Latin American History: Central America
Photo Gallery: Historic Antigua, Guatemala
The charming colonial city of Antigua is Guatemala's most historic town. Destroyed by an earthquake in 1773, many of the city's most important buildings were subsequently abandoned. Ironically, this destructive earthquake therefore preserved some colonial architecture in the form of ruined churches and convents. Come take a virtual photo tour of some of Antigua's most historic sites!
The Federal Republic of Central America (1823-1840)
For a brief time after gaining independence first from Spain and then from Mexico, the original five Central American nations (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica) were united as one nation. The Republic of Central America lasted less than twenty years, torn apart by small-minded politicians and civil wars over the influence of the church in politics.
Biography of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa
Vasco Nuñez de Balboa (1475-1519) was a Spanish conquistador and explorer of the early colonial era. He is credited with leading the first European expedition to discover the Pacific Ocean (which he referred to as the "South Sea"). He was an able administrator and popular leader who cultivated strong ties with local tribes.
Information on Rigoberta Menchú, winner of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize, from the official Nobel Awards site.
Miguel Angel Asturias
A biography of Miguel Angel Asturias, the Nobel Prize-winning Guatemalan writer.
Biography of Ernesto "Che" Guevara
One of the more famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) protagonists of the Cuban Revolution, Argentine doctor Ernesto "Ché" Guevara would go on to play a key role in post-revolution Cuba. He was killed in Bolivia in 1967 while trying to stir up a Cuban-style communist revolution.
Biography of José "Pepe" Figueres
Jose Figueres was a Costa Rican politician who served as President on three occasions between the 1940's and the 1970's. He was an important architect of modern Costa Rica.
Biography of Hernán Cortés
Hernán Cortés, with dwindling provisions and 600 soldiers, was able to defeat the mighty Aztec Empire and its tens if not hundreds of thousands of warriors. Later, he served as governor of New Spain and was given the title of Marquis by the King of Spain.