These countries have significant commonalities with each other and with Spain, whose colonies they formerly were. In all of these countries, Spanish is the main language, sometimes sharing official status with one or more indigenous languages (such as Guaraní, Quechua, Aymara, or Mayan), or English (in Puerto Rico). Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion.
Hispanic America differs from Ibero-America in that the latter comprises Hispanic America and Brazil (formerly "Portuguese America"), and for some uses includes the Iberian Peninsula nations of Portugal and Spain. Hispanic America also contrasts with Latin America, which includes Hispanic America, Brazil, and also the former French colonies in the Western Hemisphere except (at least) areas that are now in either the United States or Canada.
|Country||Population||Area (km²)||Nominal GDP (Billions USD)|
|Santo Domingo||Dominican Republic||1,111,838||3,310,171|
|San Juan||Puerto Rico||434,374||2,509,007|
|San Salvador||El Salvador||540,090||2,223,092|
|San José||Costa Rica||386,799||1,284,000|
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2010)|
The Spanish colonization of America began in 1492, and ultimately was part of a larger historical process of world colonialism, through which various European powers incorporated a considerable amount of territory and peoples in the Americas, Asia, and Africa between the 15th and 20th centuries. Hispanic America became the main part of the vast Spanish Empire.
Napoleon's takeover of Spain in 1808 and the consequent chaos initiated the dismemberment of the Spanish Empire, as the American territories began their struggle for emancipation. By 1830, the only remaining Spanish American colonies were Philippine archipelago and the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico, until the 1898 Spanish–American War.
While relatively unknown, there is a flag representing the countries of Hispanic America, its people, history and shared cultural legacy.
It was created in October 1933 by Ángel Camblor, captain of the Uruguayan army. It was adopted by all the states of Spanish America during the Pan-American Conference of the same year in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The white background stands for peace, the Inti sun god of Inca mythology symbolizes the light shining on the American continent, and the three crosses represent Christopher Columbus' caravels, the Niña, Pinta, and Santa María, used in his first voyage from Spain to the New World in 1492. The deep lilac color of the crosses evokes the color of the lion on the Coat of Arms of the medieval Crown of Castile.