Latin American Inventions Woman Inventor

The Top Latin American Inventions and Inventors

Educational , Featured

It’s an understatement to say that Latin American inventions have revolutionized the world. Latin American inventors have saved millions of lives and improved countless more thanks to their ingenuity, imagination, and intuition.

Let’s celebrate the people who brought us inventions as varied as the ballpoint pen and the contraceptive pill. Read on as there may be a few inventors and inventions on the list that you may not have realized were Latin American.

Latin American Inventions or Innovations?

A debate often rages about whether a product or a process is an invention or an innovation. The two words are similar yet also distinct.

Both represent the idea of a new method or device. An invention brings something completely new that never previously existed to solve a problem or need. In contrast, innovation means coming up with a new product or process by making changes to something that already exists.

For example, Scotsman Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876. Smartphones , conversely, are not inventions but an innovation of Bell’s design.

What Inventions Came from Mexico?

Inventions Came from Mexico Image of Television source

One Latin American country, Mexico, has a rich history of inventions and inventors, particularly in the 20th century.

Many people accredit Guillermo González Camarena with inventing color television, but that’s not entirely true. Camarena was a young 23-year-old when he patented the chromoscopic adapter, which allowed the black-and-white cameras of the time to capture color images. The technology was durable and long-lived. In fact, the adapters were used to take pictures of Jupiter during Voyager’s 1979 mission. For the record, Scottish engineer John Logie Baird built the world’s first working color television equipment in 1937.

Luis Miramontes was a Mexican engineer who invented the contraceptive pill in a Mexico City laboratory. He created oral contraceptives that helped prevent pregnancy and alleviated menstrual pain. The tablets, called norethindrone in the lab and Ortho-Novum in pharmacies, also reduce the risk of endometriosis and ovarian cancer.

One Mexican family with a lot of talent is the Báez family. Mexican-American physicist Albert Vinicio Báez helped co-invent the X-ray reflection microscope. The invention produces enlarged images of both small and distant objects. It’s used to study everything from cells to galaxies. Albert’s daughter is Joan Báez , the famous American folk music singer who popularized Bob Dylan’s songs when he was just starting out.

Finally, for our Mexico section, we salute Victor Ochoa . This inventor patented an electric brake for trains back in 1907. It helped trains brake more efficiently, using magnetic attraction to grip the brake pads to the train track. You can see his patent and design at the Smithsonian Institute.

? If you were referred by another Amigo Energy customer, enter their personal referral code to receive your credit. Terms and conditions apply.

What Inventions Came from Argentina?

Two of the most famous Argentine inventors devised products to help the heart.

Domingo Liotta pioneered heart surgery with the world’s first artificial heart. In 1969, in Houston, Texas, Liotta kept a 47-year-old patient alive for three days with a non-human heart. The artificial heart implanted pumped blood through the patient’s body until a human heart was available for transplant.

In 1988, vascular radiologist Julio Palmaz patented the invaluable stent. The Palmaz Stent is an open mesh tube that expands within a heart’s clogged arteries. The procedure returns blood flows to normal and revolutionized cardiac care. It has saved millions of people from having bypass surgery. Palmaz’s work earned him a place in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006.

If anyone wanted to write down these fantastic inventions, chances are they may use a biro for their notes. The ballpoint pen is another Argentine invention, this time by László József Biró, who gave his name to his writing aid.

Biró, born in Hungary but a naturalized Argentinian, wanted to combine the quick-drying nature of newspaper ink with a pen. He came up with the free-rolling ball at the tip of a pen chamber full of ink, and the biro was born.

Whose Invention Saved Thousands of Babies’ Lives?

Mexican Baby in Incubator source

It was Claudio Castillano Lévano, from Peru, who helped save the lives of thousands of babies. Lévano realized the death rate of high-risk premature babies born in the Caribbean and Latin America was too high.

The Peruvian set to work on a portable incubator and respirator. Called a neonatal artificial bubble , it regulates temperature and keeps babies away from contamination risks. The bubble provides a protective and sterile wrap for the newborn.

Extra oxygen can be administered, and the bubble protects premature babies with a risk of infection, hypothermia, or other complications. The bubbles are used in neonatal intensive care (NICU) units, providing a sterile, warm, and oxygen-enriched environment.

Who Is Alejandro Zaffaroni?

Uruguayan Alejandro Zaffaroni is responsible for more than 40 Latin American inventions.

Zaffaroni’s work mainly focused on drug administration, often through bandages. This method is called transdermal drug administration, meaning through the skin. He started patenting in the 1970s.

Thanks to Zaffaroni, drugs now administered through the skin via patches or bandages include nicotine, antidepressants, and motion sickness.

Who Invented CAPTCHA Codes?

German-Guatemalan Luis von Ahn is the person who makes us prove we’re not robots online with his CAPTCHA code.

Von Ahn, a computer scientist born in Guatemala, co-invented CAPTCHA. Its full title is the long-winded Completely Automated Public Turing test for telling Computers and Humans Apart. He is why internet browsers often have to click a box to prove they are not bots.

Von Ahn is the co-founder of the language-learning website Duolingo. He also works as a consultant professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

Hey amigo! Check out our unbelievable electricity plans. Call 1-866-209-8078 to find out more.

Are There Any Famous Female Latin American Inventors?

Female Latin Engineer Photo source

Only 2% of women working in the United States science, tech, engineering, and math (STEM) fields are Hispanic, according to the National Science Foundation .

