Thursday, November 09, 2017

5 Things The US Still Doesn't Understand About Latin America

5 Things The US Still Doesn't Understand About Latin America

Hell, this article assumes at least a tiny degree of sophistication among Americans. This stuff would be grad school sociology for many Americans.

I'd start with the basics:

Lesson one: They don't speak Latin there.

Lesson two: After the students absorb lesson one, stress that they don't all speak Spanish, and the term "Hispanic" can be wildly inappropriate. (There are five countries in South and Central America where Spanish is not the official language, including one very enormous one. There are also many indigenous languages which are still spoken, some of which have millions of speakers. In all, between 200 and 300 million people in South and Central America speak a language other than Spanish. That's roughly equivalent to the population of the United States.)

Lesson three: When you try to communicate with those who do speak Spanish, it is generally not effective to put "o" at the end of an English word. El Doggo is not the word for dog.

Lesson four: Mexicans are not from South America, or even Central America. Not only is Mexico in North America, but some parts of Mexico are North of Austin, New Orleans, and the entire state of Florida. Tijuana, for example, is almost at the same latitude as Atlanta. (32nd and 33rd parallel, respectively)


  1. At least in terms of the questions on approximate geography, I'd give Americans a bit more latitude...

    (Puts on shades to sound of Roger Daltrey yelling...)

  2. Central America is a Geo-Political term. Mexico is generally referred to as being in it. True, there is no actual Central American Continent, just North and South America. I think most people know that. There is no actual "Latin America" continent either, if you want to be picky.