"Central America" may mean different things
to different people in the world according to the context:
In English, Central America is considered a region of the North
Geopolitically, it usually comprises seven countries – Belize,
Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.
Mexico, in whole or in part, is sometimes included. Some geographers
include the five states of Campeche, Chiapas, Tabasco, Quintana Roo,
and Yucatán, together representing 12.1% of the country's total
In Latin America, Iberia, and some other parts of Europe, the Americas
are considered to be a single continent, and Central America is
considered a region of this continent. In Ibero-America,
the region is defined as seven nations – Belize, Guatemala, El
Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama – and may
occasionally include Mexico's southernmost region. Geopolitically,
Mexico is considered part of North America.
Occasionally, the term Central America is used synonymously with Middle
America. Among some German geographers, Mittelamerika may be used to
refer to the territories on the Central American isthmus.
The UN geoscheme defines the region as all states of mainland North
America south of the United States; conversely, the European Union
excludes Belize and Mexico from its definition of the region.
Central American Parliament,
also know by the abbreviation Parlacen (from the Spanish Parlamento
is a political institution devoted to the integration of the Central
The Parlacen has its origins
on the Contadora
Group, a project launched in the 1980s to help deal with civil wars
in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Although the Contadora was
in 1986, the idea for Central American Integration remained, and its
were taken by the Esquipulas
Peace Agreement, which, among other acts, decided on the creation
the Central American Parliament.
The following countries each
return 20 directly-elected deputies to the Parliament:
* El Salvador
Republic (acceded 26 February 2004)
In spite of its efforts to
promote the Esquipulas Agreement, Costa Rica has not yet ratified and
consequently not represented in the Parlacen.