Latin America

Latin America – population

Latin America’s indigenous population is virtually extinct in many places, but especially in northern Central America (southern Mexico and Guatemala according to and in several Andean states (Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru), the Indians still make up a large proportion of the population. Furthermore, the population composition in Latin America is characterized by immigration from Europe during the colonial era and the large supply of slaves from Africa (see slave trade), which is also reflected in the culture, which has its roots on all three continents. The African clay is especially prominent in the tropical coastal areas where plantation operations were widespread; Latin Americans of European descent make up the majority of people in much of southern South America and are in many places politically dominant.

South America Countries

This mix of the three population groups is a characteristic feature of Latin America and has also resulted in a number of group designations. In colonial times, in the Spanish territories, peninsulares (people born in the Iberian Peninsula), Creoles (Europeans born in the Americas), mestizos (of mixed European-Native American origin), mulattes, blacks, zambos (of mixed African -American origin) were distinguished. Native American origin) and Native Americans. The order at the same time broadly denotes the real hierarchy of the colonial era. The distinction between peninsular and creole was of great importance in the time leading up to independence, but then lost significance. The group names are increased (see eg chola and ladino) and has evolved from being based on race to more based on cultural affiliation; however, they are still largely linked to different positions in the hierarchies of society.

Countries Number of residents Population
Argentina 44 938 712 (2019) about 85 percent of the population is of European origin, but there is also a large group of Arab origin. A few percent of the population belongs to / has roots in Argentina’s indigenous peoples
Bolivia 11,513,100 (2019) about 40 percent indigenous peoples, of which Quechua and Aymara are the largest groups
Brazil 211 049 527 (2019) white 48%, people of mixed origin 43%, blacks 7.6%, indigenous peoples 0.4%, other 1% (census 2010)
Chile 18,952,038 (2019) majority of European and mixed European and Native American descent, about one tenth indigenous
Colombia 50 339 443 (2019) majority mixed descent white / indigenous peoples, white, about 10% black, 3.4% indigenous peoples
Ecuador 17,373,662 (2019) mestizos (mixture of indigenous peoples and whites) 71.9 percent, montubio (mixed descent) 7.4 percent, afroecuadorians 7.2 percent, indigenous peoples 7 percent, whites 6.1 percent, others 0.4 percent (census 2010)
Guyana 782 766 (2019) indoguyanans 39.8 percent, afroguyanans 29.2 percent, mixed race 19.9 percent, indigenous peoples 10.5 percent, others 0.6 percent (census 2012)
Paraguay 7 044 636 (2019) about 95% have mixed origins, small groups of Europeans, indigenous peoples etc
Peru 32 510 453 (2019) 60% of mixed European-American descent, 22% Quechua, 5.9% white, 3.6% African Peruvian, 2.4 percent Aymara, 5.6% other
Suriname 581 372 (2019) Indians (“Hindustanians” or “East Indies”) 27.4 percent, Maroons 21.7 percent, Creoles 15.7 percent, Javanese 13.7 percent, mixed descent 13.4 percent, indigenous peoples 3.8 percent, Chinese 1.5 percent, other 2.8 percent 2
Uruguay 3 461 734 (2019) large majority of European descent, small groups of African or Indigenous descent
Venezuela 28,515,829 (2019) majority white or mixed race (mainly European / Native American / African), small groups black, indigenous peoples

Latin America – legal systems

After the Latin American countries that were Spanish colonies during the first decades of the 1800s. had become independent, instead of the obsolete legal system of the Spaniards, they chose to introduce the French law books. They were modern, written in a clear and powerful language, and harmonized with the revolutionary ideas of freedom and equality that prevailed in Latin America. Some Latin American Civil Code is not much more than a translation of the French Code Napoléon; this applies to Haiti, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic and to some extent Mexico.

Other Latin American countries, under the influence of the Chilean Civil Code of 1855, introduced more original statutes, such as Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Paraguay and a number of Central American countries. The Argentine Civil Code of 1869 (with amendments from 1968) is also an independent work that, like the Chilean, is heavily influenced by the French, but has also drawn inspiration from other sources, including German and North American authors. The same applies to the Brazilian Code of 2003, see Brazil (legal system). These more modern law books are considered to be better classified than the French, and they are, like it, written in a clear and distinct language.

Latin America – cuisine

The cuisines of Latin America are mixed kitchens with many common features, which derive from the continent’s past under Spanish and Portuguese rule. The mix with Native American, African and other European cuisines has created a rich gastronomic mix culture.

Gastronomically, the area can be roughly divided into areas mainly characterized by Native American culture (Mexico, Central America, the Andean region and the Amazon), the African influenced areas (Caribbean and most of Brazil) and areas of strong European influence (Argentina, Uruguay and southern Brazil).

The basic ingredients are Indian corn, brown and black beans and chili (both mild and strong, found in at least 100 varieties) as well as rice, and in the Andean region potatoes (found in several hundred varieties). In addition, many vegetables are used, among others. tomato (green and red) and squash as well as sweet potato (sweet potato). In Mexico-Central America, the pancake-like cornbread tortilla is a central part of daily food. Among the Indians of the Amazon, cassava (used for cassava flour) and flour banana are among the most important ingredients. Meat is in most places a luxury. Most common are poultry and pork.

In the African-influenced cuisine, black beans, rice, melan banana, coconut flour, yams and pork are the most common ingredients. In Brazil, national law is the heavy feijoada, whose main ingredients are just the above.

In (southern) European-style cuisine (beef) meat plays an important role. In the bovine area of southern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, as well as in some other places, the beef is cooked roasted as asado, as grilled steak, churrasco, or you use gut on barbecue or in cooked dishes.

Along the coasts and on the great rivers, fish play a significant role, especially along the Pacific coast. From Peru comes the raw marinated fishing seviche, which has spread to Mexico in the north and Chile in the south.

From Mexico, tamales have spread to most of the continent. It is a corn dough wrapped around a filling, after which it is all wrapped in corn or banana leaves and steamed. Another common dish, of European origin, is empanadas, a kind of small, closed pies with stuffing. In Chile, they are almost considered a national dish. Common is also pasta in different forms, not least in soups and as a side dish.

The continent’s vast wealth of fruits is also part of the gastronomy, either fresh, partly candied or as ingredients in many dishes and desserts.

Latin America