Argentina’s won two Academy Awards for best foreign film, most recently in 2009 with El Secreto de sus Ojos. Though Mexico has both submitted more films and been nominated for the award more times, Argentina's winning that battle, 2-0. Suck it, Mexico.
Bolivia’s poverty level dropped 32.2% between 2000 and 2012. Though they’re still not at Chile-level money, they’re quickly moving up the ladder.
A handful of images come to mind at the utterance of Brazil: Carnival, supermodels, and o jogo bonito. Brazil may not have invented the beautiful game, but they damn sure perfected it. Brazil has won the FIFA World Cup five times, more than any other nation, and produced a mesmerizing litany of players whose skills border on magical. For Americans reading this, the World Cup is a worldwide soccer championship the entire rest of the world cares about.
Certain pockets of Latin America can be hellaciously dangerous. But not Chile. The nation also has the greatest number of daily newspapers, but you won't find homicides plastered across all those front pages.
Colombia rightfully earned its reputation as an "enterprising" nation in the '80s and early '90s. Pablo Escobar was the ultimate entrepreneur. But nowadays, Colombia is a lot safer, and deals with legit business -- and deals with it well.
According to the Happy Planet Index, Costa Ricans have the happiest and most sustainable lives. This is not surprising, given the country's proliferation of beaches, yoga retreats, and hammocks.
While the merits of Communism don't exactly outweigh all the negative aspects, gender equality got a serious bump under this regime. Women do still have to deal with machismo, but they also make up 49% of Cuba's parliament. Compare that to the US Congress, which only boasts 20% women.
There are currently 73 Major League Baseball players from the Dominican Republic, making the country the second most common country of origin for MLB players, after the United States. Perhaps you've heard of such people as Big Papi, Albert Pujols, and Sammy Sosa? Alex Rodriguez is also Dominican by descent -- but neither the Americans nor Dominicans wanna claim that guy at this point.
Being top banana in any export is great. But to be top banana at exporting bananas? That's just bananas.