Central America
People and Culture of Central America

The Unique Culture of Central America

demonstration of a Mayan Ritual competition in Iximche, Guatemala.
Demonstration of a Mayan Ritual competition in Iximche, Guatemala.

Most of the people of Central America are either Native American or a mix of Native American and Spanish. The predominant religion is Roman Catholic, mainly due to the Catholic missionaries that arrived with the Spanish Conquistadors in the 15th century. Over half of Central America is considered poor and almost all of the indigenous people of the region live in poverty.

While each country has its own distinct heritage, there are different influences in each country. For example, Belize is the only country without Spanish as its national language due to the fact that it was a colony of England until a few short decades ago. In every country you will be able to find traditional foods like masa, pozole, and sopes prepared with maize – or, corn – considered the most important crop of the region historically. Today, bananas, cotton, coffee, and sugar are the main export crops of the region.

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