Part 1: Physical Geography

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2 Part 1: Physical Geography

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4 Highlands Lowlands Wide range in elevation creates diverse climate zones in the region

5 A mountain chain stretches along the western edge of the American continents for more than 10,000 miles (same system as the Rockies) The middle part of this long mountain chain is known as the Sierra Madre in Mexico, and as the Andes in South America Formed by a lengthy subduction zone where two oceanic plates plunge beneath three continental plates

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8 Also formed by a subduction boundary and resulting volcanic activity Still a very tectonically active region today

9 Divided into three island groups Bahamas - smaller islands off the coast of Florida Greater Antilles - Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic), and Puerto Rico. Lesser Antilles - Smaller islands southeast of Puerto Rico.

10 Extend over most of the land to the east of the western mountains The largest feature of the lowlands is the Amazon Basin, drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries (mostly in Brazil)

11 Starts in the Andes Mountains and flows to the Atlantic Ocean. Carries more water than any other river in the world -- more than the next seven rivers combined. The Amazon Basin is a significant reservoir of biodiversity (the largest remaining track of tropical rain forest)

12 -- grassy, mostly treeless areas. Llanos - in Colombia and Venezuela used for livestock and some farming. Pampas - in Argentina and Uruguay. Grassy with rich soil used for cattle and wheat. Ranching culture similar to parts of Texas. Gaucho Dancers

13 Timelapse Video 48-mile ship canal connects the Atlantic to the Pacific The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a key conduit for international maritime trade

14 Wide range of temperature due to 1. great distance the landmass spans 2. the tremendous variations in altitude across the region s landmass Patterns of precipitation are affected by 1. the local shape of the land 2. global patterns of wind and ocean currents

15 Tropical wet, Belem, Brazil

16 Desert, Atacama, Chile

17 Humid Continental, Tierra del Fuego

18 Temperature-altitude zones of M/S America

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20 The Peru (ocean) Current changes direction every few years Warm water flows from the western Pacific, bringing warm water and heavy rains to parts of the west coast of SA Named El Niño, or the Christ Child, by Peruvian fishermen El Niño also has global effects, other parts of the Pacific coast are more dry than usual

21 Nina.html ment-natural-disasters/landslides-and-more/el-nino.html

22 Part 2: Human Geography

23 Pre-Columbian - means before Columbus or before Aztecs - The Aztecs ruled most of Mexico when the first Spanish arrived there in Tenochtitlan - The Aztec capital, population 200,000 Built on a lake, with canals for transportation and floating gardens. Today this is Mexico City.

24 -Spread from Mexico to El Salvador -An extremely advanced society in astronomy, math, and medicine.

25 -Based high in the Andes Mountains -Was the largest empire in pre-colombian Latin America.

26 European Conquest Colonization - When one country controls the resources and people of another country. Most of LA was under European rule from the 1500 s to the 1800 s.

27 Mercantilism the policy in which European rulers sought to increase the power and wealth of their realm by managing all aspects of production, transport, and commerce in their colonies

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29 Independence: Mexico won independence from Spain in Revolution: , Mexican peasants fought a revolution against the dictator Porfirio Diaz, who was selling land to businessmen in the United States. The revolution was successful and the land was returned to Mexican farmers. (LAND REFORM)

30 Most won their independence from Simon Bolivar: Venezuelan leader of many of South America s independence wars, his dream of uniting South America still animates political movements in the region today. Crash Course: Latin American Revolutions

31 By the 1700 s Haiti, a French colony, was populated almost entirely by Africans who had been enslaved to harvest sugar cane. Toussaint L Ouverture led a rebellion against France that made Haiti the first free, Black republic in the Western Hemisphere in Haiti was forced to pay France for lost property (slaves) or else be isolated economically by the U.S. and France. It took over 100 years to pay the debt, crippling Haiti s economy. Crash Course: Hatian Revolutions

32 Language Spanish language many still speak indigenous languages. Mexico has 62 languages (Nahuatl, Maya, Zapotec) Portuguese in Brazil. Creole, French and English in Caribbean. Religion - Catholicism. Mestizo - people of mixed Spanish (European), Indian, and African heritage. Caribbean culture - a unique blend of African, Spanish, French, British, and Dutch cultures. Economics - Many of the exploitive economic relationships continue.