But that chronic under-representation hasn’t stopped Hispanic women from inventing. Brazilian María Angélica Camargo invented a quick and affordable Dengue fever test that helped save many lives in Brazil and other affected areas.

Colombian María Alexandra Tamayo has invented what she calls the NanoPro. This device helps filter and kill fungi, bacteria, and viruses in water, making it safe to drink, perfect for areas without potable water. Then there is Olga Gonzalez-Sanabria , from Puerto Rico. She developed a long-life nickel-hydrogen battery that powers satellites in space.

There are many more examples of female inventors battling the odds to bring the benefits of their inventions to the world.

Did Mexicans Invent Soccer?

Almost every region of the world lays a claim to inventing soccer. The first reports of people kicking a football-type object originate from the fields in China around 300 BC. Ancient Greeks played a type of soccer called Harpastum, and England has records of soccer-type games from the eighth century.

The formalization of soccer rules came in England in 1863. Association Football — football, or soccer in the U.S. — drew up laws from ball size to pitch length.

Historians are increasingly looking at modern-day Mexico as a cradle of early soccer games. Mesoamerica, which spans from Mexico to Costa Rica, had a game that involved people moving a heavy ball around a pitch.

Details are a little light, but it’s thought people bumped the ball around an agreed area, using various parts of the body. Teotihuacanos, Aztecs, and Mayas each had their versions, and a game could substitute for war or see the losers sacrificed.

What Were Other Inventions Made by Hispanics?

Many Hispanic inventions have changed the world. One such device came from the mind of Emilio Herrera Linares , from Spain. NASA has much to thank the Spanish inventor. Linares invented the pressurized space suit in 1936, initially to protect people flying in hot air balloons to high altitudes.

The prototype spacesuit inspired NASA, who used the design as the basis for the spacesuits used on the Apollo moon landing. Linares was supposedly asked to work on NASA’s designs but refused when the space agency wouldn’t agree to a Spanish flag being unfurled on the moon.

Was Music Invented in Latin America?

Latin Couple Dances on Dance Floor source

Latin Americans may or may not have invented music. We know about the existence of musical instruments dating back around 40,000 years . However, it’s hard to imagine we’ll ever pinpoint where the first music was played, albeit humans have sung since learning to communicate.

That said, a panoply of Latino-inspired musical genres now blasts from radios, stereos, and speakers around the world.

The most famous include tango, samba, mariachi, and salsa. More recent exports include cumbia and reggaeton. Latin pop pushed its way into global consciousness with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s hit, Despacito .” The video has been played eight billion times on YouTube, the second most viewed track on the channel ever. (“Baby Shark Dance” is at number one).

Is Latin America a Good Place for Inventors?

A useful measure of how inventors are valued is how much money countries invest in research and development. The higher the number of researchers per country, the better funded the research sector. Extra private and public funding often attracts the best inventive minds and can result in more innovation and invention of new products.

In 2020 , South Korea led the table for researchers per one million people. The remaining top 10 countries were all from Europe, apart from Japan. The first Latin American country on the list is Mexico, in 79th position.

In terms of research and development spending, as a percentage of GDP, in 2019, Israel led the way, with South Korea second and the United States sixth. Argentina was Latin America’s highest-placed investor in 42nd place globally, followed by Mexico in 43rd.

? If you were referred by another Amigo Energy customer, enter their personal referral code to receive your credit. Terms and conditions apply.

However, things are looking up. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ( OECD ) has highlighted Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru as countries with dynamic start-up and investment policies that could boost the region’s inventive reputation.

That makes the inventors we’ve mentioned all the more remarkable. Many Latin American inventions have appeared despite a relative lack of investment from governments and businesses.

What Is Hispanic Heritage Month?

Hispanics are the largest ethnic minority group in the United States. But it’s only since 1968 that Hispanics gained any formal recognition for their role in building America.

By 1988 , what had been a week-long celebration of Hispanic culture and success turned into a month-long festival. National Hispanic Heritage Month is now well-established in the calendar, held annually from September 15 to October 15 across the U.S.

Events are held to commemorate the Hispanic contribution to the world, including remembering famous Latin American inventors. Look out for festivals, street parades, food, and concerts throughout the country.

Let Amigo be your friend. Call 1-866-209-8078

Celebrating Great Latin American Inventions

Latin American inventors believed in themselves, battled the odds, and helped make the world better. Some of their inventions have saved millions of lives. Others have improved the quality of life for many more.

Stents revolutionized heart treatments, and a baby-saving bubble has ensured thousands of prematurely-born babies get a chance to live. Latin American inventions have massively influenced how we take prescription drugs, write messages by hand, and even watch television.

All this has come from Latin American people’s minds, despite a general lack of funding for research and development by the region’s governments. Hopefully, inspirational events like Hispanic Heritage Month can fire the imagination of the next generation of would-be inventors.

No one knows from where the next Guillermo González Camarena, María Angélica Camargo, or Claudio Castillano Lévano will spring. Perhaps the next big Latin American invention will grab worldwide attention and turn the spotlight on its talented inventors.

Brought to you by amigoenergy

All images licensed from Adobe Stock.
Featured image:

Find a Residential Plan

? If you were referred by another Amigo Energy customer, enter their personal referral code to receive your credit. Terms and conditions apply.

Need Service For Your Business?

Learn more about our commercial plans