Central America in a geographical sense means the land bridge between North – and South America . Geographically, Central America begins in the north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico , in the south it ranges depending on the definition to the Isthmus of Darien in Südpanama or to Atratosenke inColombia . To the east lies the Caribbean Sea , West of the Pacific Ocean . Central America can be viewed both as an independent land mass as well as the southernmost region of the North American continent.
Usually the areas of Mexico and Colombia, and only the states except Belize , Guatemala , El Salvador , Honduras , Nicaragua , Costa Rica and Panama to Central America counted. This definition follows the common past of the states of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, which according to the Spanish colonial rule, the Central American confederation formed. Depending on the definition of the borders between Central America has 510,000 km ² and 750,000 sq km and between 40 and 50 million inhabitants. The largest city in the region is Guatemala City with almost three million inhabitants.
Central America, together with the West Indies and a part of Mexico region, the Central America.
Since independence, the region of Spain in 1821 there were at least 14 attempts at integration. Between 1823 and 1838 was the Central American confederation as union between the states, whose culturally integrative echo today as in the uniform blue, white and blue national colors of the successor states can be seen. Since the 1950s forced the states with regard to European integration and international models of free trade areas and customs unions another integration process in order to qualify for a common trade dependency on the world market.
In the course of this effort was in 1963 that ‘Secretariat for the Central American Economic Integration ” ( “Secretaría de la Integración Económica Centro Americana,” SIECA ) was established to the remit of the same year to come into force Agreement on economic integration should cover (“Tratado General de Integración Económica Centroamericana”). The contract created a free trade zone in the area for almost all manufactured products. The intra-regional trade grew from 6 million U.S. dollars in 1963 to 2.5 billion U.S. dollars in 1999. The end of the 1970s civil wars occurring in Nicaragua, El Salvador Guatelama and brought back for further integration steps.
Geologically, Central America lies mostly on the Caribbean plate , to a lesser extent on the North American plate . Off the Pacific coast to the west subducted the Cocosplatte under the Caribbean Plate , which volcanism and numerous, often severe earthquakes are triggered.