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This diversity has profoundly influenced religion, music and politics.
This cultural heritage is (arguably improperly) called Latin or Latino in American English.
It was never a large movement of people but over the long period of time it had a major impact on Latin American populations: the Portuguese left for Brazil and the Spaniards left for the rest of the vast region.
Of the European immigrants, men greatly outnumbered women and many married natives.
Outside of the United States, and in many languages (especially romance ones) "Latino" just means "Latin", referring to cultures and peoples that can trace their heritage back to the ancient Roman Empire. Spanish is the language in the majority of the countries (See Spanish language in the Americas).
Portuguese is spoken primarily in Brazil (See Brazilian Portuguese), where it is both the official and the national language.
The influence was exerted through diplomacy, trade, banking, and investment in railways and mines.
The English language and British cultural norms were transmitted by energetic young British business agents on temporary assignment in the major commercial centers, where they inviting locals into the British leisure activities, such as organized sports, and into their transplanted cultural institutions such as schools and clubs.
Even Latin Americans who are considered "European" usually have some native ancestry.
Large numbers of European immigrants arrived in Latin America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most of them settling in the Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and southern Brazil) and Northern Mexico.