The main catalyst for progress - education, has been emphasized by many governments in Latin America. Out of Latin America's 225 million people in 1967, an estimated 80 to 90 million could neither read nor write. Although the percentage varies according to nation, the average literacy rate is too low. Some of the "literate" barely qualify on the basis of a year or two of schooling (Portillo, 1999).
Schemes by Latin America nations to improve the literacy rate include providing primary education for working adults. Improvements in the education system have been carried out in the local universities in an attempt to raise the bar of Latin America's edification of human resources.
Many local governments have attempted to encourage its local industrial development by offering bilateral aid such as low duties on capital equipment and raw materials, and by guaranteeing protection against foreign competition. The industries have largely overcome the problem of the availability of natural resources, and much has been accomplished. As a result of the successes, the cliche concerning the inability of Latin Americans to conduct business is fast being discarded.
Now, every Latin American nation has achieved a "High" or "Medium" score in the Human Development Index (HDI). However, due to cumulative causation, there are still high levels of inequalities in living standard. Latin American governments have been working hard to improve the people's living standards, as shown by the improvements and increase in GDP/GNP and HDI over the past few years (Teite, 2007).