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Most of Central America rests atop the Caribbean Plate. This tectonic plate converges with the Cocos , Nazca , and North American plates to form the Middle America Trench , a major subduction zone.
Many large earthquakes have occurred as a result of seismic activity at the Middle America Trench. Seismic activity at the Middle America Trench is also responsible for earthquakes in , , , , , , , , , and many other earthquakes throughout Central America. This transform fault cuts right across Guatemala and then continues offshore until it merges with the Middle America Trench along the Pacific coast of Mexico, near Acapulco.
Seismic activity at the Motagua Fault has been responsible for earthquakes in , , , , , and Though less active than the Motagua Fault, seismic activity at the Chixoy-Polochic Fault is still thought to be capable of producing very large earthquakes, such as the earthquake of Guatemala. Managua , the capital of Nicaragua, was devastated by earthquakes in and Volcanic eruptions are also common in Central America. In the Arenal Volcano , in Costa Rica, erupted killing 87 people as the 3 villages of Tabacon, Pueblo Nuevo and San Luis were buried under pyroclastic flows and debris.
Fertile soils from weathered volcanic lava have made it possible to sustain dense populations in the agriculturally productive highland areas. The population of Central America is estimated at 47,, as of Human Development Index values are from the estimates for The official language majority in all Central American countries is Spanish , except in Belize, where the official language is English.
Mayan languages constitute a language family consisting of about 26 related languages. Guatemala formally recognized 21 of these in Xinca and Garifuna are also present in Central America. This region of the continent is very rich in terms of ethnic groups.
The majority of the population is mestizo , with sizable Mayan and White populations present, including Xinca and Garifuna minorities. The immigration of Arabs, Jews, Chinese, Europeans and others brought additional groups to the area. The predominant religion in Central America is Christianity Since the s, there has been an increase in other Christian groups, particularly Protestantism , as well as other religious organizations, and individuals identifying themselves as having no religion.
Central America is currently undergoing a process of political, economic and cultural transformation that started in with the creation of the Central American Court of Justice. SICA provides a clear legal basis to avoid disputes between the member states. SICA membership includes the 7 nations of Central America plus the Dominican Republic , a state that is traditionally considered part of the Caribbean. On 6 December SICA announced an agreement to pursue a common currency and common passport for the member nations.
Until recently, all Central American countries have maintained diplomatic relations with Taiwan instead of China. The parliament started around , and its primary goal was to resolve conflicts in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Although the group was disbanded in , ideas of unity of Central Americans still remained, so a treaty was signed in to create the Central American Parliament and other political bodies.
New members have since then joined including Panama and the Dominican Republic. 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 Rican as a menace to democratic accountability and effectiveness of integration efforts.
Excessively high salaries for its members, legal immunity of jurisdiction from any member State, corruption, lack of a binding nature and effectiveness of the regional parliament's decisions, high operative costs and immediate membership of Central American Presidents once they leave their office and presidential terms, are the most common reasons invoked by Costa Ricans against the Central American Parliament. The treaty is aimed at promoting free trade among its members.
Guatemala has the largest economy in the region. Economic growth in Central America is projected to slow slightly in —15, as country-specific domestic factors offset the positive effects from stronger economic activity in the United States.
Tourism in Belize has grown considerably in more recent times, and it is now the second largest industry in the nation. Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow has stated his intention to use tourism to combat poverty throughout the country. The results for Belize's tourism-driven economy have been significant, with the nation welcoming almost one million tourists in a calendar year for the first time in its history in Costa Rica is the most visited nation in Central America.
Tourism in Nicaragua has grown considerably recently, and it is now the second largest industry in the nation. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has stated his intention to use tourism to combat poverty throughout the country. The results for Nicaragua's tourism-driven economy have been significant, with the nation welcoming one million tourists in a calendar year for the first time in its history in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Central United States.
For other uses, see Central America disambiguation. List of busiest airports List of largest airlines Rail transport. History of Central America. Coat of Arms of modern Central America. Ethnic groups in Central America and Latin Americans. Central American Integration System. Water transport in Belize , Category: Water transport in Costa Rica , Category: Water transport in Guatemala , Category: Water transport in Honduras , Category: Water transport in Nicaragua , Category: Ports of Belize , Category: Ports and harbours of Guatemala , and Category: Ports and harbours of Panama.
Rail transport in Central America. North America portal Latin America portal Geography portal. Retrieved September 4, Central America is located between North and South America and consists of multiple countries. Central America is not a continent but a subcontinent since it lies within the continent America.
It borders on the northwest to the Pacific Ocean and in the northeast to the Caribbean Sea. United Nations Statistics Division. Annals of the Association of American Geographers.
Fowler's modern English usage 3rd ed. Retrieved 24 February Goldwork and Chibchan Identity: Archived from the original Online text reproduction on 25 February Encyclopedia of world climatology. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series 1st ed. Archived from the original on 6 October Retrieved 8 December Archived from the original on 14 May Retrieved on 21 October Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.
Retrieved 10 September Ethnic and religious diversity in Central America: Strengthening UK relationships with El Salvador. The New York Times. Retrieved 19 October World economic outlook database, April World economic outlook October World economic and financial surveys. Accessed on 9 April World Development Indicators database , World Bank. Database updated on 18 December Accessed on 18 December Great Belize Productions Ltd.
The San Pedro Sun. Intituto Costarricense de Turismo. Archived from the original PDF on 2 March Retrieved 13 June World Economic Forum , Geneva, Switzerland.
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