In 2010 Belize had 63% of remaining forest cover, Costa Rica 46%, Panama 45%, Honduras 41%, Guatemala 37%, Nicaragua 29%, and El Salvador 21%. Countries of North America 988; Americas Letter Pair Blackout 20; Central American Countries By Location 19; America By Any 2 Letters Blitz 19; Find the Central American Countries (Minefield) 10; Periodic Table of US States 10; North American Flag Maps 8; Pacific Countries (Americas) 6; Rapid Route: Central America 5 36% of Belize's land territory falls under some form of official protected status, giving Belize one of the most extensive systems of terrestrial protected areas in the Americas. Panama is on the Isthmus of Panama, a narrow bridge of land connecting North America to South America. Although the group was disbanded in 1986, ideas of unity of Central Americans still remained, so a treaty was signed in 1987 to create the Central American Parliament and other political bodies. Most of the loss occurred in the moist forest biome, with 12,201 square kilometers (4,711 sq mi). Though popular for its famed Panama City in Central America, Panama is far outranked on the safest countries lists by other Western neighbors but because the country is so prone to natural disasters, it suffers from a lower ranking. The predominant religion in Central America is Christianity (95.6%). It is home to 70 hard coral species, 36 soft coral species, 500 species of fish and hundreds of invertebrate species. [citation needed], Panama, situated in the southernmost part of Central America on the Isthmus of Panama, has for most of its history been culturally and politically linked to South America. Because of the 87 kilometers (54 mi) break in the highway known as the Darién Gap, it is not possible to cross between Central America and South America in an automobile. Panama is by far one of the safest countries in Central America. The capital of Guatemala is Guatemala City. In Nicaragua, cloud forests are situated near the border with Honduras, but many were cleared to grow coffee. Central America is a tapering isthmus running from the southern extent of Mexico to the northwestern portion of South America. Nicaragua is surrounded by Honduras to the northwest, the Caribbean Sea to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. [21], Efforts to protect fauna and flora in the region are made by creating ecoregions and nature reserves. Governments in the region sometimes reinforce this sense of belonging to Central America in its citizens[citation needed]. Signed in 2004, the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) is an agreement between the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. Central America is a part of the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot, which extends from northern Guatemala to central Panama. Costa Rica is neither rich nor poor, but its wealth is better distributed amongst its inhabitants. [citation needed] Despite the dissolution of the Federal Republic of Central America, there is anecdotal evidence that demonstrates that Salvadorans, Panamanians, Costa Ricans, Guatemalans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans continue to maintain a Central American identity[citation needed]. With a ranking of just 64/128 on a recent Global Financereport of the safest countries in the world, Panama broke dead even. Nicaragua is still one of Latin America's least developed countries and is the poorest country in Central America. As part of the Republic of Colombia, Panama State was abolished and it became the Isthmus Department. El Salvador is the most densely-populated country in Central America. It connects that continent with South America . Belizehas recently been on the rise as a desirable country to retire. Other high points of Central America are as listed in the table below: Between the mountain ranges lie fertile valleys that are suitable for the raising of livestock and for the production of coffee, tobacco, beans and other crops. Guatemala has the largest population in Central America, while Nicaragua is the largest country by size. Over 300 species of the region's flora and fauna are threatened, 107 of which are classified as critically endangered. Between 1811 and 1825, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Gran Colombia, the United Provinces of Central America, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia gained independence from Spain and … This sector accounts for 42 per cent of total exports from El Salvador, 55 per cent from Guatemala, and 65 per cent from Honduras. Due to this biodiversity, several Central American countries have made the ecotourism industry one of its top income sources. In 1991, the integration agenda was further advanced by the creation of the Central American Integration System (Sistema para la Integración Centroamericana, or SICA). Some of the significant concerns Belize faces are high unemployment, massive foreign debt burden, and high unemployment. Belize's capital city is Belmopan. Belizeans are usually identified as culturally West Indian rather than Central American. The regional economy should recover from the pandemic-induced downturn next year amid a supportive base effect , and as domestic and foreign demand strengthen on the back of the easing of restrictive measures. The exact causes for its extinction are unknown. The treaty is aimed at promoting free trade among its members. © CountryReports™ 1997 - 2020 - All Rights Reserved. The country is between Colombia and Costa Rica. Central America is an isthmus that connects North America to South America, separating the Pacific Ocean to the west from the Caribbean