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Central America

Central America is a part of the world located between southern border of Mexico, in North America, and the northwest border of Colombia, in South America. Geographers do not consider Central America a continent; it is usually considered geographically part of North America. Some geographers talk of Central America as a large isthmus; in this geographic sense it sometimes includes the portion of Mexico east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, namely Mexican states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo. However Central America is much more commonly understood to correspond with the boundries of the nations inbetween Mexico and Colombia.

In this most common definition, Central America consists of the countries of:

Central America thus has an area of about 540,000 km² (208,500 square miles), and a width between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea ranging from about 560 km to about 50 km (350 miles to about 30 miles).

Additionally, there was a nation of Central America in the early 19th century, consisting of the present day nations of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica (and a portion of the modern Mexican state of Chiapas). This was sometimes known as the United Provinces of Central America or the United States of Central America. See: History of Central America

The related term Mesoamerica (occasionally also called "Middle America") is used in English mostly restricted to referring to the Pre-Columbian Native American cultures of this region, which extended north into central Mexico.