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Latin America Lecture Notes By Dr. Fernando A. Rodriguez Latin America “Latin” America consists of two parts: Middle America which includes Mexico, central America, and all of the islands of the Caribbean sea. South America which includes twelve independent countries and one colony.

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latin america

Latin America

Lecture Notes


Dr. Fernando A. Rodriguez

latin america2
Latin America
  • “Latin” America consists of two parts:
    • Middle America which includes Mexico, central America, and all of the islands of the Caribbean sea.
    • South America which includes twelve independent countries and one colony.
defining the realm
Defining the Realm
  • Although middle America is part of Latin America, this section of the world belongs to the north American continent.
  • Physiographically, north America terminates at the river basin in Columbia, south America.
population of middle america for 1997
Population of Middle America for 1997
  • Mexico – 96 million.
  • Central America – 32 million.
  • Caribbean America – 36 million.
  • Thus, the total population for this realm is approximately 164 million.
urbanization and natural increase
Urbanization and Natural Increase
  • Over 70% of the population is already urbanized.
  • In the mid-1990s, the rate of natural increase for Mexico and Central America was 2.3% with a potential of doubling every 30 years.
  • For the Caribbean islands, the rate was 1.4% every 51 years.
racial ethnic composition
Racial/Ethnic Composition
  • Indians – they live in the highlands of Mexico and central America.
  • Mestizos – individuals with Indian and Spanish ancestry. They live in the highlands of Mexico and central America.
  • Europeans – they are individuals of Spanish, French, or English ancestry. The Spaniards live in the highlands where they found the Indians and where the climate is temperate as in Europe. The English and French live in the Caribbean islands while the English also live in Belize.
racial ethnic composition7
Racial/Ethnic Composition
  • Blacks – they live in the Caribbean islands and coastal fringe of Central America or from Belize to Panama.
  • Mulattos – these are individuals of black and white ancestry. They live in the Caribbean Islands.
  • Zambos – they are individuals who live mainly in the Caribbean Islands and are a result of a union of Indians who lived in the mountains of Jamaica and Hispanola and black slaves who escaped the island plantations.
the physiography of middle america
The Physiography of Middle America
  • The physiography of middle America is highly divided and fragmented. Its funnel- shaped mainland consist of a 3800 mile connection between the north and south American realms, and it narrows to a 40-mile ribbon of land in panama.
  • Middle America is therefore an isthmian link or a land bridge.
physiography of middle america
Physiography of Middle America
  • Baja California consists of an 800 mile peninsula which dominated by igneous intrusive rocks with lava caps.
  • The San Bernardino Mountains extend into Baja but, here, they are known as the Juarez Mountains.
physiography of middle america10
Physiography of Middle America
  • Draw Diagram of Baja California.
    • This diagram shows the Colorado Delta which is 150 miles long, but it has “mud volcanoes”, swamps, and areas prone to flooding.
    • Except for the international border, the peninsula is sparsely settled.
    • The people live from tourism, fishing, and local mining of iron, lead, and zinc.
physiography of middle america11
Physiography of Middle America
  • Coastal Fringe of Western Mexico
    • This area is effectively cut off from the interior of central Mexico by the Sierra Madre Occidental.
    • The area is relatively narrow, and it has finger-like extensions of the mountains to form valleys where rivers lay.
    • This area is utilized for agriculture and farmers grow rice, sugar cane, wheat, oats, tobacco, cotton, and they raise cattle and pigs for market.
physiography of middle america12
Physiography of Middle America
  • Sierra Madre Occidental
    • This mountain range extends from the U.S. border to approximately the 19th Parallel.
    • It is approximately 8-10,000 feet in elevation.
    • This mountain range contains deep valleys or canyons called barrancas.
    • One of these barrancas is known as La Barranca de Cobre. It rivals the Grand Canyon in grandeur and splendor.
    • Mining is important along this range. Gold is mined in the City of Las Coloradas while silver is mined in the City of Batopilas.
physiography of middle america13
Physiography of Middle America
  • Altiplano of Mexico
    • The plateau of Mexico is divided into two parts:
      • Mesa del Norte, and
      • Mesa del Sur.
    • (Draw Diagram of this region.)
    • Both sections contain a series of inter-mountain basins called bolsones.
    • These bolsones vary in elevation from 3,000 to 7, 500 feet.
physiography of middle america14
Physiography of Middle America
  • Sierra Madre Oriental
    • These mountains are considered to be a continuation of the Rocky Mountains.
