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Latin America

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  • Latin America

  • The term "Latin America" refers to Mexico and all countries and political units in Central and South America. The area includes 33 independent nations, along with French Guiana and some island possessions of the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands. Landforms, climate, and lifestyles in Latin America vary greatly. But common experience and historical developments unite its peoples in many ways.Latin America is a region of extreme contrasts. It is characterized by the magnificent high Andes mountains and the massive Amazon River. There are lush rain forests in the Amazon Basin, while Chile's Atacama Desert is considered the driest area in the world.

    Introduction to Latin America

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFFp6rZa3C0&feature=related

    What do you know about our neighbors down south?

  • Map of South America

    http://earth.google.com/intl/en/index.html

  • Map of Latin America

  • Precipitation Map of South America

  • Climatic Map of South America

  • Vegetation Map of South America

  • Land and WaterOn the map, South America looks roughly like an inverted triangle, with its broadest landmass in the north and tapering almost to a point in the south. At its widest, it measures about 3,200 miles (5,150 kilometers) from east to west. It extends some 4,600 miles (7,400 kilometers) from north to south. South America has some of the most impressive geographical features of any continent. The Andes, which run its entire length, are the world's longest mountain chain; Aconcagua, in the Argentinean Andes, is the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere. The Amazon, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean, is the world's largest river in volume of water flow, and its enormous drainage basin is covered by the world's most extensive area of rain forests. Angel Falls on the Churun River in Venezuela is the highest waterfall in the world, while Chile's Atacama Desert, where it has not rained for centuries, is considered the driest region on earth. World Atlashttp://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/salnd.htm

  • Each year, thousands of square miles of tropical rain forest are cut down for timber or destroyed to provide land for farms, mines, and roads. In Brazil (above) and elsewhere, fire is frequently used to quickly clear large tracts of land. Why Save the Rainforesthttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKIgleUBDdE

  • Rivers The interior lowland is drained by three great river systems, the largest of which is the Amazon. Second in importance is the Ro de la Plata. The third main river system is the Orinoco.The Amazon - The Amazon is exceeded in length only by the Nile in Africa. It carries more water than any other river in the world, draining an area nearly as large as Australia. Originating high in the Peruvian Andes and fed by hundreds of tributary rivers in six countries, it crosses the widest part of South America before emptying into the Atlantic off northeastern Brazil. Ro de la Plata - The Ro de la Plata is formed by the Paran and its principal tributaries, the Paraguay and Uruguay rivers. It is South America's most important inland waterway. The Paran rises in the highlands of southeastern Brazil and flows in a generally southerly direction along the eastern border of Paraguay. It then crosses into Argentina, where the Uruguay joins it to form the Ro de la Plata estuary on the Atlantic between Uruguay and Argentina.The Orinoco - From its headwaters in the Guiana Highlands, the Orinoco River flows northeastward through Venezuela to the Atlantic Ocean. More than half of the Orinoco is navigable by fairly large ships. A small stream called the Casiquiare links the Orinoco to the Amazon by way of the Ro Negro.Other Major Waterways - The Magdalena is the principal river of Colombia and its chief artery of trade. Together with its main tributary, the Cauca, it flows northward through Colombia's Andean ranges to the Caribbean Sea.The So Francisco is the main waterway leading to the interior of eastern Brazil. It rises in the Brazilian Highlands and flows in a northeasterly direction, parallel to the coast, before turning abruptly on its journey east to the Atlantic Ocean. Navigation along its route is interrupted by the Paulo Afonso Falls.

  • Some scientists say the Amazon River is longer than the Nile RiverThe Nile River on the left is located in EgyptTo the right is the lush forest and Amazon Riverhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta35C488dnE&feature=channel

  • LakesSouth America has relatively few lakes. The largest, Lake Maracaibo, is situated on the continent's northern coast, in western Venezuela. The Maracaibo basin is one of the major oil-producing regions. Lake Titicaca, which forms part of the border between Peru and Bolivia, in the Andean region, is the world's highest navigable body of water. Nearby is the much smaller Lake Poop, about half Titicaca's size. Lagoa dos Patos, in southern Brazil, is actually an arm of the Atlantic Ocean. A low peninsula separates it from the open sea.

