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Portal:Latin America

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Introduction

Latin America (orthographic projection).svg

Latin America is a group of countries and dependencies in the Western Hemisphere where Romance languages such as Spanish, French and Portuguese are spoken; it is broader than the terms Ibero-America or Hispanic America. The term originated in the Napoleon III French government in the mid-19th century as Amérique latine to consider French-speaking territories in the Americas, (French Canadians, French Louisiana, French Guiana, Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy) along with the larger group of countries where Spanish and Portuguese languages prevailed, including the Spanish-speaking portions of the United States (Southwestern United States and Florida) Today, areas of Canada and the United States (with the exception of Puerto Rico and Miami) where Spanish, Portuguese and French are predominant are typically not included in definitions of Latin America.

Latin America consists of twenty sovereign states and several territories and dependencies which cover an area that stretches from the northern border of Mexico to the southern tip of South America, including the Caribbean. It has an area of approximately 19,197,000 km2 (7,412,000 sq mi), almost 13% of the Earth's land surface area. As of 2016, its population was estimated at more than 639 million and in 2014, Latin America had a combined nominal GDP of 5,573,397 million USD and a GDP PPP of 7,531,585 million USD.

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Juscelino Kubitschek bridge in Brasilia
Credit: Eric Gaba

The Juscelino Kubitschek bridge (Portuguese: Ponte Juscelino Kubitschek), also known as the President JK Bridge or just the JK Bridge, is a steel and concrete bridge that crosses Lake Paranoá in Brasília, capital of Brazil.

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Battleship Moreno of the Argentine Navy
ARA Moreno was a dreadnought battleship (Spanish: acorazado) designed by the American Fore River Shipbuilding Company for the Argentine Navy (Armada de la República Argentina). Named after Mariano Moreno, a key member of the first independent government of Argentina, the First Assembly (Primera Junta), Moreno was the second ship in the Rivadavia class. Argentina placed orders for Moreno and her only sister ship, Rivadavia, in response to a Brazilian naval building program and border disputes, particularly in the River Plate area. During their construction, the two dreadnoughts were subject to numerous rumors involving Argentina selling the two battleships to a country engaged in the First World War, but these proved to be false. After Moreno was completed in March 1915, a series of engine problems occurred during her sea trials which delayed her delivery to Argentina to May 1915. The next decade saw the ship based in Puerto Belgrano as part of the Argentine Navy's First Division before sailing to the United States for an extensive refit in 1924 and 1925. During the 1930s the ship was occupied with diplomatic cruises to Brazil, Uruguay, and Europe until the Second World War broke out. During this time, Moreno was employed little as Argentina was neutral. Decommissioned in 1949, Moreno was scrapped in Japan beginning in 1957.


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Latin American News

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Moai at Rano Raraku, Easter Island
Credit: Aurbina

Moai are monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui people on Easter Island in eastern Polynesia between the years 1250 and 1500 CE.Nearly half are still at Rano Raraku, the main moai quarry, but hundreds were transported from there and set on stone platforms called ahu around the island's perimeter. Almost all moai have overly large heads three-eighths the size of the whole statue. The moai are chiefly the living faces (aringa ora) of deified ancestors (aringa ora ata tepuna).The statues still gazed inland across their clan lands when Europeans first visited the island, but most were cast down during later conflicts between clans.

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