All Notes for GEOG 2253

Isthepoorestcountryinthewesternhemisphere

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Unformatted text preview: anguages—Spanish & Portuguese Legacy of Colonialism 2/3rds of LA speak Spanish 1/3 speak Portuguese (Brazil) Enduring Amerindian languages Indigenous languages spoken in small parts of Central Andes, Mexico and Guatemala Religion—Protestant, Christianity Christianity imposed upon region Most countries more 90% Roman Catholic El Salvador & Uruguay have sizeable Protestant populations Other practice syncretic religions Religions blend different belief systems Animist/Christian African/Catholicism (Carnival in Rio de Janeiro) Geopolitical Framework— Most countries have been independent nearly 200 years Argentina—1816 (Spain) Brazil—1822 (Portugal) Mexico—1810 (Spain) Political stability has been a problem since independence 250 Constitutions written since independence Trend toward democracy Democratic elections have taken place since 1980s Most countries previously ruled by dictators or military governments Each country has democratically elected president Except Cuba Most countries are free­market democracies Democratic leaders have cut state jobs, food subsidies, pension Poor and middle class frustrated with Gov. and politicians Regional organizations— Supranational organizations—governing bodies that include several states Ex: Trade Bloc, UN Subnational organizations: groups representing areas of people within a state Native groups seeking territorial rights (Argentina) Trade Blocs— Alliances formed to foster internal markets and reduce trade barriers Latin American Integration Association (LAFTA) Central American Common Market (CACM) NAFTA (Mexico, US, Canada)—first trade area agreement between developed and developing states Mercosur—countries are EU’s largest trading partners in LA (Argentina and Brazil) Economic & Social Development— Most LA countries are “middle income” according to World Bank Extreme poverty still exists in the region Nearly 1/3 of all LA live on less than $2 a day Better off than those in Sub­Saharan Africa, South Asia a...
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