Bienvenidos a América Latina es un país

Latin America is a Country is the newest member of the Africa is a Country family. The section is coedited by Pablo Medina Uribe and Camila Osorio.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez Hidalgo, via Flickr CC.

Latin America is a Country is a website against the popular idea that everything south of Texas is a huge country called Mexico where everyone eats tacos. The title is ironic, clearly. Mexico is a country, as are Puerto Rico, Ecuador or Argentina. But Latin America is not.

This is an invitation to re-think what Latin America is all about. Is Cuba part of the Caribbean or part of Latin America? Is the Caribbean–from Jamaica to Haiti, to Grenada–part of Latin America? What about Guyana or Suriname? Are all Latinos in the U.S. or Europe part of Latin America? How should Latin America be defined? How has it been defined?

Latin America is a Country is the new member of the Africa is a Country family. This is a space for all of the people tired of the same tropes about Latin America, for those who are tired of being pictured as the continent of drug gangs (we prefer to talk about the U.S. war on drugs) or authoritarian caudillos (some of them, financed by colonial powers). It’s not about Shakira, not about tequila, not about Macchu Pichu as a cool touristy destination.

Afro-Colombians, the descendants of slaves, on the Islas de Rosario outside of Cartagena, Colombia (Photo: Laura Avellaneda-Cruz, via Flickr CC).

This is an invitation to open a dialogue from different cultural and political perspectives about that popular concept called “Latin America”.

We — Pablo Medina and Camila Osorio — are two Colombian journalists editing this newborn project. They are both currently studying in New York, a city that was one described as part of the Caribbean by the former novelist Gabriel García Márquez. So if you want to pitch an opinion piece to the website, or a reported story, or just send some ideas for Latin America is a Country, you can email them at [email protected].

Update: Latin America Is a Country was retired in 2016. You can follow Pablo and Camila’s post-LIAC exploits on their Twitter accounts, linked to above.

Further Reading

Treasure Hunt Politics

The location of 18th colonial ship ship and its expensive cargo renews tensions between Spain and Colombia revives unfinished business between Spain and its former colonies.