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Cultures of Latin America

Cultures of Latin America

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Cultures of Latin America

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  1. Cultures of Latin America

  2. Latin America: Regions • Mexico • Central America and the Caribbean • Spanish Speaking South America • Brazil

  3. Population Distribution

  4. Mexico

  5. Mexico • Spanish conquest tore the fabric of native life. However, Mexico’s native heritage remains very strong today. In fact “Mexico” comes from “Mexica,” the original name of the Aztecs. • The Spanish converted the natives to Catholicism, and forced them to learn their language. These remain as the predominant religious, and language groups in the country. • Mexico was a major aspect of the Spanish Empire in the Western Hemisphere due to its abundant resources. • In 1821 Mexico gained its independence from Spain.

  6. Legacies of Colonialism • Language • Religion • Unequal distribution of land, current issues with income inequality • Large “Mestizo” population- people with mixed Spanish and Native heritage • Colonial architecture

  7. Mexico’s Cultural Aspects • Art, Mexican murals (Diego) • Aztec/colonial architecture • Music • Cuisine: blend of Native and Spanish • Sport

  8. Economy and Urbanization • Challenges: income inequality and industrialization • Transitioning from an agricultural based economy to an industrial economy. • Key area: Oil production, and manufacturing • Push/Pull factors to cites= rapid population growth and large metropolitan areas. • Mexico City: capital, largest city, largest metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere (over 20 million), political/cultural/economic center of Mexico • NAFTA- (Mexico, Canada, and the U.S.) huge zone of cooperation on trade and economic issues • Political instability, immigration, education.

  9. Central America and Caribbean • Central America is recognized as a cultural hearth, which a place from which important ideas spread. Typically it is at heartland or place of origin of major cultures. • Conquest of the Aztecs opened the door to Central America for the Spanish. It would be ruled from Mexico. • 1823 gains its independence, by the 1830s individual countries. • Agricultural based aspect of the Spanish Empire, it remains a Spanish speaking, Catholic, rural area with agriculture as the main aspect of the economy. • Large plantations

  10. Central America • Mayan architecture and heritage from the Yucatan to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. • Diverse music, art, literature, cuisine, and dance • Bright textiles, rich mythology. • Ecotourism • Panama Canal- shipping canal in Panama that connects the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean (via the Carb. Sea). *Places the region at the crossroads of world trade.*

  11. Caribbean • Spanish settlement, eventually colonies of Great Brittan, France, Dutch, Danish. All establishing sugar plantations • Demographic collapse- introduced Africans, who have a lasting impact on culture in the region • Independence began with Haiti’s successful slave revolt in 1804, but continued until the independence of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago in 1962 • Blend of European, African, Native, and mixed races. • Africans: religion (Santeria, Voodoo, Rastafarian), music (reggae) • Very poor region, concentrated wealth • Weak economy, sugar is still the leading export • Cuba and the Dominican Republic are the largest countries (Spanish speaking)

  12. Spanish Speaking South America • Geography created isolation, and thus complex cultures developed in the region • Independence movements led by Simone Boliviar (Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia) & Jose de San Martin (Argentina, Peru, and Chile). • Quecha- the language of the Inca, largest indigenous language in Latin America • Combination of resources, landforms, climates, and vegetation provide great economic opportunity, but there is a huge income gap. • Concentrated leadership, authoritarian rule, but increasing democratization. • Chile- the economic model for Latin America. Trading from mines and fields (esp. fruit and veg.)abroad. Huge deposits of mineral resources (copper). High literacy rates, leading economic cooperation in the region- Mercosur has over 200 million consumers, goal to increase trade in the region

  13. Brazil • Portuguese colonization: settlements near coast, sugar plantations, and the introduction of Africans • 80% of Brazil’s population live within 200 miles of the coast • Africans have lasting impact on culture: Carnival, religious syncretism, samba, cuisine, • From millions of natives, to 200,000 in the Amazon • Brasilia- capital of Brazil, 600 miles inland to draw people to the interior.

  14. Economy • Growing economic power on the global scale • Vast land area, abundant resources, large and diverse population (5th largest country in the world). • Industrial power: rich in minerals used for industrial production, large steel plants, leader in automobile production, hydroelectric capacity • Vast wealth inequality, 2.5 million people in Brazil’s Landless Movement • Development of the Amazon Basin for agriculture, resource extraction, transportation, and timber.

  15. Urbanization • Push/Pull factors • 85% of the population, rapid growth outpacing infastructure, • Favelas- slum settlement of impoverished people who live in improvised dwellings (11.5 million, or 6% in Brazil). • Sao Paulo- economic center, largest city with 19.5 million people. • Rio de Janero- cultural center