Latin American culture is the formal or informal expression of the people of Latin America and includes both high culture (literature and high art) and popular culture (music, folk art, and dance) as well as religion and other customary practices.
Its central component derives from the Iberian culture, a type of Western Culture. From a cultural perspective, Latin America generally refers to those parts of the Americas of Spanish and Portuguese culture and language: Mexico, most of Central America, and South America.
See further discussion of definitions at Latin America.
The richness of Latin American culture is the product of many influences, including: In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries there was a flow of Iberian emigrants who left for Latin America.
Starting in the late 16th century, a large number of African slaves were brought to Latin America, especially to Brazil and the Caribbean.Large numbers of European immigrants arrived in Latin America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most of them settling in the Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and southern Brazil) and Northern Mexico.Nowadays the Southern Cone has a majority of people of largely European descent and in all more than 80% of Latin America's European population, which is mostly descended from six groups of immigrants: Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, French, Germans, Jews (both Ashkenazi and Sephardic) and, to a lesser extent, Irish, Poles, Greeks, Croats, Russians, Welsh, Ukrainians, etc.Outside of the United States, and in many languages (especially romance ones) "Latino" just means "Latin", referring to cultures and peoples that can trace their heritage back to the ancient Roman Empire. Spanish is the language in the majority of the countries (See Spanish language in the Americas).Portuguese is spoken primarily in Brazil (See Brazilian Portuguese), where it is both the official and the national language.