Introduction Latin America is a huge and heterogeneous region that stretches from Mexico south to Chile. If we go by the definition that Latin America is the region of the Americas where Latin languages are spoken, the continent consists of twenty-one countries. Its languages are Portuguese (Brazil), French (French Guyana and Haiti), and Spanish in the remaining eighteen countries. In some countries other languages are also spoken: for example, English in Guiana and Jamaica, and Dutch in Suriname. This linguistic situation is part of the legacy of the colonization of the continent by European powers starting in the sixteenth century. The first influential Latin American universities were founded in the sixteenth century in the colonial centers of Santo Domingo, Lima, and Mexico City.