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South of South of the Border, this is the rest of Spanish, Portuguese and a small French speaking chunk of America in fiction. That in case there is a Portuguese speaking one, because everybody knows that The Capital of Brazil Is Buenos Aires, right?

A place of old, rustic buildings, military dictators and more American missionaries (doctors, etc.) than you can shake an M16 at. Also a good place to find great big wildlife, be it of Earth origin- or extra-terrestrial.

The Banana Republic part is now highly inaccurate in Real Life - Your Mileage May Vary about Honduras being the only military dictatorship left, and even that is a recent development. The South American countries are, generally speaking, stable democracies. It's rather a historic penchant for getting in this kind of situation that created the trope.

See also: Useful Notes On Latin America. Compare Spexico.

Examples of Latin Land include:

Comic Books



  • Agualar in the second Finnegan Zwake book is one of these.
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude, written by an author who actually comes from Colombia, is set in a unnamed Banana Republic with all the trappings (dictatorships, rebels, old decrepit towns, and an actual banana plantation) plus An Aesop about why capitalism is bad.
    • Actually those vague descriptions fit with pretty much all Latin American countries - Except of course, the dictatorships which were common back in the time García Marquez wrote the book but not anymore -. Gabriel García Marquez was certainly trying to appeal to all such nations.
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • On Heroes and Tombs: set in Buenos Aires, but inverted to non-Hispanics in that the descriptions would fit New York very well. "City of the Pessimists"

Live-Action TV

  • MacGyver, a number of occasions.
  • Airwolf
  • The Sentinel
  • An episode of JAG takes place in the American embassy in Peru.
  • Played for laughs with Catalina's unnamed native country in My Name Is Earl.
  • The new show "Off The Map" begins- Somewhere in South America.


  • Swedish singer/poet/whatever Evert Taube had many songs set in Latin Land (especially Argentina)
  • Chicago-based alt-rock band The Biochem Wars has two songs (See the Red Sun and Waves and Rocks, Sea and Fire) set in Costa Rica, inspired by a hiking excursion the lead singer took there.

Tabletop Games

  • The board game "Junta" is set in "La Republique De Los Bannanos" and revolves around various high-level functionaries in the place trying to get as much foreign aid money into their secret Swiss bank accounts as possible.

Western Animation

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