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Unit 3: Latin America

Unit 3: Latin America

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Unit 3: Latin America

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  1. Unit 3: Latin America Mrs. Curtiss

  2. Why It’s Important • Latin America reflects a unique blend of world cultures, including Native American, European, and African. • In turn, Latin America’s diverse cultures have spread to other parts of the world. • For example, the languages, music, foods and arts of Latin America have profoundly influenced life in the United States. • Today, many Americans are of Latin American descent and maintain close ties to their heritage. • In addition, Americans and Latin Americans are close trading partners. • They share democratic values based on human rights and revolt from European rule.

  3. Mayas • The Maya had one of the greatest civilizations of the Western Hemisphere • They built complex stone buildings and pyramid temples, practiced agriculture, worked in gold and copper and developed hieroglyphic writing. • One of the principal cities during the peak of Maya civilization (AD 250 – AD 900) was Palenque, in present day Mexico • Most surviving Mays structures, like the photo above, were overlaid with limestone blocks and were decorated with reliefs and inscriptions.

  4. What Makes Latin America a Region? • Spans 85 degrees of latitude • Encompasses Mexico, Central America, Caribbean Islands and South America • Region of startling contrasts • High mountains run from N. Mexico through C. America • Higher peaks of Andes course down S. America’s western side • Elsewhere, broad plateaus span huge areas • Lower elevation, plains dominate the landscape • Great grasslands, such as the pampas in Argentina and llanos in Venezuela/Colombia are ideal for grazing cattle and sheep

  5. What Makes Latin America a Region? • Latin America – many think rainforests • Wet, intensely green and bursting with life • Cover parts of many Caribbean islands and C. American countries • Amazon rainforest in Brazil • Drained by Amazon River • Covers 1/3 of S. America • Home to nearly ½ of world’s plant and animal species

  6. Amazon River • Begins in Andes (less than 100 miles from Pacific Ocean) • Flows nearly 4,000 miles to empty in Atlantic Ocean • Length equals distance from NYC to Rome, Italy • Discharges so much freshwater at mouth that it reduces salt content of Atlantic water up to 100 miles offshore • Carries huge amount of water • Estimate funnels 20 percent of all freshwater that flows over the earth • Named by Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana • For the Amazons – band of female warriors in Greek mythology • Chose the name after he was attacked by group of female warriors

  7. Indigenous People • Inhabited Amazon region for 20,000 to 50,000 years • Estimate that 200 groups of five million natives lived in Amazon Basin • Native peoples lived simply, moved frequently and left few possessions • Few clues left were quickly consumed by rain forest • Today – only 200,000 descendants continue to follow traditional lifestyle

  8. Mix of Old and New • Latin America is a region where cultures have collided and combined • Maya, Aztec and Inca flourished here long ago • Europeans arrived in late 1400s • For over 300 years – Spain and Portugal controlled most of Latin America • Forced new laws, new languages and new religion on region’s inhabitants • Native cultures survived by blending with those of conquerors

  9. Culture Highlights: Brazil – soccer is this country’s national sport; so passionate are they about the sport they have closed businesses and schools during the Soccer World Cup or important national competitions. Costa Rica – have no army because they despise militarism; in school children learn that armies are created to oppress people; military forces may be organized for national defense if necessary Brazil – country is so huge that it faces the Atlantic Ocean along 4,500 miles of coastline; it borders on every country of the South American continent except Chile and Ecuador

  10. Culture Highlights: Bananas and Coffee – crops closely associated with Latin America are not native to W. Hemisphere; bananas brought from Canary Islands and Europeans brought coffee in late 1700s Parts of Argentina and Brazil have farms known as latitundiathat are larger than some countries Llamas are the largest S. American members of the camel family; useful pack animals because they carry up to 130 pounds and are surefooted on mountain trails Inca of Peru were skilled builders; constructed stone buildings that clung to steep mountainsides; stones were cut so accurately they fit together without using mortar Bolivia has two capitals, Sucre (1539) and La Paz; attempted to move capital from Sucre to La Paz in 1909 – civil war ensued; settled by establishing two capitals; Sucre kept as seat of supreme court, La Paz became center for executive and legislative branches of government

  11. Cultural Exchange • Latin America was the original source of corn, potatoes and cacao • Coffee was originally brought to Latin America from Africa • Today coffee is the main export of several Latin America • Consult the “Country Profiles” on pages 180-189 • Identify the Latin American countries whose main export is coffee

  12. Food Crops - Corn • About 10,000 years ago, Native Americans (present day Mexico) gathered ears of wild corn for food • 5000 – 3500 BC domesticated corn and raised crops • Became staple of Maya and Aztec • Spread from Mexico to NE North America • Native American taught colonists on E coast how to grow corn • U.S. now leads world in corn production