  • ClimateSouth America has varied types of climate. These are influenced by such factors as elevation, distance from the equator, winds and currents, and nearness to the surrounding oceans and seas. South America does not have the extremes of temperature found in North America. Its great northern bulge lies on or near the equator, giving this large area of the continent a tropical climate, except in the higher elevations of the Andes. The Amazon Basin, Guiana Highlands, much of the Brazilian Highlands, and some coastal areas are hot and humid the year round, with heavy rainfall and temperatures averaging about 80F (27C).Much of the narrower, southern half of the continent has more distinct winter and summer seasons, although winters are generally mild. Since the region is south of the equator, the seasons are reversed, with winter falling between June and August and summer between December and February. A Mediterranean type of climate is found in central Chile and parts of Argentina, which benefit from the moderating influences of the surrounding oceans. Because of their great height, the Andes act as a climatic barrier, blocking the passage of moisture-laden winds from the east and contributing to the semi-arid and desert conditions of the Peruvian coast and northern Chile. The coldest regions of South America are in Tierra del Fuego and the Andes, where temperatures can fall below 32F (0C). Some of the highest temperatures occur in the Gran Chaco, with readings well above 100F (38C) common in summer. To locate the weather in South America http://www.weather.com/outlook/weatherbyregion/SAMER

  • From rainforests and deserts, to bustling cities Latin America shows diversity

  • Natural ResourcesLatin America is both rich and poor. Natural resources are many and varied, but they are unevenly distributed. The region is a major exporter of bauxite, iron ore, copper, and lead, for example. But it has very little coal, and only five or six nations are self-sufficient in petroleum. Much of the world's coffee, bananas, and sugarcane is produced there, but basic foodstuffs like wheat must be imported. Latin America contains the oldest universities in the Western Hemisphere, but many of its people today cannot read or write. Regional incomes are near the world average but are far below those of the more industrialized nations. Rapid population growth and increasing urbanization have created many demands that are difficult to meet.

  • VegetationSouth America's considerable natural resources include areas of good soil, abundant deposits of many minerals, and a great diversity of plant and animal life.Soils - The continent has two main types of fertile soils. One is alluvial, or soil deposited by rivers, found in the floodplains of the rivers. The other is the grassland soil found in the Pampas of Argentina and similar areas of Uruguay. Soils of the desert areas can also be made to produce crops if irrigated. The least fertile are mountain soils, which are too thin and stony, and soils of the tropical forests, whose nutrients have been washed away by the heavy rainfall. Vegetation - More than 40 percent of South America is forested. Most of this consists of tropical rain forest, or selva, occupying the Amazon Basin, parts of the Guiana and Brazilian highlands, and the Pacific coast of Colombia. Among the numerous varieties of trees found here are mahogany, rosewood, Brazil nut, wild rubber, palm, and cacao. Plants and tropical flowers, including many kinds of orchids and giant water lilies, grow in profusion. Tropical thorn trees and other scrub vegetation cover much of the Gran Chaco. Small areas of evergreen forest are found in southern Brazil and central Chile.The extraordinary diversity of the Amazonian selva is now threatened by deforestation. This is due to a number of factors, including increased road building, logging, and the growth of new settlements.About 30 percent of the continent consists of grasslands. The tropical grassy plains, or savanna, that cover parts of Venezuela and Colombia and much of the Brazilian Highlands are most suitable for grazing cattle. The temperate grasslands of the Pampas of Uruguay and eastern Argentina are utilized for farming as well as cattle raising.

  • Art, dance, and relaxation are all part of a days work.Watch Latin American Dancershttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ0T5jkCTxA&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQkAlFBzses

    Latin American Arthttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dPAn2B5YZg

  • Colonial TimesThe colonial history of Latin America is very different from the much shorter colonial periods of the United States and Canada. Three centuries of Spanish and Portuguese rule gave Latin Americans little experience in self-government. In the Spanish and Portuguese colonies, the king was supreme. The Spanish king ruled through the Council of the Indies and through the viceroys (governors who represented the king in the colonies). The Portuguese king governed through the Transmarine Council. The members of both councils were appointed by their king and lived in Spain and Portugal. The councils issued laws, supervised the church, and regulated trade and trade routes. This system of government meant that people born in the New World had little opportunity to govern themselves. A few criollos were appointed to the cabildos or senados da camara (town councils), as regidores (town councillors). The mestizos had even fewer social and political rights. They were even less prepared for self-government. The Indians who worked for the landowners and mine owners were treated like slaves. The blacks, who worked on the plantations, actually were slaves. Thus, only the criollos gained some experience in government.

