Beagle Channel in the Patagonia

Beagle Channel in the Patagonia

December 27, 2012


What is meant by "the Americas"?

People speak of “the Americas” to refer to the whole New World continent or Western Hemisphere, formed by North America and South America.

What are the boundaries for North America and for South America?

It is generally considered that North America has the following boundaries:
  • ·    To the north, by the Arctic Ocean
  • ·    To the east, by the Atlantic Ocean.
  • ·    To the west and also south by the Pacific Ocean.
  • ·    To the southeast by South America and the Caribbean.

This means that North America meets South America at the end of the Isthmus of Panama.

On the other hand, South America has the following boundaries:
  •    To the west, by the Pacific Ocean
  • ·  To the north and east, by the Atlantic Ocean.
  • ·  To the northwest, by North America and the Caribbean Sea.
  • ·  To the south, the Drake Passage could be considered a boundary.

There is still another term, that of Central America. This refers to the southern part of North America, bordering the Caribbean Sea.

What exactly is Latin America?

Another important concept is that of “Latin America”. This is the part of the Americas where Romance languages (derived from Latin) are primarily spoken. These languages are Spanish, Portuguese and French and they were introduced in the New World by the various conquests carried out by important European states in their efforts at Empire-building. Latin America is considered to include all the countries south of the United States, where these languages are spoken.

It becomes clear then, that Spanish America is that part of Latin America, where Spanish is the predominant language. This would exclude both the Portuguese and the French speaking areas.

This blog refers to territories that are located in North America, including the part called Central America, and in South America. That’s a big area, which promises to be very diverse and interesting!

Here are some good maps.

Map of North America

Source: Kaldari and Uwe Dedering, CC BY SA 3.0, by Wikimedia Commons.

Map of Central America.

Source: Public Domain, (US Govern.) by Wikimedia Commons

Map of South America

Source: Public Domain (US Govern.) by Wikimedia Commons.


En este post se ha explicado el término “las Américas”, que abarca todo el Nuevo Mundo y que incluye América del Norte y América del Sur. La línea divisoria se encuentra en el Istmo de Panamá.

Otro término es el de Centro América, que se refiere a la parte sur de América del Norte que bordea el Mar Caribe.

Y ¿qué se entiende por “América Latina”? Pues es aquella parte de las Américas que se extiende al sur de los Estados Unidos, donde  se hablan las lenguas Romances,  derivadas del latín. Estas lenguas son: español, portugués y francés.

Y finalmente, América Hispana es aquella parte de América Latina en la que el español es el idioma predominante. ¡Una extensa área que promete ser muy interesante!


Words that go together! * Have a holiday - * Make a mistake - * Catch a cold - * From dawn till dusk – A pack of cards - * Annual vacation


Expresiones de uso frecuente: * A buen entendedor, pocas palabras - * Con la miel en los labios - * Dar en el clavo

How is your level of comprehension?          ¿Cómo está su nivel de comprensión?

© 2012  joanveronica  (Joan Robertson)

I will be very happy to receive your comments! Just click the word "comments" lower down.