The purpose of this work is twofold—to afford a broad survey of the Latin American countries, with the colour and interest which so strongly characterizes this half of the New World; and to offer in some degree a detailed study of the region as concerns what (elsewhere) I have ventured to term a "science of humanity" or science of corporate life, whose main factors are topographical, occupational or industrial, and ethical or ethical-economic. New responsibilities are arising in our dealings and contact with foreign lands, especially those whose social affairs are still backward. We must beware how we regard the folk of such lands mainly as hewers of wood and drawers of water, or absorbents of exported goods or producers of dividends, or their lands as mainly reservoirs of raw material. Elemental forces are at work in the world to-day, which only justice and constructive intelligence can control. The English-speaking peoples have wide interests and consequent responsibilities in these lands: matters which are discussed in the final chapter.
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As will be seen, I have embodied many descriptive passages in this book from the various authors of the South American Series, to which the present work is in a measure auxiliary.