  • 1800s PresentIn the 1800's, most Latin American countries revolted and became independent republics. The criollo group included the higher clergy, the wealthy landowners and mine owners, and the merchants. These leaders were overwhelmingly conservative and sought to maintain the social, economic, and political systems of the colonial period, but without the Spanish rulers. They firmly believed that the people were not ready for self-government due to lack of education, perceived racial inferiority, and great geographic barriers of mountains, jungles, and deserts. Independence was followed by quarrels between liberals and conservatives. These two groups were divided on economic policy and on the question of the relationship between the government and the Roman Catholic Church. They also disagreed about whether the provinces or the federal government should exercise the greater power. The liberals opposed the Church's ownership of land and its control of education and marriage, but the conservatives supported the Church. The liberals opposed government control of the economy, but the conservatives (who usually controlled the government) favored governmental control of financial investments and tariffs. Finally, liberals wanted less centralization of government, while conservatives favored more centralization.

  • Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca fortress city in present-day Peru, is South America's most famous archaeological site.Ancient Civilizationhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtdL3YMHyTI&feature=related

  • A Way of Life Traditionally, Latin Americans are early risers. Around seven o'clock, they have a breakfast of coffee and milk, hot chocolate with buns, or, in Central America and Mexico, tortillas and beans. If they can afford it, they have eggs and bacon. They work until noon or one o'clock, when they go home to eat the big meal of the day. After the meal, many people take a siesta, or afternoon nap. It is still common for many shops and businesses, as well as farms, to stop work for two or three hours in the middle of the day. Intense heat and high altitudes make this habit necessary and desirable. This results in a work day that begins earlier and ends later than it does in the United States. In many regions, however, the traditional siesta is disappearing. Many urban businesses are changing to lunch breaks of an hour or less. As working hours change, so does the character of the midday meal. At six or seven o'clock, the Latin American eats a snack called a merienda. Dinner is eaten quite late in Latin America--nine o'clock or even later.A large part of Latin America remains rural and agricultural. Many Latin Americans live in villages that are shut in by great mountains or rivers. These people are likely to be Indians whose way of life is strongly influenced by that of their ancestors. But the huge migration of large numbers of people--particularly young people--from rural to urban areas is an important recent trend. As cities have grown larger, the differences between rural and urban ways of life have begun to disappear. The construction of highways and roads connecting cities and the countryside has increased travel and interaction. Better communication systems also help to bridge distances. Transistor radios, cell phones, and satellite television are now found even in the most rural areas and serve better than the written word to spread information and ideas.

  • CustomsThroughout Latin America, the extended family is held dear. Loyalty and responsibility to one's family is extremely important. Parents teach their children obedience and respect for authority. Piety, gallantry, and courtesy are also carefully cultivated in the Latin American child. These qualities are also emphasized in courtship. Customs are rapidly changing. But prior to marriage, couples are typically chaperoned.In Latin America, a girl does not lose her own family name when she marries. If Cecilia Lpez marries Juan Daz, she becomes Cecilia Lpez de (of) Daz. Her family name also lives on in her children. Her son Pablo, for example, would be known as Pablo Daz Lpez; her daughter Catalina, as Catalina Daz Lpez. All legal documents--baptismal records, school certificates, passports--bear in sequence the given name, father's family name, and mother's family name.Catholic children--rich or poor, urban or rural--are baptized and named for the saint on whose day they were born. Frequently the names of other close members of the family are added, so that a child sometimes has five or six names.

  • TraditionIn cities and in the country, the choice of a godfather and godmother (compadres) is of very great importance. Nothing brings two Catholic Latin Americans closer together than for one to be the godparent of the other's child. The child's religious upbringing, welfare, education, and even support are sometimes entrusted to the godparents. Baptism takes place in the church and is followed by a party. In the country, this party includes a feast, dances, and songs. In the city it is customary to dance to popular music and eat sandwiches and cakes.Wedding ceremonies usually take place in church. But the preparations and the celebrations that follow a wedding vary from country to country, from religion to religion, and from region to region. A civil ceremony is considered as binding as a religious one. The status of women is improving throughout Latin America. Professional opportunities vary from country to country and group to group. But more women have careers in government, science, diplomacy, and business than ever before.