    • The elevation is approximately 8-10,000 feet.
    • These mountains do not contain barrancas but they do have deep valleys, with spurs that lead into the eastern coastal plain.
physiography of middle america15
Physiography of Middle America
  • The Gulf Coastal Plain of Eastern Mexico
    • This region begins north of Laredo and extends to a narrow point north of Vera Cruz and, then, widens into the coastal plain of the Yucatan Peninsula.
    • South from Texas, the coastal plain increases in precipitation and vegetation, leading to the rain forest of southern Mexico.
    • The area south of Matamores contains a Cfa climate, and in the Tampico area it gives way to an Aw climate.
    • Here, large ranches for fattening cattle proliferate.
physiography of middle america16
Physiography of Middle America
  • The Volcanic Axis of Mexico
    • This is an area of great heights and ruggedness.
    • The volcanoes are over 15,000 feet in elevation.
    • These volcanoes may an important role in the religion, art, and culture of the Indian cultures who inhabit Central Mexico.
    • Draw Diagram of this region.
physiography of middle america17
Physiography of Middle America
  • The Balsas Depression
    • This depression is found south of the Volcanic Axis of Mexico.
    • It is 180 miles long and 30 miles wide. It is deep enough so that when one reaches its bottom, one reaches tropical conditions.
    • This trough is deep enough for a lake to have existed prior to capture of the lake by the river.
    • This area has been mined for gold since pre-Columbus time. It is the source of gold which was utilized by the Indians for ornamental purposes and the Spaniards for legal tender.
physiography of middle america18
Physiography of Middle America
  • Sierra Madre del Sur
    • This mountain range begins in the State of Jalisco and extends southward along the coast of southwestern Mexico.
    • This range is high and rugged, as high as the Sierra Madre Occidental.
    • This range consists of pre-Cambrian and metamorphic rocks.
    • This range contains spurs that extend to the sea, and these spurs at times result in coastal indentations such as Acapulco.
physiography of middle america19
Physiography of Middle America
  • The Oaxcan Highlands
    • On the eastern side of the Sierra Madre del Sur, we find the Sierra de Oaxaca. The area between the two ranges we find an old Eros ional surface which has reached maturity.
    • The area is known as the Highlands because the slopes of both mountains are steep, and it is due to this slope that the mountains are referred to as “The Highlands.”
physiography of middle america20
Physiography of Middle America
  • The Chiapas Highlands
    • On the south side of the Oaxaca Highlands, we find a steep escarpment, and it is this escarpment that cuts the Highlands from the lowlands at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
    • On the south side of this lowland area, we find the Chiapas Highlands. This area consists of two mountain ranges which are separated by the Valley of Chiapas.
    • The mountains, north of the Valley, are known as the Sierra de San Cristobal while the mountains to the south are known as the Sierra de Chiapas.
    • The former mountains are made of igneous rock while the latter mountains are made of sedimentary rock.
physiography of middle america caribbean islands
Physiography of Middle America: Caribbean Islands
  • Sierra de San Cristobal  Sierra de Cuchumantes Sierra de Santa Cruz  Cayman Islands  Maestra Mts of SE Cuba Cordillera Central of Hispanola  Cordillera Central of Puerto Rico.
  • Sierra de Chiapas  Sierra de las Minas  Islas de la Bahia  Swan Islands  Blue Mts of Jamaica  Peninsula of Hispanola
physiography of middle america the central american volcanic axis
Physiography of Middle America: The Central American Volcanic Axis
  • The volcanic axis of Central America is a result of the Caribbean Plate overriding the Cosco Plate.
  • The volcanoes are found on the western coast of Central America.
  • These volcanoes eventually closed the Nicaraguan Trough which is a flora and fauna barrier.
legacy of mesoamerica
Legacy of Mesoamerica
  • Middle America was the scene of the emergence of a major, ancient civilization.
  • Here, lay one of the world’s true culture hearth, a source area from which new ideas radiate and whose population contributed to material and intellectual progress.
  • This culture hearth is called Mesoamerica and extends from Mexico City to Nicaragua.
lowland maya
Lowland Maya
  • The Maya civilization in the only one on the world culture map that arose in the lowland tropics.
  • It experienced successive periods of glory and decline, and it reached its zenith between the third and tenth centuries A.D.
