Intro to Latin America

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LATIN AMERICA Introduction SOL WG.4 RHS-Geography Anderson

Where is Latin America?: 

Where is Latin America? Find Mexico on a World Map... …and move southward


Latin America

WHY is it called Latin America?: 

WHY is it called Latin America? Latin is a language The two widely spoken languages are Latin-based Portuguese is spoken in Brazil And Spanish just about everywhere else!!! festival/cultures.html

What physical characteristics do we need to know?: 

What physical characteristics do we need to know? In Central America and northern South America, it is TROPICAL In northern Mexico and southern South America, it is TEMPERATE CLIMATE

Along with climate,: 

Along with climate, In the Southern Hemisphere: Remember that SEASONS are REVERSED:desrever


When it is winter in the USA... …it is summer in South America (and southern Africa & Australia & Antarctica)

Physical Features: 

Physical Features Mountains in Latin America: Sierra Madres split along Mexico’s coasts Andes along west coast of South America Just like the west coast of the USA, the Andes mountains are VOLCANIC


Sierra Madres ANDES MOUNTAINS: The longest chain and 2nd highest mountains in the world!! Mountains in Latin America can be split into agricultural “zones” as you move higher up the mountain. This is called “vertical zonation” Tierra Caliente crops that like hot temperatures Tierra Templada crops that like temperate land Tierra Fria no crops, just grazing Snow caps


Another look at Vertical Zonation in the Andes Mts.


Along with volcanoes, western South America and parts of Central America experience EARTHQUAKES due to the constant motion of the Earth’s tectonic plates- Just like in California!! But California can handle the earthquakes MUCH better because of building codes and earthquake-proof structures that are built in the states. Unfortunately, Chile, Peru, and other countries in Latin America don’t follow any type of building codes and whole villages can be wiped out in an earthquake!!!

More Physical Features:: 

More Physical Features: There are MANY islands in Latin America The Caribbean Islands are called the “West Indies” or the “Greater and Lesser Antilles” The Caribbean Islands are well known for their agriculture and tourism Greater (Bigger) Antilles Lesser (Smaller) Antilles


The Galapagos Islands (off the west coast of Ecuador) are known for their Tortoises and other scientific studies of plants and animals. Does Charles Darwin ring a bell? Ga-LAP-ah-goes Islands


The Falkland Islands are controlled by the United Kingdom The British defeated the Argentines in the Falkland Island War of 1982 These islands have a HUGE military advantage because of the location to the Strait of Magellan... ...esp. if the Panama Canal is blocked during wartime “Falkland Islands (Isla Malvinas) Administered by the UK (claimed by Argentina)”

Other Physical Chars.: 

Other Physical Chars. Grasslands: huge, flat plains in Latin America- known for agriculture The Llanos are in Venezuela; the Gran Chaco are in Paraguay;and the most famous are the Pampas in Argentina


Latin American Cowboys are called Gauchos We’re usually found in grassland ranches…like the Llanos in Venezuela Or the Pampas of Argentina…. where the best beef cattle in the world is raised!! Llanos Pampas

Slide17: Rainforests: Costa Rica and Brazil~ Amazonia (in Brazil) is the largest in the world! “Amazonia” Unfortunately, we’re being cut down and set aflame to make room for interior farmland and construction!!!! OUCH!!! This is called “Slash and Burn” Agriculture


Coastal Deserts: West Coast of South America ATACAMA DESERT in Chile One of the hottest and driest places on Earth. 1/16”/yr abp/picturegallery.htm This clip art is actually “wrong” to use for the Atacama…there are cacti shown!! THIS is more like it!!! But why can places be so dry??? The “rain shadow” effect is part of the reason


RAIN SHADOW EFFECT The Andes Mountains create rain shadows on leeward slopes and cause moisture to be blocked. That’s how we see such dry areas in Latin America. The Andes are so high that they block moisture from the ocean and create grasslands and deserts on the other side of the mountains. Pacific Ocean ANDES Windward side of the mountains Leeward Side or “protected” side of the mountains


Rio Grande Rivers in Latin America The AMAZON!! The largest river in the world!! Parana River Orinoco River I'm the Rio de la Plata. I’m actually not a river, but an estuary… the large water feature where fresh water from a river meets the salt water of the sea.

IMPACTS of Physical Features?:: 

IMPACTS of Physical Features?: Location of urbanization? People settle along coasts High population growth rate? YES! Arable land means more food Large cities are called: MEGACITIES Sao Paulo Rio Mexico City


And the MOST important factor from Latin America??? Of course!!!! Didn’t YOU think coffee too?

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