33 Part 3: Contemporary Issues

34 Contemporary issue Income Disparity Even after independence movements, profits of the colonial system were not evenly dispersed Land ownership was not available to everyone Economic opportunities were monopolized by a ruling elite who did little to expand development Economic policies favored the export of raw materials and fostered undemocratic privileges for elites and outside investors (banana republics)

35 Economic - limits economic growth because a growing proportion of the population is poor and unable to contribute with their purchasing power. Most of the poor are not able to upgrade their skills because they can t afford the time or cost of training. Political- fosters political instability as the size of the impoverished population increases and their discontent produces rebellious tendencies. Repression of such tendencies by wealthy elites also contributes to political instability.

36 NAFTA - North America Free Trade Agreement (1994) Members: Canada, USA, and Mexico Goal: reduce trade barriers, have clear trade rules, improve working conditions Effects: Removed most tariffs that had protected Mexican industry from foreign competition. Unemployment in Mexico increased mostly due to stiff competition from U.S. agribusiness Wages dropped many farmers moved to urban areas to find work. Fueled legal and illegal immigration to the U.S. Sin maiz, no hay pais

37 Maquiladoras s - Zone along the U.S. / Mexico border where U.S. companies set up factories and assembly lines with few government regulations. Problems include: pollution dangerous working conditions low wages for workers.

38 Maquiladoras foreign-owned, tax-exempt factories in Mexican border towns, that hire workers at low wages to assemble manufactured goods with are then exported for sale Problems include: few government regulations pollution dangerous working conditions low wages for workers.

39 An economic and political agreement among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay (which is currently suspended), and Uruguay to promote the free movement of goods, services and people among member states. The trade bloc's goal is to unify the Southern Cone and then all of South America in an economic bloc (Brazil is the region's largest economy)

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41 Contemporary issue 2) Urbanization As land and crop values dropped, more people moved to the cities Primate city a city w/suburbs that is vastly larger than all others in a country and in which economic and political activity is centered Ex. Mexico City accounts for 21% of Mexico s population Leads to uneven spatial development and to gov. policies and social values that favor urban areas Wealth and power is concentrated in one place, while distant rural areas have difficulty competing for talent, investment, industries, and services. Leads to brain drain as educated youth leave for the primate city

42 Both affluent and working-class areas have become neighbors to unplanned slums filled with poor migrants The best known of these unplanned communities are Brazil s favelas; in other countries they are known as slums, shantytowns, colonias, barrios, or barriadas

43 A favela in Rio de Janeiro

44 Villagers in Honduras, which has the highest growth rates in the region

45 Contemporary issue 3) Climate Change Deforestation due to multiple human impacts Primarily the clearing of land to raise cattle and grow crops Many of the cleared trees are simply burned, large amounts of carbon stored in the bodies of the trees are released into the atmosphere as CO 2 Brazil is fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world If deforestation continues in Central America at the present rates, the natural forest cover will be entirely gone in 20 years

46 Continued - Climate Change logging of hardwoods and extraction of minerals (oil, gas, and precious stones) contribute to deforestation The construction of access roads to support these activities also continues to accelerate deforestation by opening new forest areas to migrants

47 Soy fields recently cleared of forests in Brazil

48 Cattle on recently cleared land in Brazil

49 A field in Chiapas, Mexico, recently cleared for agriculture by burning

50 Newly built road that connects to the Trans- Amazon Highway in Brazil

51 Governments argued that economic development was so desperately needed that environmental regulations were an unaffordable luxury Now, there are attempts to encourage economic development to raise standards of living while trying to minimize its negative effects on the environment

52 Ecotourism encourages visitors from developed countries to appreciate ecosystems and wildlife that do not exist in their parts of the world Sustainable use and conservation of resources can be achieved while providing a livelihood to local people and the broader host community Now the fastest growing segment of the global tourism and travel industry

53 If mismanaged, it can be similar to other kinds of tourism that damage the environment and return little to the surrounding community The margins of profit to the communities may be too small to affect living standards

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