  • This civilization was ruled by religious leaders, and it produced skilled artists, writers, mathematicians, and astronomers.
the highland aztecs
The Highland Aztecs
  • This civilization began in the fourteenth century with the founding of a settlement on an island in the many lakes within the valley of Mexico. This city was known as Tenochtitlan which became the greatest city in the Americas, namely, Mexico city.
the highland aztecs26
The Highland Aztecs
  • Aztec cities became centers of commerce and trade but it was the Aztec farmers, including other Mesoamerican farmers, who produced the greatest accomplishments of the Aztecs, namely, plant and animal domestication.
domestication of plants and animals in middle america
Domestication of Plants and Animals in Middle America
  • According to Carl Sauer, plant and animal domestication in the new world occurred in two distinct areas:
    • The northwest corner of Columbia in south America, and
    • Central Mexico and central America, otherwise known as Mesoamerica.
domestication of plants and animals in middle america28
Domestication of Plants and Animals in Middle America
  • The Arawak and the Carib Indians developed a root agriculture which is called the cunuco farming system, a farming system that is still utilized extensively in the Hispanic west Indies.
domestication of plants and animals in middle america29
Domestication of Plants and Animals in Middle America
  • In this farming system, the Indians would heap soil into a round mound that was knee-high and several feet in diameter. The basic planting in the mound was starchy root crops, chief of which were manioc or cassava, sweet potatoes, arrow root, and peanuts. All of these plants were placed together in the same mound and they, jointly, provided protection from erosion.
domestication of plants and animals in middle america30
Domestication of Plants and Animals in Middle America
  • Other plants that were domesticated in northwest Columbia were:
    • Strawberries
    • Yams
    • Cocoa*
    • Pineapple*, and
    • Tomatoes.
    • *These plants came from Brazil.
plant and animal domestication in middle america
Plant and Animal Domestication in Middle America
  • The rapid and catastrophic collapse of the Indian population in the west Indies and northwest Columbia brought about by the conquest resulted in the loss of numerous plant/vegetable varieties.
plant and animal domestication in middle america32
Plant and Animal Domestication in Middle America
  • The only domesticated animals in NW Columbia were the duck (patos caseros or household duck) which were domesticated by the Muica Amerindians and the guinea pig which was raised for food. Other animals included the llama, alpaca, vicuna, including a small dog which was raised for food.
plant and animal domestication in middle america33
Plant and Animal Domestication in Middle America
  • In Mesoamerica, the domestication of plants focused on seed agriculture rather than root agriculture. Women selected the seeds by size, color, and nutritional value; And, therefore, women selectively chose the plant off-springs that they wanted to have in their farm plots.
plant and animal domestication in middle america34
Plant and Animal Domestication In Middle America
  • The dominant plants of middle America were:
    • Maize,
    • Beans, and
    • Squash.
  • These three plants, jointly, comprise the farming system known as the milpa farming system.
plant and animal domestication in middle america35
Plant and Animal Domestication in Middle America
  • These three crops are known as the Trilogy of Crops. In this farming system, the farm plots are square or rectangular. Moreover, all three seeds are planted in one hole so that the first plant to sprout is the maize, then, the bean ivy which climbs the maize plant, followed by the squash plant which spreads its leaves throughout the plot, protecting the soil from the harsh sun rays and powerful rain drops.
plant and animal domestication in middle america36
Plant and Animal Domestication in Middle America
  • In this farming system, other crops which were domesticated were:
    • Pumpkins,
    • Kidney beans,
    • Chile peppers,
    • Bell peppers, and.
    • Navy beans.
plant and animal domestication in middle america37
Plant and Animal Domestication in Middle America
  • Another farming system that developed in Mesoamerica was the chinampa farming system. This farming system consists of the milpa farming system and the “floating islands.”
plant and animal domestication in middle america38
Plant and Animal Domestication in Middle America
  • Chinampa cultivation refers to the use of artificial islands constructed of alternate layers of vegetation and mud in shallow freshwater lakes. Special features include the use of seed beds to shorten the growing season (permitting a continuous succession of crops in a single year); frequent fertilization by using mud from the lake bottom and lake vegetation; and constant irrigation.
plant and animal domestication in middle america39
Plant and Animal Domestication in Middle America
  • Because this farming system resulted in two or three harvests per year, the Amerindian population of Mesoamerica grew rapidly so that by 1519 the Amerindian population of Mesoamerica consisted of 25 million inhabitants. In addition, the chinampas were constructed in the form of narrow rectangles to facilitate bucket irrigation and natural seepage.
consequences of the conquest
Consequences of the Conquest
  • In middle America the confrontation between Hispanic and native cultures lead to disastrous results:
    • A drastic decline in native population.
