Central America may mean different things to different people in the world according to the context:
- In English, Central America is considered a region of the North American continent. Geopolitically, it usually comprises seven countries – Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Mexico, in whole or in part, is occasionally included. Some geographers include the five states of Campeche, Chiapas, Tabasco, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán, together representing 12.1% of the country's total area.
- In Latin America, Iberia, and some other parts of Europe, the Americas are considered to be a single continent, and Central America is considered a region of this continent. In Ibero-America, the region is defined as seven nations – Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama – and may occasionally include Mexico's southernmost region. Geopolitically, Mexico is not considered part of the region.
- The UN geoscheme defines the region as all states of North America south of the United States; conversely, the European Union excludes Belize and Mexico from its definition of the region.
The hitchability in Central America varies from country to country but generally it is rather good. One good point for hitch-hikers in this sub-continent is the large number of trucks that travel up and down the Panamerican highway, and between all major cities. Truck drivers, although they might tell you that their boss doesn't allow them to carry passengers (which might be true, but unless you drive up to the boss' door he isn't about to find out is he...), are very free people in their jobs: they can drive for as long as they want (and they do, sometimes more than 24 hours with no sleep!), they can stop when and where they want, they have cash from the boss to put diesel in the trucks, and apart from long waits at certain borders for paperwork (which they don't do themselves, letting specialized agencies do it for them), have almost not a worry on their mind! If you do get to travel any significant distance with them, and some drive all the way from Nicaragua up to the Mexican border, you'll probably have a great time, get loads of food bought for you (with the boss' cash!) and be really comfortable.
Other forms of hitch-hiking can be harder to pull-off as bus transportation is usually very cheep and conditions of roads and amounts of private cars are erratic in parts.
This article contains text from the Wikipedia article on Central America.