  13. Food Crops - Potatoes • 2,000 years ago – potatoes began to be cultivated in S.A. Andes • Native to that area • Explorers in 1500s (Spanish & English) carried potatoes back to homelands • Europeans took a while to adapt to taste • By 1700s potatoes widely grown, especially Ireland • European immigrants brought potatoes to American colonies

  14. Did You Know? • For 200 years after Spanish brought potatoes back to Europe, people refused to eat them? • Medical experts predicted eating them would cause leprosy or other diseases • Because mis-shapen and ugly • Religious leaders thought eating them was sinful • Because not mentioned in Bible

  15. Food Crops - cacao • Cacao seeds make chocolate • Tree native to Amazon River basin • Cacao played major role in Maya & Aztec cultures • Aztec believed seeds were gift from heaven • Seeds ground up to make rich beverage called xocoati (shoh*KOH*ahtl) • Drink not sweet – bitter and spiced with chili peppers • 1519 – Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes served cup by Aztec ruler • Cortes brought cacao seeds back home • Spanish sweetened drink with sugar and flavored with cinnamon and vanilla • Spanish kept drink a secret for 80 years

  16. Food Crops • American colonies – chocolate expensive – only wealthy could afford • 1765 – cacao seeds imported directly and cheaply from West Indies • Now average American able to afford “food of the gods”

  17. Chapter 8: Latin AmericaSection 1: The Land

  18. Chapter 8: Latin AmericaSection 1: The Land

  19. Vast Region • Western hemisphere – S. of U.S. • Land area of 8 million square miles • 16% of Earth’s land surface • Share heritage of settlement by Europeans (Spain & Portugal)

  20. Vast Region • Divided into three areas: • Middle America • Mexico & 7 countries of Central America • Central America stretch of land that links landmasses of N. and S. America • Caribbean • AKA West Indies • Fall into 3 groups • Bahamas • Greater Antilles • Lesser Antilles • South America • Continent – largest land area of Latin America • 13 countries • Brazil is largest in land area and population

  21. Mountains & Plateaus • Mountains begins in N. America as Rocky Mountains and extends to S. America’s southern tip • Names change as you move south • Sierra Madre – Mexico • Central highlands – Central America • Andes – South America • Rugged landscape b/c region along Pacific Ring of Fire • Mountain’s rich natural resources • Water • Volcanic soil • Timber • minerals

  22. Mountains & Plateaus • Sierra Madre – two mountain ranges • Sierra Madre Oriental (Eastern) • Sierra Madre Occidental (Western) • Meet near Mexico City to form Sierra Madre del Sur (“of the south”) • Surround Mexican Plateau • Covers most of central Mexico

  23. Mountains & Plateaus • Central Highlands – south of Sierra Madres • Chain of volcanic mountains • Caribbean islands also part of mountain range • Extends under sea bed of Caribbean Sea • Islands volcanic peaks that rise above sea level

  24. Mountains & Plateaus • Andes – South America • 4,500 miles along western edge of S. America • World’s longest mountain range & highest (some peaks 20,000 feet above sea level) • Cordilleras - ranges that run parallel to each other • Altiplano – “high plain” – Peru and Bolvia • Patagonia – S. Argentina / hills and lower flatlands

  25. Highlands of Brazil • MatoGrosso Plateau – eastern S. America • Sparsely populated plateau of forests and grasslands • Spreads over most of Brazil; W. to Bolivia and Peru • East of area is Brazilian Highlands • Area so vast – spans several climate and vegetation zones • E. edge of Brazilian Highlands – plateau plunges to Atlantic • Escarpment – steep cliff or slope

  26. Lowlands and Plains • Coastal Lowlands – wind way along Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean; hems Atlantic and Pacific coasts of S.A. • Longest strip – Brazil’s Atlantic coast • NE Brazil – plain 40 miles wide; narrows as it winds S • Between Rio de Janerio and SE seaport of Santos – plain disappears • Reappear and widen near Brazils’ border with Uruguay and Argentina

  27. Lowlands and Plains • S.A. – inland areas – vast grasslands • Llanos of Colombia and Venezuela • Pampas of Argentina and Uruguay • Provide wide grazing lands for beef cattle • Ranches employ cowhands llaneros (llanos) or gauchos (pampas) to drive cattle across terrain • Major “breadbaskets” – abundance of wheat and corn

  28. Water Systems • Waterways serve as means to transport people and goods to various regions • S.A. – most of region’s major rivers • Exception: Rio Grande AKA Rio Bravo del Norte (“Wild River of the North”) • Forms part of border between Mexico and U.S.