Sea to the east. [52] In 2012 tourism contributed with 12.5% of the country's GDP and it was responsible for 11.7% of direct and indirect employment. On 1 July 1823, the Congress of Central America peacefully seceded from Mexico and declared absolute independence from all foreign nations, and the region formed the Federal Republic of Central America. North and Central America: Capitals - Map Quiz Game: Sitting at over 7,300 feet, Mexico City is the highest elevation capital in North and Central America. Humid swamps and lowlands lie along its west and east coasts. The population density in Central America is 73 per Km 2 (190 people per mi 2). Central America only occupies 0.5% of the world's land surface but is home to more than 7% of its biodiversity. Once thought to be one of the safest countries in Central America, Costa Rica is now suffering from levels of crime and murder rates that rival its neighbors. Central America is one of the world's most biologically abundant regions on Earth. Bananas, coffee, and cacao are the chief crops of Central America, and gold and silver are mined there. Panama's capital is Panama City. On 22 July 2011, President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador became the first president pro tempore to SICA. [13] The Pacific Flyway is a major north–south flyway for migratory birds in the Americas, extending from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. Central America's climate varies with altitude from tropical to cool. The country has abolished its military and provided social and educational guarantees for its citizens. The region is considered part of the developing world, which means it has issues in poverty, education, transportation, communications, infrastructure, and/or access to health care for its residents. In 1862, Britain formally declared it a British colony and named it British Honduras. Central America has a less populous Caribbean side and a congested Pacific side. From 1609 to 1821, the majority of Central American territories (except for what would become Belize and Panama, and including the modern Mexican state of Chiapas) were governed by the viceroyalty of New Spain from Mexico City as the Captaincy General of Guatemala. Costa Rica's political stability and steady growth have resulted in one of the lowest poverty rates in the region. El Salvador's capital city is San Salvador. Central America only occupies 0.5% of the world's land surface but is home to more than 7% of its biodiversity. [22] A large coral reef extends from Mexico to Honduras: the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. In August 2018, El Salvador also severed ties with Taiwan to formally start recognizing the People's Republic of China as sole China, a move many considered lacked transparency due to its abruptness and reports of the Chinese government's desires to invest in the department of La Union while also promising to fund the ruling party's reelection campaign. The Captaincy General of Guatemala encompassed most of Central America, with the exception of present-day Belize and Panama. Its area is 202,200 square miles (523 700 square km) and it extends roughly 1,140 miles (1,835 km) long from the northwest to the southeast. In 1951 the integration process continued with the signature of the San Salvador Treaty, which created the ODECA, the Organization of Central American States. [50] Belize is also the only country in Central America with English as its official language, making this country a comfortable destination for English-speaking tourists. by Hullabaloo Plays Quiz Updated Feb 4, 2016 . So far only about 10% of the species in the Belize barrier reef have been discovered. This region is bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. [citation needed]. [30][31] With an area of 523,780 square kilometers (202,230 sq mi),[32] it has a population density of 91 per square kilometer (240/sq mi). [27], Turquoise-browed motmot, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Higher elevations above 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) are usually covered with Central American montane forests. The immigration of Arabs, Jews, Chinese, Europeans and others brought additional groups to the area. The Pacific Ocean lies to the southwest, the Caribbean Sea lies to the northeast, and the Gulf of Mexico lies to the north. Guatemala formally recognized 21 of these in 1996. In Costa Rica, there are laurel forests in the Cordillera de Tilarán and Volcán Arenal, called Monteverde, also in the Cordillera de Talamanca. New members have since then joined including Panama and the Dominican Republic. However, in recent years, Honduras has had the second-highest economic growth in Central America, only second to Panama. However, it has one of the highest per capita national debt among all Central American countries. On 24 August 1821, Spanish Viceroy Juan de O'Donojú signed the Treaty of Córdoba, which established New Spain's independence from Spain. From there, the Central American land mass extends southeastward to the Atrato River, where it connects to the Pacific Lowlands in northwestern South America. The population of Central America is estimated at 47,448,333 as of 2018. This tectonic plate converges with the Cocos, Nazca, and North American plates to form the Middle America Trench, a major subduction zone. It was traditionally an agricultural economy but quickly expanded in the 1960s and '70s, and the service sector now dominates the economy. The entire ecoregion covers an area of 13,200 square kilometers (5,100 sq mi) and has a temperate climate with relatively high precipitation