territories.  Three of the four coral reefs of the Western Hemisphere are off the coast of Belize. It is the only country in Central America where English is the official language, being a former British

colony, although Spanish, Belizean Creole, and to a lesser extent, Mayan, Arawak, and

Garífuna are spoken. Bilingualism is very common and encouraged. The majority of the population professes Catholicism, and British influence has brought considerable and varied Protestant congregations, including German and Swiss Mennonites.

central american countries
central american countries

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is surrounded by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast,Panama to the southeast, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. At its narrowest point, the distance between the Caribbean and Pacific is only about 75 miles. Costa Rica has the most stable and democratic government in Central America. The country has abolished its military and provided social and educational guarantees for its citizens.Costa Rica has a population of over 5 million people across 19,730 square miles (51,100 square km). The capital of San José is the largest city and is home to about one-fifth of the population. Roughly half of the country’s population lives in urban areas.Costa Rica is an upper-middle-income country that has had a strong and stable economic growth since 2010. It has an established ecotourism industry due to its biodiversity. It also exports several agriculture-based products such as bananas, coffee, sugar, and beer. Costa Rica’s political stability and steady growth have resulted in one of the lowest poverty rates in the region. However, it has one of the highest per capita national debt among all Central American countries.


So if you love snorkeling, diving, and exploring the underwater world, Honduras is a great place to visit. The country also has many national parks filled with wildlife and mountains that are great for hiking, though there are no volcanoes in Honduras.

There are also lots of cool archeological sites for those who love history. Honduras is not a super popular country to visit in Central America, but it does have a lot to offer.

For those who want to live and work among locals, there are also Worldpackers work exchanges available in Honduras! You can learn permaculture with locals in a farm on a Caribbean Island or apply for a volunteering position in a beautiful fun hostel in Honduras as a bartender and live the experience of your life!

central american countries
central american countries


Located in the northern most part of western Central America, the Republic of Guatemala has an approximate population of 15,700,000 inhabitants, and a wide native culture product of the Mayan heritage and Spanish influence during the colonial era. Its capital is the City of Guatemala, officially called “Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción”. In spite of its relatively small territorial extension, Guatemala has a great climatic variety, product of its mountainous relief, reaching a height of up to 4,220 meters above sea level.

There are also twenty-one Mayan languages, in addition to the Xinca and Garífuna languages, the latter spoken by the Afro-descendant population in the Caribbean department of Izabal. The current Guatemalan culture is the result of the numerous Mayan, Spanish, Afro-Caribbean, Mexican and, to a lesser extent, American influences, as well as from the rest of American countries.  The “typical” fabrics and some traditional clothes are

made in a traditional Mayan way, however, the transculturation has had its influence in their

clothes, mainly in the young indigenous population. In Guatemala you can also find important archaeological sites with Mayan ruins.

El Salvador

Generally not that popular among tourists, El Salvador is surprisingly one of the best Central American countries to visit. El Salvador doesn’t have a great reputation due to the wars and violence that occurred there in the mid-late 1900s.

However, these conflicts are in the past and El Salvador is becoming more and more safe for tourists every year.

Because it is not super touristy, El Salvador is cheap and there are lots of amazing retreats and eco villages scattered around the small country. There is good surfing, lots of incredible nature, and many lodges and retreats that focus on yoga, meditation, and healthy living.

You can even volunteer at an eco village and work as a cook, photographer, gardener, teacher, and general maintenance volunteer or explore El Salvador with other volunteering positions.

central american countries
central american countries


Panama is on the Isthmus of Panama, a narrow bridge of land connecting North America to South America. The Caribbean Sea borders Panama to the north, and the Pacific Ocean surrounds it to the south. The country is between Colombia and Costa Rica. The 51-mile-long Panama Canal, which connects the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean, has made Panama one of the world’s most strategic transportation centers.

Panama’s capital is Panama City. The country has over 4.2 million people spread across 29,081 square miles (75,320 square km) of land. Panama became the first Spanish colony in the Pacific in 1510.

Panama has had one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Over the past couple of years, it has had an average annual growth rate of 4.6% in the past five years. The Panama Canal has helped the country play an ongoing role in international affairs and world commerce, and the Canal’s recent expansion project will strengthen Panama’s future growth. Despite its strong economic performance, Panama still has one of the worst income distribution in Central America. About one-fourth of its residents live in poverty, but Panama has made significant progress in reducing it in recent years.



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