  29. Rivers of South America • S.A. rivers are large • Amazon – Western Hemisphere longest river • Carries 10x water volume of Mississippi River • Smaller rivers join Amazon • From Andes to Atlantic • Rivers form Amazon Basin which drain parts of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela • Amazon navigable

  30. Rivers of South America • 2nd largest river system in Latin America • Parana, Paraguay and Uruguay Rivers • Drain rainy E. half of S.A. • Provide inland water routes • Hydroelectric power • For Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay • Flow into estuary • Area where tide meets a river current • Rio de la Plata (“River of Silver”) • Meets Atlantic

  31. Lakes • Few large lakes • World’s highest navigable lake • Lake Titicaca (TEE*tee*KAH*kah) in Andes of Bolivia and Peru • 12,500 feet above sea level • Area was center of early Native American civilization • Lake Maracaibo (MAH*rah*KY*boh) in Venezuela • S.A. longest lake • Area contains important oil fields • Lake Nicaragua (between Nicaragua and Costa Rica) • Largest lake in Central America

  32. Natural Resources • Significant natural resources • Minerals, forests, farmland and water • Deposits of oil and natural gas lie in rock beds and mountain valleys • Make Mexico and Venezuela leading oil produces • Mineral wealth – first mined by Native Americans • Orinoco River foothills (Venezuela) – large amounts of gold • Brazil also gold • Peru and Mexico – silver • Colombia mines produce emeralds – over 1,000 years

  33. Natural Resources • Nonprecious minerals – great economic value • Chile largest exporter of copper • Jamaica – source of bauxite (main ore of aluminum) • Bolivia & Brazil – large reserves of tin

  34. Chapter 8: Latin AmericaSection 2: Climate and Vegetation

  35. Terms to Know: Places to Locate: • *Canopy *Amazon Basin • * Tierra caliente *Colombia • Tierra templada * Venezuela • Tierra fria * Uruguay • * Atacama Desert Chapter 8: Latin AmericaSection 2: Climate and Vegetation

  36. Climate and Vegetation Regions • Lies between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn • Vast areas of region have some form of tropical climate • Lush green vegetation • Mountain ranges and wind patters create variety of climates and natural vegetation

  37. Climate and Vegetation Regions

  38. Tropical Regions • Tropical rain forest climate and vegetation dominate S. Mexico, E. Central America, some Caribbean islands and parts of S. America • Hot temps and abundant rainfall occur year around • Amazon Basin – combination results from area’s location on Equator & pattern of prevailing winds

  39. Tropical Regions • The Rain Forest – Part I • Dense cover of rain forest (selva) • Variety of trees • Tropical hardwoods, palms, tree ferns and bamboos • Board-leaf and needle-leaf evergreens grow close together • Form dense canopy • Continuous layer of leaves • Soar up to 130 feet • So dense - sunlight seldom reaches forest floor • Plants under canopy are shade tolerant

  40. Tropical Regions • The Rain Forest – Part II • Amazon Basin – Earth’s largest rain forest • Covers 1/3 of South America • World’s wettest tropical plain • Rain most of year - esp. January to June • Large areas often flooded • Example: Brazil – river width 1-6 miles but during rainy season enlarges to 30 miles

  41. Tropical Regions • The Rain Forest – Part III • Shelters more species of plants & animals per square mile then anywhere on Earth • Also habitat for reptiles • Snakes • Boas & anacondas • Iguanas & crocodiles • Freshwater fish

  42. Tropical Regions • Tropical Savanna • Typical of SW Mexico, most Caribbean islands & N-Central S.A. • Hot temps & abundant rainfall • Extended dry season • Vast grasslands • Llanos of Colombia & Venezuela • Covered with scattered trees • Transition zones between grasslands & forests

  43. Tropical Regions • Humid Subtropics • Prevails over SE S.A. • From Rio de Janeiro to Argentina’s pampas • Winters short/mild • Summers long, hot and humid • Occasional short dry periods • Pampas – short grasses – used to have scattered trees • Farmers plant alfalfa, corn and cotton to hold topsoil down

  44. Desert & Steppe Areas • N. Mexico, coastal Peru & Chile, SE coast of Argentina • Chile – rain shadow effect of Andes produced Atacama Desert • So arid – some areas no rainfall every recorded • Vegetation is sparse • Prickly cacti & drought-resistant shrubs do grow • Parts – receive little rainfall but do not have desert climates/vegetation • Steppe climates • Hot summers, cool winters and light rainfall • Grassy/light forest vegetation

  45. Elevation & Climate • Varied climate of Latin America affected by elevation • Spanish terms used to describe 3 different vertical climate zones • Occur as elevation increases • Each zone has own natural vegetation and crops

  46. Elevation & Climate