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Central America - Region facts

Intro

Commonly, Central America is the region of North America located between the southern border of Mexico and the northwest border of Colombia, in South America. Some geographers classify Central America as a large isthmus, and in this geographic sense it sometimes includes the portion of Mexico east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, namely the Mexican states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo. However, Central America is much more commonly understood to correspond with the nations between Mexico and Colombia.
The UN subregion of Central America includes all mainland states of North America south of the US, including Mexico.

Geography

Central America thus has an area of about 540,000 km² (208,500 mi²), and a width between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea ranging from about 560 km to about 50 km (350 to 30 mi).
The geology of Central America is active, with volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occurring from time to time. In 1931 and 1972 earthquakes devastated Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. Fertile soils from weathered volcanic lavas have made it possible to sustain dense populations in the agriculturally productive highland areas. The Caribbean Plate is a tectonic plate upon which Central America rests.
The narrowest part of The Americas, Central America is the site of the Panama Canal as well as the proposed, but never-completed Nicaragua Canal.

History

There was a nation of Central America in the early 19th century, consisting of the present day nations of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica (and a portion of the modern Mexican state of Chiapas). This was sometimes known as the United Provinces of Central America or the United States of Central America.

Politics

The Central American Parliament, also known by the abbreviation Parlacen (from the Spanish Parlamento Centroamericano) is a political institution devoted to the integration of the Central American countries.
The Parlacen has its origins on the Contadora Group, a project launched in the 1980s to help deal with civil wars in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Although the Contadora was dissolved in 1986, the idea for Central American Integration remained, and its works were taken by the Esquipulas Peace Agreement, which, among other acts, agreed to the creation of the Central American Parliament.
The following countries each return 20 directly-elected deputies to the Parliament:
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic (acceded 26 February 2004)
In spite of its efforts to promote the Esquipulas Agreement, Costa Rica has not yet ratified and is consequently not represented in the Parlacen.

Culture

The Central American Parliament, also known by the abbreviation Parlacen (from the Spanish Parlamento Centroamericano) is a political institution devoted to the integration of the Central American countries.
The Parlacen has its origins on the Contadora Group, a project launched in the 1980s to help deal with civil wars in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Although the Contadora was dissolved in 1986, the idea for Central American Integration remained, and its works were taken by the Esquipulas Peace Agreement, which, among other acts, agreed to the creation of the Central American Parliament.
The following countries each return 20 directly-elected deputies to the Parliament:
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic (acceded 26 February 2004)
In spite of its efforts to promote the Esquipulas Agreement, Costa Rica has not yet ratified and is consequently not represented in the Parlacen.



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