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Latin American countries have often encouraged miscegenation, and even a small amount of European ancestry could entail significant upwards social mobility.

People descended from European settlers who arrived in the Americas during the colonial and post-independence periods can be found throughout Latin America.

Most of the earliest settlers were Spanish and Portuguese; after independence, the most numerous immigrants have been Spanish and Italians, followed by Germans, Levantine Semites, Poles, Irish, British, French, Russians, Belgians, Dutch, Scandinavians, Ukrainians, Hungarians, Croats, Swiss, Greeks, and other Europeans.

White Latin Americans constitute the largest racial-ethnic group in the region.

In Latin America, a person's ancestry may not be decisive in racial classification.

For example, full-blooded siblings can often be classified as belonging to different races (Harris 1964).

As in Spain, persons of even remote Jewish or Moorish ancestry were not allowed to enroll in the Spanish Army or the Catholic Church in the colonies.

These differences arise from the various historical processes and social contexts in which a given racial classification is used.

As Latin America is characterized by differing histories and social contexts, there is also variance in the perception of whiteness throughout Latin America.

Read more about the discovery on the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, and Nature websites.

White Latin Americans or European Latin Americans are Latin Americans who are considered white, typically due to European, or in some cases Levantine, descent.

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