Middle America & The Caribbean

Middle America & The Caribbean

CUBA & LA HISPANIOLA  –  GUATEMALA & MEXICO

The region embracing central to southern Mexico and Central America was the cradle of one of the most advanced civilizations of the Americas. The early cultivation of such plants as squash, beans and especially corn, allowed the establishment of major cities and the integration of various ethnic and linguistic elements into a common culture, in which technology and beliefs were shared.

The peoples of Mesoamerica, supported by an agricultural economy and a theocratic society, reached an admirable level of mathematical and astronomical knowledge. They created a highly accurate calendar and invented an elaborate writing system.

The Olmec heritage, considered the “mother culture” (fifteen to twelve centuries BC), was successively enriched by the Zapotec, Maya, Toltec and Aztec cultures, until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores in the early sixteenth century.

The current population is linguistically and culturally Hispanic, with important indigenous minorities, especially in Southeast Mexico and Guatemala.

The hundreds of islands and coral cays comprising the Antillean archipelago of the Caribbean form a broad arc, ranging from the coast of Venezuela to the Florida Peninsula. With their palm-fringed golden beaches, the blue of their transparent waters and the colourful fish of their reefs, they are sold as the tourist paradigm of the tropical paradise, and some of them, also as tax havens.

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Mapa Mesoamérica

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