      • 1532 – 16 million.
      • 1548 - 6.3 million.
      • 1568 – 2.3 million.
      • 1580 – 1.8 million.
      • 1608 – 1.1 million.
    • Rapid deforestation by the Spaniards who used wood and charcoal for cooking, heating, and smelting.
consequences of the conquest41
Consequences of the Conquest
  • Excess pressure on native vegetation from livestock which competed for the available food.
  • Substitution of wheat for maize and the eventual replacement of cropland which was once used by the natives for food production.
consequences of the conquest42
Consequences of the Conquest
  • The removal of the Amerindian from the rural communities to nucleated villages and towns where the Spaniards could exercise more control over the Amerindians.
  • The use of slave labor in mining activities of gold, silver, and copper.
mainland and rimland
Mainland and Rimland
  • After centuries of European colonial rivalry in the Caribbean basin, the united states (along with England, France, and the Netherlands) made its influence felt by introducing large-scale banana plantation agriculture in the coastal areas of central America.
mainland and rimland44
Mainland and Rimland
  • Because European diseases decimated the Amerindian population in the islands and mainland, the labor shortage that resulted in the plantations was supplemented by an active African-slave trade that transformed the Caribbean’s demography.
  • When labor was needed in the mainland, thousands of black laborers were brought to the mainland from Jamaica and other islands.
mainland and rimland45
Mainland and Rimland
  • These contrasts between the middle American highlands and the coastal areas/Caribbean islands were conceptualized by john Augelli into the Mainland-Rimland framework.
mainland and rimland46
Mainland and Rimland
  • Augelli recognized:
    • Euro-Amerindian Mainland consists of continental Middle America from Mexico to Panama, with the exception of the Caribbean coast from mid-Yucatan southeastward.
      • Here, European (Spanish) and Amerindian influences are highest and include mestizo influences.
      • The mainland economy is focused on the Hacienda where Amerindian lived on the land which may have been their own and had plots where they could grow their subsistence crops.
      • On the other hand, the Haciendas are still owned by people people of European ancestry who live lives of social prestige and comfortable lifestyles.
mainland and rimland47
Mainland and Rimland
  • An Euro-African Rimland includes the coastal strip of Middle America (from the Yucatan to Panama) and the islands of the Caribbean.
  • In the Rimland area, a black population predominates while the economy still focuses on commercial agriculture. Sugar cane is still grown in the islands while banana plantations cover most of the coastal areas of the Central American countries.
mainland and rimland48
Mainland and Rimland
  • Robert West and John Augelli list five characteristics of the Rimland area:
    • Plantations are located in the humid tropical coastal lowlands of the realm.
    • Plantations produce for export – usually – a single crop.
    • Capital and skills are imported often so that foreign ownership and outflow of profits occur.
    • Labor is seasonal and it has been imported due to the scarcity of Amerindian workers.
    • With its “factory-in-the-field” operation, the plantation is more efficient in its use of land and labor than the hacienda.
political differentiation
Political Differentiation
  • Middle America is divided into 8 countries, all but one (Belize) have Hispanic origins. Today, Belize is being transformed as thousands of Spanish-speaking immigrants arrive from war-torn countries.
  • Mexico is the largest country in this realm. It contains 70% of the realm’s entire land area. It now has 102 million inhabitants.
political differentiation50
Political Differentiation
  • In the Caribbean area, Cuba is the largest island and the largest population (11.3 million).
  • Although Cuba has Spanish heritage, Jamaica has British influence; Haiti has strong African and French influences; Puerto Rico, although has Spanish influence, it is a commonwealth of the U.S.
  • The A-B-C islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao) have Dutch influence.
problems of widespread poverty
Problems of Widespread Poverty
  • All of the crops grown in the Caribbean area are constantly under severe, global competition; and they are not important enough to alleviate great hunger and poverty in the region.
  • Food supplies are inadequate because the best land is used to grow cash crops instead of staples for local consumption.
problems of widespread poverty52
Problems of Widespread Poverty
  • Minifundia (the ownership of small plots of land) is prevalent throughout the Caribbean basin.
