Central America and the Caribbean. The Link Between North and South America

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1 Central America and the Caribbean The Link Between North and South America

2 Today, the combined population of Central American countries is over 40 million larger than all of Canada. Combined, the 7 nations are about 1/3 the size of Mexico in land area.

3 7 Nations make up Central America Six of them speak primarily Spanish, and one English.

4 Spanish is the most spoken language followed by English and Mayan.

5 Guatemala City is the largest metro area in the region. Other large cities include:

6 San Salvador, El Salvador San Jose, Costa Rica

7 Managua, Nicaragua Tegucigalpa, Honduras

8 Panama City, Panama

9 Central America is quite mountainous You may have noticed the many pictures of mountains around the major cities. The region sees a lot of earthquake and volcanic activity.

10

11 Pacaya Volcano Guatemala Volcanoes provide rich soil for crops to grow Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

12 Central America is a BIODIVERSITY hotspot. The countries of Panama and Costa Rica are especially loaded with many different kinds of wildlife.

13

14

15 After the Spanish conquest, much of Central America was under colonial rule for 3 centuries. After independence, some of the countries tried forming the United Provinces of Central America. It s coat of arms showed its position between the Atlantic and Pacific, and the great possibility for trade. The 5 peaks represented the provinces, and the little cap represented freedom and liberty.

16 Belize was still a part of the British Empire, and Panama was part of Colombia. The Union did not last long, and was torn apart by civil wars. Other attempts to reunite were not successful, so the individual countries have remained separate.

17 Many people are SUBSISTENCE FARMERS. They raise enough food for themselves, and sell the rest at the market. Many Central Americans Maintain a Rural Lifestyle A Modern Way To Raise Bananas

18 Central America also produces several CASH CROPS, with coffee probably being its most famous

19 Education remains a challenge in much of Central America. In some places the LITERACY RATE (the ability of people over age 15 to read and write) is lower, and there are not enough schools and teachers. Many of the teachers are not even licensed, nor have they received proper training. Many people do not send their children to school because they need the wages they earn by working.

20 Country Literacy Rate The World 82% The U. S. 99% Argentina 97.1% Bolivia 87.2% Brazil 86.4% Country Literacy Rate Mexico 92.2% Chile 96.2% Paraguay 94% Colombia 92.5& Peru 87.7% Puerto Rico 94.1% Cuba 97% Uruguay 98% Dominican Rep. 84.7% Venezuela 93.4%

21 Panama Canal The United States realized that if it wanted to be a true world power, its navy would have to be able to move quicker between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

22 The territory of Panama originally belonged to the nation of Colombia. The United States offered to buy the territory, in order to build a canal there. The Colombians did not want to cooperate. Later that same year, the U. S. supported Panama in its effort to break away from Colombia. Panama then completed a deal with the U. S.

23 A political cartoon showing Teddy Roosevelt digging the canal, and dumping the dirt on Colombia.

24

25 John Frank Stevens A chief project engineer. Favored using dams and locks to build the canal. Created a rail system to haul away excavated materials. Advocated better housing and sanitation for workers, and the eradication of disease-carrying mosquitoes. BUILDING THE CANAL

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27 U. S. President Teddy Roosevelt visited the Canal Zone in 1906

28 Steam shovels are hard at it; scooping huge masses of rock and gravel and dirt previously loosened by the drillers and dynamite blasters, loading it on trains which take it away..they are eating steadily into the mountain cutting it down..it is an epic feat. Theodore Roosevelt in a letter to his son.

29 The Canal in 1915

30 When the locks are shut, the water levels are either raised or lowered, depending on which way the ship is trying to travel.

31 The Canal Today The U. S. returned control of the canal to Panama in the late 20 th century. The canal is approximately 50 miles long, and takes around 8-10 hours to travel along. CHECK IT OUT Fees are charged based on ship type, cargo, number of passengers, etc. For smaller craft under 100 feet in length, the toll ranges from $1,300 to $2,400. In 2008, the cruise ship Disney Magic paid $331,200. In 2006, a tanker paid $220,300 to move in front of 90 other ships and save a week s time. The normal fee would have been $13,430.

32 The Caribbean Islands of Beauty and Culture

33 There are 3 main groups of islands in the Caribbean: The Bahamas The Greater Antilles The Lesser Antilles

34 The Bahamas The Greater Antilles The Lesser Antilles

35 The Caribbean Region is home to 13 independent countries and 17 territories.

36 Spanish is the largest spoken language, and Christianity is the most common religion.

37 Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Port-au- Prince, Haiti

38 San Juan, Puerto Rico Kingston, Jamaica

39 Havana, Cuba

40 Many foreigners had colonial influence on the Caribbean, but it was the Spanish, due to Christopher Columbus, who settled first.

41 Colonial Evolution

42 As you can see, the Caribbean was colonized by many different groups. Descendants of African slaves have also played a key role in the development of Caribbean culture. Caribbean music and dances are actually some of the most famous and recognized in the world.

43 The Puerto Rico Trench is the deepest spot in the Atlantic Ocean. Notice how the islands are simply the tops of mountain ranges.

44 Some Caribbean islands are relatively flat, and not that influenced by volcanic activity Aruba Barbados Cayman Islands

45 While others are dominated by it. Montserrat Martinique

46 Despite not having a lot of natural resources, some people are able to successfully farm. The Caribbean s beauty has also helped make it a popular tourist destination--a major industry.

47

48

49

50 Bananas are a major cash crop.

51 Sugarcane has also been a major Caribbean crop for centuries.

52 Harvested and Cut Sugarcane

53 Sugar cane is mashed and boiled to get its prized content out.

54 Sugarcane also helped produce molasses. It can be used for baking, and can also be used to make rum, a popular drink.

55 Making rum was profitable, and it was often traded to Africans for slaves. At one time, Haiti was very wealthy because of its sugar and rum production. Today, it is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

56 The #1 product exported from each country

57 Today, the region is dependent on trade with the U. S. CAFTA or Central America Free Trade Agreement, was implemented in the 2000s, as an agreement between the U. S. and 5 Central American nations, with the Dominican Republic also joining.

58 Baseball in the Caribbean Baseball is played in Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. It is also played in the Central American countries of Nicaragua, Panama, and Guatemala. Some of the world s best players come from the Caribbean.

59 Why Do Central America and the Caribbean Matter to the U. S.? Very early in its history, the U. S. had the goal of being the dominant power in the hemisphere.

60 During the brief Spanish American War of 1898, the U. S. helped liberate Cuba, and Spain was forced to give us Puerto Rico. The war lasted just four months!

61 The U. S. used its influence in Latin America during the first half of the 20 th century, especially in Panama.

62 During the Cold War years of , 1 st World countries were those that followed the ideas of capitalism and democracy, while 2 nd World countries followed communism. 3 rd World countries were somewhere in between.

63 During these years, both the U. S. and U.S.S.R. sought to expand their influence around the world. The Soviet Union wanted to get into the backyard of the U. S., and supported revolutions and uprisings throughout Latin America, even into the 1980s. Americans were stunned when the island nation of Cuba, just 90 miles from Florida, fell to Communism in Cuba was supported by the Soviet Union, and in 1962, allowed nuclear missiles to be installed in their country. The U. S. would not tolerate this, and the two sides nearly went to war before a settlement was reached.

64 Soviet missiles on Cuba could have reached nearly every major American city.

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