/ ˈsentrəl əˈmerɪkə /
Množina reči Central America je Central Americas.
The part of North America south of the United States.
The part of the Americas that links Mexico with the Isthmus of Panama, comprising Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.
It is also an isthmus, crossed by mountains that form part of the Cordilleras, rising to a maximum height of 4,220 m/13,845 ft. There are numerous active volcanoes. Central America is about 523,000 sq km/200,000 sq mi in area and has a estimated at 22,700,000, mostly Indians or mestizos (of mixed white-Indian ancestry). Tropical agricultural products and other basic commodities and raw materials are exported.
Much of Central America formed part of the Maya civilization. Christopher Columbus first reached the isthmus 1502. Spanish settlers married indigenous women, and the area remained out of the mainstream of Spanish Empire history. When the Spanish Empire collapsed in the early 1800s, the area formed the Central American Federation, with a constitution based on that of the US. The federation disintegrated 1840. Completion of the Panama Canal 1914 enhanced the region's position as a strategic international crossroads. Demand for cash crops (bananas, coffee, cotton), especially from the US, created a strong landowning class controlling a serflike peasantry by military means. There has been US military intervention in the area, for example, in Nicaragua, where the dynasty of General Anastasio Somoza was founded. President Carter reversed support for such regimes, but in the 1980s, the Reagan and Bush administrations again favored military and financial aid to right-wing political groups, including the Contras in Ni
caragua. Continuing US interest was underscored by its invasion of Panama Dec 1989.