You may have heard very little about Latin America in history class beyond the Maya, Aztecs, and Incas.

For some reason, the region's current issues, events, and rich culture have been left out of high school history curriculums, newspapers, and perhaps our daily thoughts. But understanding Latin America, or at least knowing more about the region, is crucial to understanding the United States, and the rest of the world. Here's some little-known facts:

1. Over 90 uncontacted tribes lives in Latin America. Most of which are known to reside in Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, and Venezuela in the Amazon Rainforest.

2. Eighty percent of people in Latin America reside in cities, making it the most urbanized region in the world.

3. Mexico City sinks ten inches every year! With a growing population consuming more and more groundwater, the city and it's buildings are slowly going under.

4. In the small town of Yoro, Honduras, it rains fish twice a year. (Yes, it's true!)

5. The Andean Highlands of Peru grow more than four thousand varieties of potatoes, of all sizes, shapes, and colors.

6. 20% of the world's oxygen is generated by the Amazon Rainforest. A good reason to support conservation efforts!

7. There are seventeen different ways to say "popcorn" depending on where you are in Latin America! Here in Ecuador, we call it Canguil.

8. El Salvador and Ecuador use the US Dollar as their local currency. Remember all those dollar coins with Sacagawea and US Presidents? They're used instead of $1 bills!

9. Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador is technically the world's highest peak! If measured from the center of the Earth, Chimborazo is much higher than Mount Everest, read more here.

10. It's more than just Spanish! There are over 370 languages spoken throughout Latin America. But many are disappearing with decreasing cultural value, speakers, or without schools that teach them. It is claimed that upon first contact by Europeans in the 15th and 16th centuries, there were over 1500 languages spoken.



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