Compare and contrast several aspects of North America versus Latin America (could include history, physical geography, economy, culture, etc.).

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North America and Latin America represent two different and overlapping concepts. One is a continent, the other is an ethno-cultural region.

North America is a continent: a geographic landmass defined by the naturally occurring boundaries of continental crust. By contrast, Latin America is an ethno-cultural region: an area that straddles the continents of North America and South America and is primarily defined by a variety of human characteristics including, principally, language.

The continent of North America consists of three major, sovereign nation-states: Canada, Mexico, and the United States. A number of island states in the Caribbean Sea are also part of North America. Languages spoken on the continent of North America include Spanish and French; however, the dominant language is English.

The ethno-cultural region of Latin America consists of nearly two-dozen sovereign nation-states, some of which exist in the continent of South America, and others of which (including Mexico and Cuba) exist in the continent of North America. Languages spoken in the ethno-cultural region of Latin America are dominated by those with a Romance origin, notably Spanish with a large Portuguese-speaking population concentrated in Brazil.

Both the continent of North America and the ethno-cultural region of Latin America were heavily colonized by European explorers beginning in the 15th and 16th centuries, and the religions and legal systems now employed in the states that occupy these areas are descended from European traditions as a result.

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