Middle America is a region in the mid-latitudes of the Americas. In southern North America, it comprises Mexico, the nations of Central America, and the West Indies. Using this geographical model, the region of Northern America is to the north, while South America is to the southeast. Sometimes, Colombia and Venezuela are also included in Middle America.
Physiographically, Middle America marks the territorial transition between the rest of North America and South America, connecting yet separating the two. On the west, the Middle American mainland spans the isthmian lands of the American landmass between the southern Rocky Mountains in the southern United States and the northern tip of the Andes in Colombia, while the Greater and Lesser Antilles form an island arc in the east. The region developed sub-aerially southward from North America as a complex volcanic arc-trench system during the Early Cretaceous period, eventually forming the land bridge during the Pliocene epoch when its southern end (at Panama) collided with South America through tectonic action.
In English, the term is uncommonly used as a synonym of the term Mesoamerica (or meso-America), which generally refers to an ancient culture region situated in Middle America extending approximately from central Mexico to northern Costa Rica. In addition, some residents of the region (e.g., Costa Ricans and Nicaraguans) may be referred to as Meso-Americans or Central Americans but not, however, as Middle Americans, which refers to a particular constituency in the United States.
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