Chap 4 part 1 - Geography of Global Village Latin America...

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9/13/2010 1 Geography of Global Village Latin America GEOG 202-507 Learning Objectives Understand Latin America through five themes Understand Latin America’s culture diversity and how colonization has affected it Understand these concepts and models: Agrarian Reform Dependency Theory Maquiladora Informal Sector Altiplano El Niño Megacities Mercosur Introduction Setting the boundaries Rio Grande (Rio Bravo) (north) to Tierra del Fuego (south) Former colonies of Spain and Portugal (shared colonial history) Large, diverse populations 17 countries, 540 million people, 75 percent live in cities Indian and African presence Bolivia elected first Amerindian president in 2005 Industrialization and development growth since 1960s Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) Natural resource extraction remains important
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9/13/2010 2 Environment : Latin America FIGURE 4.1 Environmental patterns Highlands (>2,000m elevation) • Andes • Central Mexico + western Central America Lowlands (<2,000m elevation) • Wet: Amazon, Orinoco, Plata Basins; eastern Central America • Dry: southern South America; northeastern Brazil; northern Mexico Western Mountains and Eastern Shields Andes Mountains Relatively young; 5,000 miles long; 30 peaks over 20K feet; contain valuable metals and minerals Altiplano: treeless, elevated plain in Peru and Bolivia Uplands of Mexico and Central America Most major cities and population here Rich volcanic soils Shields Large upland plateaus of exposed crystalline rock Brazilian Shield is the largest; Patagonian Shield in south Has natural resources and settlement FIGURE 4.10 Guanacos on Patagonian Shield River Basins and Lowlands Amazon Basin World’s largest river system by volume; second in length; draws from nine countries Plata Basin
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