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Latin America Notes

Latin America Notes - Latin America characterized by common...

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Latin America - characterized by common experience of colonialism, dominance of the portuguese and Spanish languages, religion (Roman Catholicism) - and European control of resource extraction, trade links, and other economic activity - Most of the region became independent in the 1800’s and was drawn into global trade relations esp. with GB and the U.S. Environment - Amazon river tributaries flow downward and eastward from the Andes into an enormous river network that covers a large basin - The Amazon river and its tributaries carry 20 % of the world’s fresh water and provide water, sediment, and fish that support the agriculture and diets of the peoples of the basin while serving as a transport network - Nourishes the Amazon rainforest that is termed “the lungs of the world” bc of its key role in recycling the oxygen, carbon, and water resources that are critical to life on earth - high elevation plateaus and basins among high mountains are important areas of human occupance bc it provides flatter, cooler, and wetter environments for agriculture and settlement - mineral wealth on Guiana Shield, many major precious mining districts in the region - these minerals, especially the gold and silver, were foundations of European colonial economies - oil, coal, and gas are other critical resources - in all of LA’s oil regions, environmental pollution has been a serious problem - leading to contaminated waterways, ecosystem damage, and serious health problems Climate - equatorial zones of high temp.’s and rainfall provide for the rapid growth of vegetation - trade winds flowing across Atlantic often produce rain on the carribean islands and on the east coasts - El Nino brings warmer and wetter winds to the coasts of peru and equador w. high rainfall and flooding -
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