Latin America is an amazing cultural melting pot of many different ethnic influences from around the world. In its variety lies its richness and its colorfulness.
Latin American nations like Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala and Paraguay are heavily influenced by the ancient pre-Columbian cultures.
Throughout Latin America one can notice a distinct influence of European culture as well, because of its history of remaining under the colonial rule of Spain, Portugal and France.
The immigrants who came and settled from Germany, Italy and East European countries have also influenced the cultures of Latin American countries like Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Chile.
Influence of the native African culture can be clearly noticed in the Latin American music and dance forms, and also in some religious and traditional rituals.
Spanish is the most commonly used language in many Latin American countries. Portuguese is the main language of Brazil, and even French is spoken in some small parts of the sub-continent.
The mainstream religion that is popular all through Latin America is the Catholic Christian religion. Other minor religions in practice are Protestant Christianity, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Mormons, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism.
There is a rich cultural heritage in Latin American arts. Particularly, the famed visual arts of the region have been influenced by Spanish and Portuguese traditions. The influence of French Baroque paintings, which were themselves influenced by the Italians, can be seen in the works of Latin American artists.
Latin America is traditionally rich in literary wealth, and the region has produced several Nobel Laureates in the field of literature, such as Garcia Marquez from Colombia, Gabriela Mistral from Chile, Miguel Asturias from Guatemala, and the famous poets Pablo Neruda from Chile and Octavio Paz from Mexico.
Diversity and variety is the hallmark of Latin American music. From the energetic music of Central America and the Caribbean to the more sublime music of Southern countries, Latin America offers a great blend in music. Furthermore, the music has also been heavily influenced by the African drum beats and rhythms.
Music and Dance are the part and parcel of the Latin American lifestyle and culture. Dance forms and styles are continuously evolving, and some of the dances also have an accent on sexuality. Salsa is one of the most popular dance forms in the world at present, and it has been part of the Latino culture for nearly a century.
Just like its ethnic diversities, Latin America also reflects a great diversity in its cuisine. Tortillas, which is a maize-based dish is highly popular all over the world. Similarly a large variety of Salsa sauces are enjoyed in many parts of the world. The spices and condiments of Latin American origin have a very unique flavor, and add to the richness of their cuisine.