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Why Latin Americans top the happiness rankings

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Rodrigo Abd/AP/File

(Read caption) A couple dances in a public park in Guatemala City in June. A poll released Wednesday of nearly 150,000 people around the world says seven of the world's 10 countries with the most upbeat attitudes are in Latin America.

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This month an index of global happiness was released, and the results showed that many countries in Latin America were the world’s happiest. Panama, Paraguay, El Salvador, Venezuela, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Costa Rica were all at the top of the survey. Colombia was ranked 11th, and Mexico and Brazil ranked around 20th.

Experts have suggested many reasons for the results. One includes the ability of Latin Americans to look beyond immediate problems and live life day-by-day, despite what is going on externally. It suggests that constant problems make people adapt and live positively, perhaps because it is difficult to constantly fear the worse and still live a productive life. Other explanations include cultural aspects that teach Latin Americans to keep a positive face on things, even if there are personal problems.

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