  • CultureIn most Latin American countries, the Indians' contributions are old and many-sided. For this reason, some people prefer to call the region Indo-America. But this term is not entirely accurate. Costa Rica, Argentina, and Uruguay are largely European in origin. In most of the Caribbean, Brazil, Suriname, Guyana, and French Guiana, the African rather than the Indian has been the dominant influence on life and culture.Latin Americans are fine artisans and still make many things by hand. Although mass-produced goods are now very common, unique handcrafted items can still be found. Latin American designs are original and colors are bold, so that the simplest dish has individual beauty. The pottery and ceramics of Latin America are unique and varied. Each region uses its own designs.Native Peoples of Latin Americahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hnz5SomARgI&feature=related

  • HolidaysHolidays - Each country has its own holidays to celebrate--independence day, the birth or death of a national hero, or the anniversary of an event in the nation's history. But most of Latin America's holidays are religious in nature. Every village, town, and city has its patron saint. Religious pilgrimages, folk dances, songs, and fireworks are familiar ways of celebration. New Year's Day, Carnival, Easter Sunday, All Souls' Day, and Christmas are some of the major holidays observed by most Latin Americans.Carnival, or Mardi Gras, is a celebration introduced by the Spanish and Portuguese. People wearing masks and elaborate costumes parade through the streets. Festive parties are held in most homes. Carnival is a burst of joy and freedom before Lent, a 40-day period of self-denial practiced by most Christians. The carnivals of Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, and Brazil in particular are internationally famous.All Souls' Day is observed by visits to cemeteries. People bring flowers, foods, and pictures of the dead. In some places there are all-night vigils and prayers. Respect for the dead makes this one of Latin America's most solemn days.

  • Similarities Easter Sunday is a high point in religious celebration. The day may begin with the burning of a papier-mch Judas in the streets. It may close with an evening stroll in the plaza as a band plays. Young men break colored eggshells filled with confetti or perfume and shower the contents on young women as they stroll in opposite directions around the square. Christmas is observed, with slight variations, throughout Latin America. In Brazil, dancing and carols often precede midnight mass. In Costa Rican homes, an entire room is set aside for a nativity scene. In Chile, thousands of people gather at the little town of Andacollo to pay homage to the Virgin Mary. Many Colombians put up Christmas trees.Nowhere does Christmastime last longer or have more magic than in Mexico. There the season, called La Posada, begins on December 16. Each night, families and their guests act out Mary and Joseph's search for lodging. There are prayers and songs. Candies, fruits, other food, and punch are available for all.The children enjoy breaking a piata each evening. The piata is a clay pot covered with papier-mch and colored tissue paper and filled with candies, fruits, and coins. It may take one of many shapes, such as a head of lettuce, a donkey, a fish, a ship, or a stork. When it is broken, children scramble for the contents. It is the cheerful end to each evening from December 16 through December 24 (Christmas Eve), when the family attends midnight Mass.Santa Claus, a figure in Latin American celebrations, has been received enthusiastically. Gifts may also be received on January 6, celebrating the visit of the three Magi (kings) to the infant Jesus. Children may leave a bundle of hay or a pot of water for the Magi's camels.

  • CuisineTwo famous dishes made from cornmeal are arepas and tamales. Arepas are cakes made from a special type of cornmeal known as masa arepa, a fine white cornmeal. The batter is dropped onto a comal, or hot griddle, to cook and then is served with butter and a topping of grated queso blanco, a slightly tangy white cheese popular in this region. Tamales, from Mexico, are made by working cornmeal, called masa harina (the corn is treated with lye before it is ground), and lard into a dough. This dough is typically filled with bits of meat, fish, beans, and/or vegetables. A banana leaf is then wrapped around the filling, and the entire package is steamed. Snack foods, or street foods, such as tamales and empanadas, originally from Argentina, have become known throughout the world. The tradition of little plates of food, eaten at any point during the day, comes from the Spanish tapas. Empanadas are made by filling a yeast-raised dough, similar to a rich pastry dough, with a savory filling such as well-seasoned cooked meats, fish, or beans; these pouches of food are then baked.

