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continental North America, S of Mexico, usually considered as comprising Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. 227,933 sq. mi. (590,346 sq. km).
an isthmus joining the continents of North and South America, extending from the S border of Mexico to the NW border of Colombia and consisting of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Area: about 518 000 sq km (200 000 sq miles)

Region in the southernmost portion of North America, linked to South America by the Isthmus of Panama; includes Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

Note: Countries in Central America (except for Belize and Costa Rica) are characterized by unstable governments and very low per capita income.

Note: The United States government has often taken the position that Central American affairs directly affect American interests. Accordingly, it has often provided financial and military aid to Central American governments and occasionally intervened militarily.


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