  • Soil erosion and deforestation plague many of the nations in the Caribbean basin.
african heritage
African Heritage
  • The human geography of the Caribbean islands resemble the cultural landscape of west and equatorial Africa. The similarities are found in:
    • The construction of village dwellings.
    • The operation of rural markets.
    • The role of women in rural life.
    • Preparation of the food.
    • Methods of cultivation.
    • Artistic expression and family life.
african heritage54
African Heritage
  • Despite the general dominance of African heritage in Caribbean basin, the white population, followed by mulattos, actually hold a disproportionate share of economic and political power.
  • The islands also have large number of Chinese and eastern Indians. Cuba has a very large number of Chinese while Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Trinidad, jointly, received 250,000 East Indians.
tourism the irritant industry
Tourism: The Irritant Industry
  • Although tourism is big business in the Caribbean basin, it has serious drawbacks:
    • The invasion of poor communities by affluent tourists result in a rising sense of local anger and resentment by the locals.
    • The intervention of local governments and multinational corporation removes opportunities from local entrepreneurs in favor of large operations and major resorts, e.g., Club Med.
regional cooperation
Regional Cooperation
  • Due to regional interests, 25 nations created the association of Caribbean states (ACS) in order to achieve closer trading ties among the 25 nations and to protect their trading ties to the U.S. In light of Mexico’s competitive edge in the U.S. Market
  • Mexico is the largest country in land area and population in middle America.
  • It now has a population of 102 million and 74 percent of this population is urbanized.
  • Today, its population is 60 percent mestizo, 20 percent predominantly Amerindian, and 10 percent full-bloodied Amerindian; And only 9 percent European.
  • Mexico city is largest city in Latin America, with 26 million inhabitants and with 25 percent of its national population.
revolution and its aftermath
Revolution and Its Aftermath
  • Mexico’s revolution of 1910 led to the redistribution of approximately 8,000 haciendas into parcels of public land that are handed over to villages and, in turn, handed over to individuals for cultivation.
revolution and its aftermath60
Revolution and Its Aftermath
  • In spite of the reforms that have occurred, tensions are still volatile as it has been seen in the 1994 revolt in the State of Chiapas. This revolt was led by Amerindians who still remain disenfranchised from the main land reforms that have occurred in other parts of Mexico.
revolution and its aftermath61
Revolution and Its Aftermath
  • The reform movement is led by a radical group of Amerindians who have organized their activities within the Zapatista National Liberation Army (ZNLA), and their demands for “autonomy” and land reform may lead to the decentralization of powers from the federal to the state government that allows the latter more local control.
revolution and its aftermath62
Revolution and Its Aftermath
  • The ZNLA’s crusade has not been resolved and may eventually lead to further armed confrontations and eventually spark a nationwide civil rights movement for all Amerindians.
the changing geography of economic activity
The Changing Geography of Economic Activity
  • Energy resources-
    • As we have seen Mexico’s ranks quite high in its allotment in crude oil reserves.
    • These reserves are found in the Gulf of Mexico:
      • Around the Tampico area and offshore.
      • In the Bay of Campeche where very large of oil pools are found in very deep layers of sedimentary bedrock.
the changing geography of economic activity64
The Changing Geography of Economic Activity
  • Industrialization
    • Mexico’s iron and steel industry if centered in the northeastern state of Nuevo Leon.
    • The city of Monterrey is the leading industrial city of Mexico. It obtains iron ore from local sources and coal from the Sabinas Basin.
    • Another iron and steel city is Monclova which also receives iron locally and coal from the Sabinas Basin.
the changing geography of economic activity65
The Changing Geography of Economic Activity
  • The most significant development in Mexico’s manufacturing geography is the growth of Malquiladora plants in the northern border zone. Malquiladoras are factories (half of these are U.S. owned) that assemble imported duty-free components and raw materials into finished industrial products. Approximately 80 percent of these goods are eventually re-exported to the U.S. whose import tariffs are limited to the value added to products during fabrication stage.
the changing geography of economic activity66
The Changing Geography of Economic Activity
  • There are approximately 1,800 assembly plants which employ half a million employees.
the changing geography of economic activity67
The Changing Geography of Economic Activity
  • Among the things that are being assembled include:
    • Electronic equipment.
    • Electrical appliances.
    • Auto parts.
    • Clothing.
    • Plastics.