  • Some of the main dishes you see below are served over rice or in corn tortillasThe Market http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVTJxWq62XY

  • LanguageSpanish and Portuguese. Nearly two-thirds of the people of Latin America speak Spanish, and about one-third speak Portuguese. The Spanish once ruled more than half of the now-independent countries of Latin America, while Portugal held power in Brazil, the single largest country. Language is therefore one of the cultural elements many Latin Americans have in common. A Puerto Rican poet or an Argentinian novelist can be read by a Panamanian, a Honduran, or a Mexican.An Argentinian or a Peruvian can understand the Spanish of a Spaniard. A Brazilian can understand a native Portuguese. But Spanish and Portuguese as spoken in Latin America differ somewhat in speech pattern, rhythm, and accent from the languages spoken in Spain and Portugal. Information on languagehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWyGa-Bs3GA&feature=related

  • EducationAll South American countries provide free public education. In addition, there are numerous private schools, many of them church sponsored. Education levels vary widely, however, from country to country and between rural areas and the cities. The literacy rate, or percentage of people able to read and write, ranges from a high of more than 96 percent in Guyana to about 78 percent in Bolivia. There are numerous universities, in addition to colleges and technical schools. Some universities date from the first century of the colonial era. The oldest, the National University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru, was founded in 1551.

  • Education can look very different in rural areas of Latin AmericaFinding a way to educate street childrenhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSsH-1WDs9c

  • Animal Life

    South America's wild animal life is as varied as the continent itself. The larger mammals include great cats such as the jaguar and mountain lion and the smaller ocelot. The surefooted llama, alpaca, guanaco, and vicua--all relatives of the camel--have traditionally been used as pack animals in the high Andes and are also prized for their fine wool. Other distinctive forms of wildlife are the capybara, the world's largest rodent (above right photo), which may exceed 100 pounds (45 kilograms) in weight; the piglike peccary; the vampire bat; the howler monkey; the giant armadillo; and the anaconda, a water snake that can reach a length of 25 feet (7.6 meters). South America is also home to many unusual species of fish. These include the voracious piranha, which feeds in schools that can devour large prey in minutes; the electric eel; and the air-breathing lungfish. South America is thought to have more species of birds than any other continent. The rain forests are home to tiny, jewel-like hummingbirds and various kinds of vividly colored parrots, macaws, and large-beaked toucans. Larger birds include the rhea, a kind of ostrich, which inhabits the savannas; the harpy eagle, which is large enough to prey on monkeys; and the Andean condor, the largest of its kind, with a wingspan of some 10 feet (3 meters).Weird animals of Latin Americahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBrStxuOJbs&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6ouWOGJk5E http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdJ-itYBK9Q

  • Government and DefenseUnstable governments in modern times have often swung back and forth between civilian and military rule. Authoritarian governments, in which people have no control over the actions of their leaders, have been more common under the military. In some countries, military rulers brought about reforms and pushed for more social equality. By contrast, democratically elected presidents have sometimes behaved like dictators. Today most nations in Latin America are multiparty democracies in which power changes hands in an orderly fashion. In some countries, however, although elections may be held and a civilian president installed, the real power remains with the leaders of the military. Reducing military control remains one of Latin America's greatest challenges.

    Government and Economy Link http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/doemoff/govinfo/foreign/gov_latamgvt.html

  • Latin American Presidentshttp://www.andrewclem.com/LatinAmerica/Presidents.html

  • Economy and GrowthLatin America is undergoing rapid, but very uneven economic growth. Lying largely in the tropics, the region has been a major supplier of foodstuffs and raw materials to the more industrialized countries. Its large natural concentrations of petroleum and nonferrous metals are important sources of export earnings, and, since World War II, an increasing effort has been made to develop domestic manufacturing for a growing internal market. But as a whole Latin America must still be described as one of the world's economically underdeveloped areas. The rate of population growthclose to 3% per yearis the highest in the world. Because of the climate and the terrain, most economic activity is carried on in the temperate highlands and along the coastal rim of South America and Central America. A movement is under way to integrate the economies of the region, and the effort has met with its most significant success in Central America. Agriculture and Community effortshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIWsxo5nNgg

  • Economic Indicators

  • TradeChina, the United States, and western Europe are the continent's major trading partners. Trade among the countries of the region is also important. There are several regional trade groups. The largest is Mercosur (or Mercosul in Portuguese). It links Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The Andean Community brings together Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Both groups encourage trade among their members. They do this by reducing or eliminating barriers to trade. Chile has a two-way trade agreement with the United States, as does Peru. In total, Chile has over 50 trade agreements with other countries and trade groups, including the European Union (EU), Mercosur, China, India, South Korea, and Mexico. In 2008 the leaders of the 12 South American countries created the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). UNASUR is modeled after the EU. It will bring together Mercosur, the Andean Community of Nations, and other regional groups. Its purpose is to strengthen all forms of regional cooperation, including trade. Latin Trade Newshttp://latintrade.com/

