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Central America

Central America is a part of the world placed between southern border of Mexico, in North America, and the northwest border of Colombia, in South America. Geographers do not consider Central America a continent; it is usually considered geographically part of North America. Some geographers talk of Central America as a large isthmus; in this geographic sense it sometimes includes the portion of Mexico east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, namely Mexican states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo. However Central America is much more commonly understood to corrispond with the boundries of the nations inbetween Mexico and Columbia.

In this most common definition, Central America consists of the countries of:

Guatemala
Belize
Honduras
El Salvador
Nicaragua
Costa Rica
Panama

Central America thus has an area of about 208,500 square miles, and a width between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea ranging from about 350 miles to about 30 miles.

Additionally, 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. See: History of Central America

The related term Mesoamerica (occasionally also called "Middle America") is used in English mostly restricted to refering to the Pre-Columbian Native American cultures of this region, which extended north into central Mexico.



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