I read an interesting article on 12/27/2012 –“Why Latin Americans top the happiness rankings” by Rich Basas.
A global index on happiness shows several Latin American countries topping the list. The report cites centrality of family as a key reason. Experts offered many explanations for the results.
(1) The ability of Latin Americans to look beyond immediate problems and live life day-by-day, despite what is going on externally.
(2) Constant problems make people adapt and live positively.
(3) One explanation points to the cultural aspects that teach Latin Americans to keep a positive face on things, even if there are personal problems.
I would go with the explanation that centrality of family is the key reason for their high level of happiness. We know Hispanic culture is very much family-centered one, which must be a healthy contributor.
The interesting part is very often people associate happiness with the amount of wealth they possess. Obviously it is not so with Latin Americans.