  • Guatemalans and other Latin Americans are renowned for their handmade pottery.Latin American Potteryhttp://www.google.com/images?rlz=1T4TSHA_enUS341&q=latin+american+pottery&um=1&ie=UTF8&source=univ&ei=Y8tNTMzXFcG88gazsa2HDA&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CDEQsAQwAA

  • Trade is back on the rise

  • Facts and Figures Location And Size: South America extends from: Latitude--12; 24' N to 56 S. Longitude--34; 45' W to 81 21' W. Area--approximately 6,883,000 sq mi (17,827,000 km2). Highest point--Aconcagua, 22,834 ft (6,960 m). Lowest point--Valds Peninsula, 131 ft (40 m) below sea level. Population: 381,000,000 (estimate) Principal Lakes: Maracaibo, Titicaca, Poop. Principal Rivers: Amazon; Paran, Paraguay (both part of the Ro de la Plata system); Orinoco; Magdalena; So Francisco. Principal Mountain Ranges: Andes--Highest peak: Aconcagua (in Argentina). Principal Deserts: Atacama (in Chile). Visit The Brooklyn Childrens Museum http://www.brooklynexpedition.org/latin/gateway2.html

  • Flags

    http://www.justmaps.org/flags/la/

  • The FutureSouth America has a promising future but also a number of problems. In contrast to the early years of independence, the nations of the continent realize that cooperation is vital to all their interests, and many have banded together in regional pacts. In addition to the Latin American Integration Association, these include the Organization of American States (OAS), the Andean Common Market, Mercosur, and the proposed Free Trade Association of the Americas. In 2009, the leaders of twelve South American nations met in the Brazilian capital of Braslia and established the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). UNASUR, which is modeled after the European Union (EU), integrates Mercosur and the Andean Common Market. The goal of the new organization is to unify its members' transportation, energy, and immigration policies. The members also hope to establish a South American parliament. The pact will go into force when it is ratified by the legislatures of the member states: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The continent's continuing problems include the rapidly growing population; poverty within the Indian, rural, and unemployed urban populations; and a shortage of educational facilities in many areas.

  • Now you are ready to begin your own journey. When you have the country name you are studying and your research guide please go to the Culturegrams site below.Culturegramshttp://online.culturegrams.com/kids/kids_region.php?contid=7&wmn=South_America

    Grolier Onlinehttp://go.grolier.com/

    Sirs Databasehttp://discoverer.prod.sirs.com/discoweb/disco/do/search?keyword1=latin+america&stype=basic&sort=relevance&easy=on&mod=on&chal=on

    A Latin America Virtual Field Triphttp://wps.prenhall.com/esm_clawson_wrg_9/47/12235/3132387.cw/content/index.html

    Geography Onlinehttp://geographyworldonline.com/latin.html

    Latino Resourceshttp://www-bcf.usc.edu/~cmmr/Latino.html

    Why Study in Latin America?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOZB1Ywf1sU

  • Can you imagine being transported to far-flung locales such as Latin America? Latin America is a place south of the United States rich in not only culture and tradition, but also a region where land, resources, and economy are very different from our own and in the same respect similar in so many ways. To be an expert researcher you will need to find many facts and information about the country you will be studying.

    1. Maps Political, Physical, & Populationa. Create or find a map of your country. Locate and label major cities, populations, landforms, and bodies of water. Dont forget to include a map key and compass rose with a paragraph that describes where your country is located using absolute and relative location.2. Country Flagsa. . Research your nations flag. Create a replica and describe the meaning behind the colors and symbols as well as how it relates to the people of your country. 3. History & Landmarksa. Create and illustrate a timeline that shows at least 5 key moments in your nations history. Dont forget to research the history and explain why they are an important moments.4. Culture (traditions, celebrations, language)a. Describe your nations cultural characteristics include the language spoken, why it is spoken, phrases used, 3 main holidays or celebrations and cultural foods that are still eaten today. Dont forget to include similarities and differences among your country and the country you are researching. 5. Climate and Land

    a. Create a line graph showing the high and low temperatures over ten months (weather.com) for one city in your nation. Discuss the climate of the country and tell how the people in their country adapt to that climate.b. Describe important physical features of their country. Dont forget to explain how those physical features help or negatively affect the people of their country.

