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Exploring the history and experiences of mixed heritage persons and inter-racial relationships across the world

South and Central America

The following countries will be covered in greater detail in this section: Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

The story of Americas and particularly Latin America is a story of Spanish colonialism.  It was in 1492 with Christopher Columbus' discovery of the new world that attention turned to the new world.   The Portuguese just managed to claim Brazil under the Treaty of Tordesillas either by devious means or by mistake.

Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, MexicoThe Spanish conquistadors (conquerors) help expand the empire across most of Central America, the Caribbean islands, Mexico and much of the rest of North America. Wars of independence liberated all the Spanish colonies in the Americas in the 19th century with the Spanish loss of the last two in the Spanish-American War politically ending its colonisation in the Americas. They turned their attention to other parts of the world after that.

The Spanish cultural influences remain very strong throughout the region with many descendants, many of mixed heritage making up significant component of many ot the ex-colonies' populations.  In the Central American nation of Belize, Mestizos comprise about 34% of the population, Kriols  (descendants of mixed English/ Scottish and Black African slaves) 25% and Garinagu who are a mix of African, Arawak, and Carib ancestry about 6%.  That means over 70% of the population are of some sort of mixed heritage.

Mestizos in Mexico are those who have a mixed ancestry between Europeans and Amerindians and make up the largest racial identity among Mexicans comprising more than 80% of the population.  About 2% of the Mexican population is of some black African descent, the great majority are of mixed heritage and are mostly the descendants of slaves. It is estimated that some 20% of Mexicans are indigenous peoples.

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