The West Indies are a chain of islands surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the islands were created by volcanic eruptions while the rest are coral and limestone formations. The tropical climate in this region makes the islands a popular tourist spot. People from all over the world come to enjoy the beauty and beaches of the West Indies.
Located between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Central America is made up of seven countries at the southern tip of North America. More than 39 million people live in this region. Central America has a diverse population. Most people are of Native American, European, Mestizo (mixed Native American and European), or African ancestry. The majority of the people in Central America speak Spanish, but many Native American groups speak their own languages.
The Panama Canal provides a direct water route between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. This waterway provides an alternative to traveling all the way around South America, saving thousands of miles and many days. About 33 ships pass through the canal each day, and over 210 million tons of cargo are transported through the canal each year. The United States built the structure between 1904 and 1914 and operated it until turning over control of the canal to Panama in 1999.