  • 6. Resources, Vegetation, and Economya. Research and examine the resource and product maps for your nation. Your research will help you to explain how the people use each of the main resources. Dont forget to describe the import and export process your country uses to help maintain the countrys economy using natural resources, products and or vegetation. b. Research and examine a vegetation map for your nation. List, describe and illustrate (or use photos) three most common types of vegetation and food products in the country. Dont forget to describe how the vegetation helps the countrys dependence on itself and interdependence with other countries.7. Politics and Governmenta. Research online articles describing your nations current events and explain how the people confront the problems facing their nation. Write (type) a persuasive letter to your nations leader from the perspective of a citizen that convinces the nations leader to act by using evidence from the article to support your case and suggest ways to solve with the problem. Use empathy if you lived there what would they wish was different. Take a look at it from several different perspectives before writing. (land developer, financier, peasant, etc.)8. Animalsa. Describe and illustrate (or use photos) three animals that live in your country that are most representative to that country. Describe how these animals survive and their place within the food chain. Dont forget to explain why they are significant & how do they relate to others, including what they know about the environment based on these kinds of animals.

    9. Interesting Extras

    Find a traditional song and sing from your world community. Build a tool that is important to your world communityCreate a piece of traditional clothing Create a newscast, interview, or round table discussion on the problems your world community faces todayBuild a model of a shelter , community, or multi-box dioramaTeach the class how to play a traditional game or create a game using your countrys geography factsCreate a poetry anthology that reflects your countrys cultureCreate a travel brochure or photo story of your country

  • Content: Latin America - 5 Themes of Geography

    Human Environment & Interaction - The relationship between people and the environment. Students will learn how the physical characteristics of a countrys environment affect the people who live there and how people who live there affect their countrys environment.Place Students will learn how each country is different from any other place in the world; which include physical features (terrain, landforms, bodies of water, natural resources, and climate) as well as human features (the type of work people do, population, cultural influences, man-made features such as buildings, airports, roads, and unnatural borders).

    Movement Students will learn how the movement of people, goods, and ideas provide opportunities for the exchange of values and customs among cultures, and create economic and political interdependence.

    Region A region is a group of places that share one or more common features such as climate, physical features, population, culture, history, political and governmental systems. Students will learn how to compare a country to other countries in order to see what unifying characteristics make them part of the same region as well as how to explain what region a country belongs to. Location Students will learn how to describe where a country is in terms of absolute location (telling exact position of a place using latitude and longitude) and relative location (approximate directions such as My country is twenty miles northwest of the Panama Canal).

  • UnderstandingsThe over arching understanding of our geography unit on Latin America is Where we live impacts how we live. The underlying understandings below the larger concept revolve around the five themes.

    Physical and human features unify a place and differentiate that place from every other place.

    The movement of people, goods, and ideas provides opportunities for the exchange of values and customs among cultures

    Global economic and political systems create and fosters interdependence between countries (or U.S. states)

    Responsible global citizens respect the earth and its inhabitants

  • ResourcesLatin America. (2010). Encyclopedia Americana. Retrieved July 18, 2010, from Grolier Online http://ea.grolier.com/article?id=0239530-00

    Jones, D. M. (2010). Latin America. (T. M. Davies, Jr., Rev.). The New Book of Knowledge. Retrieved July 18, 2010, from Grolier Online http://nbk.grolier.com/cgi-bin/article?assetid=a2016660-h

    lisky, M. (2010). Latin America: Culture. Encyclopedia Americana. Retrieved July 18, 2010, from Grolier Online http://ea.grolier.com/article?id=0432876-00

    Street, J. H. (2010). Latin America: Economy. Encyclopedia Americana. Retrieved July 18, 2010, from Grolier Online http://ea.grolier.com/article?id=0432877-00

    Harrison, J. P. (2010). Latin America, History of. Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Retrieved July 18, 2010, from Grolier Online http://gme.grolier.com/article?assetid=0167580-0

    To visit any country or continent please go to Google Earth.To get into Culture grams you need the user ID 59-532 and the password is bigchalk