levels. Along the country's 174-mile (280-km) coastline is the Belize Barrier Reef, the second-largest barrier reef in the world and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1609 the area became a captaincy general and the governor was also granted the title of captain general. Mangroves and deserts contributed only 1% to the loss in forest vegetation. The capital of Costa Rica is San José. after the country's name in formal and informal contexts. However, despite some countries experiencing economic growth or stability over the years, poverty among its citizens is still a significant issue for many. Costa Rica has a population of over 5 million people across 19,730 square miles (51,100 square km). The combined population of Central America is estimated at 44.53 million (2016). Tree species include evergreen oaks, members of the laurel family, and species of Weinmannia, Drimys, and Magnolia. Beginning with his arrival in Soconusco in 1523, Alvarado's forces systematically conquered and subjugated most of the major Maya kingdoms, including the K'iche', Tz'utujil, Pipil, and the Kaqchikel. Despite the many political reorganizations, Colombia was still deeply plagued by conflict, which eventually led to the secession of Panama on 3 November 1903. Laurel forest is the most common type of Central American temperate evergreen cloud forest, found in almost all Central American countries, normally more than 1,000 meters (3,300 ft) above sea level. [39] After breaking off relations with the Republic of China in 2017, Panama established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. [28] For example, subduction of the Cocos Plate beneath the North American Plate at the Middle America Trench is believed to have caused the 1985 Mexico City earthquake that killed as many as 40,000 people. (Geologists and physical geographers sometimes extend the northern boundary to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico.) Costa Rica is not a member State of the Central American Parliament and its adhesion remains as a very unpopular topic at all levels of the Costa Rican society due to existing strong political criticism towards the regional parliament, since it is regarded by Costa Ricans as a menace to democratic accountability and effectiveness of integration efforts. The pine-oak forests lie between 600–1,800 metres (2,000–5,900 ft) elevation,[25] and are surrounded at lower elevations by tropical moist forests and tropical dry forests. There are still some temperate evergreen hills in the north. Many thousands of people have died as a result of these natural disasters. The Caribbean Sea borders Panama to the north, and the Pacific Ocean surrounds it to the south. Its original members were Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras. [57] The growth in tourism has positively affected the agricultural, commercial, and finance industries, as well as the construction industry. January through March are the driest months. Belize and El Salvador were the smallest countries in … The Belize Barrier Reef is home to a large diversity of plants and animals, and is one of the most diverse ecosystems of the world. Poverty, social injustice, and violence are still widespread. [37] No timeline for implementation was discussed. Global warming may have played a role, because the development of that frog is typical for this area may have been compromised. Economic Snapshot for Central America. [citation needed], The Federal Republic of Central America was a representative democracy with its capital at Guatemala City. Is Central America Considered North America? The region consists of seven countries: Belize , Guatemala , El Salvador , Honduras , Nicaragua , Costa Rica , and Panama . The bulk of the deforestation was located at the Caribbean slopes of Nicaragua with a loss of 8,574 square kilometers (3,310 sq mi) of forest in the period from 2001 to 2010. [51], Costa Rica is the most visited nation in Central America. The only cloud forest in the Pacific coastal zone of Central America is on the Mombacho volcano in Nicaragua. In some cases, business leaders have used the services of the maras. 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. Xinca and Garifuna are also present in Central America. El Salvador is surrounded by Honduras to the north and east, Guatemala to the northwest, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Spain, and later Guatemala, considered this land a Guatemalan department. Guatemala has the largest economy in Central America, with an average growth rate of 3.5% in the last five years. With the ability to sit on a b… Central America is one of the most integrated regions of the world, progressing towards a customs union and with elaborated potential integration mechanisms. However the southern countries (Costa Rica and Panama) of the region have more biodiversity than the northern countries (Guatemala and Belize), meanwhile the central countries (Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador) have the least biodiversity. It has incredibly diverse natural vegetation, with tropical rainforests occupying the eastern lowlands, evergreen forests abundant along the lower slopes of the Pacific coast, and pine and oak forests growing in higher elevations. Many of the amphibians are endemic and depend on the existence of forest. CDC Impact in Central America CDC has participated in research investigations of diseases that affect many countries, like measles, rabies, and Zika virus. That was one of the factors that led to the coining of the phrase banana republic. 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