Latin America shares a common history based on European colonization, slavery and immigration of indigenous people – whose ancestors migrated to the area thousands of years ago and went on to form such ancient civilizations as the Aztec, the Maya and the Inca. The combination of these rich cultures with the colonial influence and the customs of the Africa slaves imported to the region by the colonialists, have helped to create an interesting and fascinating culture which is unique to Latin America.
This melting pot of cultures is reflected throughout Latin American life, from music to cuisine, and from dance to literature. The modern music of the Andes is a true combination of Andean panpipes and Spanish guitars, whereas in Guatemala apart from traditional Mayan music, Spanish Salsa music and dance is extremely popular. A more diverse and exciting culture is difficult to find.
Whether, a spicy Mexican burrito, a renowned Argentinean steak or Peruvian Ceviche (fresh fish soaked in lime juice and chilies) Latin American food cannot disappoint you. The mixture of cultures has helped to create a diverse and exciting experience for the taste buds! Also you can’t miss out the luscious fresh fruits grown throughout Latin America. Or if you are feeling more adventurous why not try the traditional Andean dish of Cuy (guinea pig)!
Whilst Catholicism is the dominant religion throughout Latin America this has not seen the complete destruction of traditional Indian beliefs. For example on a high Andean pass it is possible to see the offerings left for Pachamama (the Incan representation of Mother Earth) or in the mines of Potosi, Bolivia the regular gifts left by the miners for Tio (the uncle or the devil) to help protect them in the mines. Also within the Andes it is not an unheard of occurrence for businesses in cities to hold ceremonies and to give offerings to Pachamama at the beginning of the harvest season, just as the farmers do in the countryside.
As you can see any trip to Latin America will offer an interesting and varied cultural experience!
Source: Dos Manos, 2016