Map of Latin America

Latin America


Latin America Religion

Christianity was brought to Latin America by Spanish and Portuguese missionaries in connection with the colonial conquest. Many Native Americans were forcibly baptized, and the church organization was built as part of the colonization. However, there was a church opposition to this, especially among the Jesuits; inter alia the so-called reductions were set up in Paraguay to protect the Indians against the colonizers. Over time, the Indians accepted Christianity, and most of Latin America’s population is at least formally Roman Catholic. To this day, Christianity is often mixed with domestic ideas and customs.

Through the importation of slaves from West Africa, African cults were brought to Latin America, where they took on new forms. This includes voodoo in Haiti and candomblé in Brazil. Especially in Brazil, such cults have also entered the middle class and have been associated with French cardiacism.

The church organization has been associated with the colonizers for several centuries. Therefore, the liberation of Latin American states from Spanish and Portuguese empire often came to be associated with a strong anti-clericalism. This was most noticeable in Mexico, where the Roman Catholic Church was suppressed for a long time.

During the second half of the 20th century, there was a strong commitment within the church for the poor and oppressed and an endeavor to activate the people to exercise their rights; compare liberation theology. North American Protestant mission with fundamentalist tendency has had great success in Latin America during the 20th century. Check countryaah official site for all countries in South America and Latin America.

Map of Latin America


In literature, Spanish America and Brazil have often taken different paths for linguistic and historical reasons. During the 19th century, a number of national literatures were developed and they have since been strengthened and broadened; see respective country articles. However, over the years, Spanish-American literature has shown common features, and the personal contacts between writers from different Spanish-speaking countries have traditionally been lively. Spanish American modernism, an emancipation in poetry at the end of the 19th century, had its leader in Rubén Darío of Nicaragua, but its other principal representatives came from countries scattered throughout Spanish America. The much later Brazilian modernism had nothing to do with the Spanish American. The social protest novel rooted in various natural and climatic conditions at the beginning of the 20th century showed a great unity, which here also includes Brazil, despite regional differences. Authors affected by political repression in their home country have been able to count on asylum and publishing opportunities in any neighboring country.The Chicano literature in the United States, which has emerged in a predominantly English-speaking environment, is a distinctive side-shot of Latin American literature.

Latin America Literature


Since the countries of the area in the 19th century gained independence, the official art of Latin America was mainly based on European tradition. The indigenous cultures were denied, and against this, several artists turned around the turn of the century. In the next few years, European modernism would affect Latin America’s art, due to a number of Latin American artists conducting art studies in Europe, for example. at André Lhote. The years around 1920, several of these artists considered that the continent’s characteristics should be manifested. Shortly thereafter, José Orozco, Diego Rivera and David Siqueiros created Mexican muralism, while Tarsila do Amaral and Emiliano di Cavalcanti and others. at an event in São Paulo, Brazil, 1922 propagated for modern art.

In the 1930s, Joaquín Torres García returned to Uruguay, after creating in Paris the constructive universalism, the foundation of the Escuela del Sur (school of the South). In Europe, artists such as Wifredo Lam and Roberto Matta appeared with surrealist works. After 1945, many artists in the area were influenced by art in the United States. In Venezuela, Jesús Soto and Carlos Cruz created Diez optical art and Rigaud Benoit and Hector Hyppolite on Haiti naivistic art. Other prominent artists of the 20th century include Fernando Botero, Pedro Figari, Oswaldo Guayasamín, Frida Kahlo, Julio Le Parc, Carlos Mérida, Cándido Portinari, Fernando de Szyszlo and Rufino Tamayo.

Music and dance

Music in Latin America has evolved through the meeting of indigenous peoples, Europeans and Africans’ musical traditions since the 16th century. Pre-Columbian music was almost exclusively unanimous: the scales used 2–5 tones and the rhythms of two-beat forms. The instruments were mainly different types of percussion and flutes. In the Mayan kingdom, among other things, wooden trumpets and percussion ayotl, made of turtle shells, in the Aztecs wear drum teponaztli. The Pentatonics, the “hook flute” quena and the pan flute (usually played in pairs) in the Incarea were later mixed with European music influences. Pre-Columbian features remain in many places, mainly in connection with parties, agricultural rites and religious celebrations.

The music of the Europeans evolved from different European currents (mainly Baroque), which has resulted in diatonic scales, European harmonics and melodies accompanied by different types of 6/8 beat patterns in styles such as huapango (Mexico), bambuco (Colombia), joropo ( Venezuela), zamba and chacarera (Argentina) and cueca (including Argentina, Bolivia and Chile). Of European origin are string instruments such as the violin, the diatonic harp and the guitar with variants such as tres (Cuba), jarana (Mexico), tiple (Colombia) and the smaller cuatro (Venezuela) and charango(Bolivia). These instruments are often played to rhythmic-harmonic accompaniment.

In the meeting between American and European, aesthetic forms also arose, especially in the former Inca area, where pre-Columbian flutes and melodies are often accompanied by stringed instruments and harmonics of European origin.

The music of the Caribbean and the Atlantic coast is more strongly influenced by Africa. Two-beat forms are common in vocal music for percussion accompaniment, mainly with conga-type drums. The African origin is most evident in the cultic Cuban santería music. The Afro-Cuban rum was originally played on wooden boxes and the typical Cuban claves. From contradanza, an African-influenced salon dance, Habanera and Danzon were developed in the early 19th century ; the former world famous through opera, the later origin of the 1950s mambo and cha-cha-cha. Of Afro-Hispanic origin are bolero and son from the beginning of the 20th century. Other Afro-Caribbean genres are the merengue from the Dominican Republic and the Colombian cumbia. In Brazil, samba is a general term for several different styles with more or less African influence. Samba de morro is played in Rio de Janeiro on percussion alone; this as well as the salon styles maxixe and choro from the early 1900s have influenced today’s popular samba. The softer and harmoniously more complex samba variant bossa nova became known worldwide in the 1960s. In the Río de la Plata area, tango originated around the early 1900s with influences from, among other things, habanera. Typical of tango is the accordion bandoneon. Latin American music is then habanera and tango a part of Western popular music. This also includes Afrolatin music in the United States from the 1920s, called Latin, which today in developed form is often called salsa.

Initially, church music of European origin was cultivated in churches and chapels. From the beginning of the 19th century, music was composed for the lounges and theaters and towards the end of the 19th century orchestral groups, symphonic orchestras and opera houses were founded in the larger cities. During the 20th century, among others, he composed Mexicans Carlos Chávez and Silvestre Revueltas and Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos in a national romantic spirit. The Argentinian Alberto Ginastera, like later composers, used more and more of modern composition techniques.