Latin America Geography. Overview of Latin America

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  • Latin America Geography
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  • Overview of Latin America
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  • Latin America Begins at the Rio Grande River on the southern border of the United States and extends to the southern tip of South America. Covers 7,900,000 square miles or 16% of the earths surface
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  • The Land Mountains Mexico has three mountain ranges West Indies islands are the tops of volcanic mountains The Andes Mountains stretches along the west coast of South America Plains Cover the coasts of Mexico and Central America Two inland plains found inside South America Pampas of Argentina and llanos of Colombia and Venezuela
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  • The Land Rivers Contains five rivers including the Amazon The Amazon stretches 4,000 miles and is the longest river in the Western Hemisphere. Natural Resources Oil and natural gas are prevalent in Mexico and Venezuela Other resources found are copper, iron ore, silver, and lead. Rich soil allows farmers to grow grains, fruit, and coffee.
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  • Climate and Vegetation Elevation Low elevation-hot and humid with green tropical vegetation Higher elevation- the climate becomes milder and the temperature becomes cooler Highest elevation- very little plant life (snow or frost) Rainforests Cover the lowland areas of Latin America Largest is in Brazil in the Amazon basin Found on the east coast of Central America and some of the Caribbean islands
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  • Economy Based mainly on agriculture Farmers grow coffee, bananas, and sugarcane Latin America is a top cattle raising region in the world Service industry and manufacturing is growing
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  • The People Population- 500 million people (9%) 70% live in cities and along the coastlines Very diversified (many different groups of people) Democratic governments have emerged and continue to emerge.
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  • Latin America Physical geography varies Low-lying plains and vast water systems Beauty and magnificence of the high rugged peaks of the Andes mountains
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  • Location and Basic Facts Located in the Western Hemisphere, south of the United States 8 million square miles of land (16% of the worlds land surface) Divided into three sub-regions: Middle America The Caribbean South America
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  • Mountains and Plateaus The Andes mountains are the most distinctive landforms in this region Located along the Pacific Ring of Fire Plate movement still occurs causing earthquakes and volcanic eruptions People have settled into the mountain region and mostly plateaus
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  • Mountains and Plateaus The cooler climate and rich resources drew settlers in These regions were at one time very isolated Technology (cell phones, tv, and internet are breaking down physical barriers
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  • Mountains in Middle America and the Caribbean Sierra Madre mountain ranges are surrounded by the Mexican plateau Mild climate, fertile volcanic soil, and rainfall have attracted settlers for many years The Central Highlands is a chain of volcanic peaks in which many islands in the Caribbean Sea are part of
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  • Andes of South America Stretch 4,500 miles along the western edge of South America The longest mountain chain and one of the tallest in the world
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  • Highlands of Brazil Mato Grosso Plateau- sparsely populated plateau of forests and grasslands Brazil, Bolivia, Peru Brazilian Highlands- spans several climate and vegetation zones Key place to raise livestock
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  • Chapter 9 Latin America Mr. Jeremy Rinkel
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  • Mexico
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  • Bridging Two Continents Land bridge- a narrow strip of land that joins two larger landmasses Connects North America and South America Mexico is a peninsula or piece of land surrounded by water on three sides.
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  • Mexico Land of the Shaking Earth Very rugged landscape Situated over various plates which caused the formation of mountains and volcanoes. Earthquakes occur very frequently Mount Popocatepetl smoky mountain Famous volcano named by Aztec Indians
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  • Mountains and Plateau Mountain Ranges Sierra Madre Occidentl (runs north and south along western Mexico near the Pacific Ocean) Sierra Madre Oriental (runs along the eastern side of Mexico Sierra Madre del Sur (southwestern Mexico) Plateau of Mexico (covers 40% of Mexico) Northern part is desert and grassy plains Southern part rises in elevation with basins Basins are broad, flat valleys.
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  • Coastal Lowlands Stretch along the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico Rivers flow through the coastal plains The Rio Grande forms the border with the U.S. and drains in the Gulf of Mexico
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  • Climate Latitude is the location north or south of the equator The Tropic of Cancer runs through the center of Mexico Mexico is usually warm year around
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  • Climate Altitude zones Hot Land Temperate Land Cold Land
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  • The Economy Economic Regions Service industries- is a business that provides services to people instead of making goods. Three economic regions Central Mexico The North The South
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  • Farming in Mexico Only 11% of the land is fertile for farming because of the mountains, deserts, and rainforests Farmers grow: coffee, corn, cotton, oranges, and sugarcane.
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  • Central Mexico The economic heart of the country Home to half of Mexicos population Has favorable conditions for farming Cities in Central Mexico Mexico City Guadalajara Leon Puebla
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  • The North Includes Baja California and the northern part of the plateau of Mexico Too dry to farm, but farmers irrigate to grow Cotton, fruits, cereals, and vegetables Ranchers raise Cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs Vaqueros- cowhands developed the tools to herd, rope and brand cattle.
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  • The North Cities Monterrey (steel, copper, lead, and zinc) Maquiladoras- are factories that assemble parts shipped from other countries Assemble automobiles, stereo systems, computers, and other electronic devices
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  • The South Stretches from Mexico City to the Yucatan Peninsula. Poorest people of Mexico live in this area Subsistence farm- is a farm that produces only enough to support a familys needs Plantations (in the valleys)- large farms that raise a single crop for money. Rich farmers grow coffee and sugarcane Tourism is very popular in the South
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  • Economic Challenges Mexico has become an industrialized country Describes a country in which industry has replaced farming as the main economic activity Challenges due to industrialization Conserving land Controlling pollution Creating new jobs Increasing trade with other countries
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  • Pollution Mountains surround Mexico City blocking the flow of air leaving smog. Smog- is fog mixed with smoke and chemicals. The city sometimes shuts down and people must stay indoors Thousands of acres of forest are burned to make room for new fields for crops
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  • Population Changes Mexicos population is growing twice as fast as the United States Mexico cannot provide enough jobs 98 million people live in the southern part of the Plateau of Mexico Resources are strained with so many people living in this area Many people move to the U.S. to seek employment
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  • Free Trade North American Free Trade Agreement Joint agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico (1993) Allows money to move freely among these three countries Has created many new jobs in Mexico
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  • Native Americans The first people came from Asia The Maya flourished in Yucatan Lived during 250 A.D to 900 A.D. Built cities around towering temples in the rainforest The Aztecs built the city Tenochtitlan Mexico City is located in this area Were fierce warriors, builders and traders Had marketplaces filled with pottery, baskets, cloth, gold, and silver
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  • The Spanish Heritage Hernan Cortes- arrived in Mexico in 1519. Mexico remained a Spanish colony for nearly 300 years The Spaniards enslaved the Native Americans and had them work the fields and the mines Mestizo is a person with mixed Native American and European heritage 60% are mestizos 30% Native American
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  • Modern Mexico Gained its freedom from Spain in 1821 Revolution began in 1910 because people were discontent of the way of life especially poor farmers 1920- Mexico became a federal republic 31 states share powers 1990s- people demanded reform Other parties began to rule and win elections instead of just one political party
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  • City Life of the population in Mexico live in cities Older homes are made of ad