    • Furniture.
altitudinal zonation
Altitudinal Zonation
  • In 1932, Dr. Karl Sapper, a German climatologist, published his now famous textbook The Climate of Middle America.
  • In this textbook, he described the concept of altitudinal zonation and climate change as one climbs up the mountains in the tropic of Middle and South America.
  • Refer to the altitudinal zonation diagram on page 228 in your textbook.
altitudinal zonation69
Altitudinal Zonation
  • The temperature in the tropical environment (Tierra Caliente) is approximately 30 degrees Celsius at sea level which is the normal temperature in the tropics.
  • For every 1,000 meters (or 3,000 feet) in altitude, there is a –6 degree drop in temperature.
  • For example, if the average temperature at sea level is 30 degrees, this temperature converts to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
altitudinal zonation70
Altitudinal Zonation
  • F = 9/5 C + 32, when C=30, then, F=86.
  • F = 9/5 C + 32, when C=24, then, F=75.
  • For temperature decline in Fahrenheit, we get a –11 degrees per 3,000 feet or 3.67 degree change per 1,000 feet.
  • Let us consider the two following situations:
  • T = 30 – 6H
  • 0 = 30 – 6H
the central american republics
The Central American Republics
  • Guatemala: A Phantom Peace?
    • Guatemala’s population is approximately 12.3 million inhabitants, with mestizos (or ladinos) comprising the majority (58 percent) and Amerindians the minority (42 percent)
    • This country has experienced civil war since 1960 and it has claimed more than 200,000 lives.
    • Unfortunately, the end of armed conflicts are not in sight, and this situation will hamster any economic gains that may arise from the country’s natural resources.
the central american republics72
The Central American Republics
  • Belize: Changing Identity.
    • Until 1981, this country was a colony of Britain and it was known as British Honduras.
    • Slightly larger than Massachusetts, this country of 240,000 inhabitants (many of African descent) has similarities to the Caribbean islands than to other Central American states.
    • The population dynamics of this country has changed as thousands of Creoles have left for the U.S. and they have been replaced by thousands of Spanish-speaking immigrants who are mostly escapees from Guatemala, San Salvador, and Honduras. Consequently, their proportion of the Belizean population has risen from 33 to 50 percent between 1980 and 2000.
the central american republics73
The Central American Republics
  • Honduras: Deluged by Disaster
    • This country was devastated by a very destructive hurricanes, Mitch, in 1998.
    • It proved to be one of the costliest disasters in modern history of the Western Hemisphere.
    • The hurricane killed approximately 15,000 inhabitants and destroyed the infrastructure of the country.
    • This country is well known for it sweat shops that produce clothes for global markets.
the central american republics74
The Central American Republics
  • San Salvador: Postwar Reconstruction
    • This is the smallest country in Central America, but the most densely populated country of this area. Ninety-four percent of the population is mestizo.
    • Between 1980 and 1992, this country was devastated by civil war in which 75,000 people were killed.
    • This country produces coffee in plantations that utilized peasant labor for their profits.
    • Besides coffee exports, this country also has a growing clothing industry that is becoming more important as we enter a new millennium.
the central american republics75
The Central American Republics
  • Nicaragua: Mired in Misfortune
    • This is the first country to have been ruled by a Communist or Sandinista regime in Central America.
    • As a result of the civil conflict, this country now ranks as the poorest country in Middle America.
    • Its economy is based on coffee plantations in its highlands.
    • Presently, economic recover after hurricane Mitch and the Sandinista revolution remains a difficult outcome.
the central american republic
The Central American Republic
  • Costa Rica: Durable Democracy
    • Costa Rica is very unlike its neighbors in that it is the oldest democratic country in the area.
    • Most of the population lives in the tierra templada zone where coffee plantation predominate the landscape.
    • This country contains the region’s highest standard of living, literacy rate, and life expectancy.
    • Agriculture continues to dominate, with coffee, bananas, cut flowers, sugar, and beef the leading exports.
    • This country is known as the “Switzerland of Central America”.
the central american republics77
The Central American Republics
  • Panama: Strategic Canal, Reorganizing Corridor
    • The Panama Canal was opened in 1914, and it was operated by the United States until approximately 1977. But, officially, final withdrawal will occur on December 31, 1999.
    • This country has a population of 2.9 million and is about 2/3’s mestizo, with a substantial black, white, and Amerindian minorities.
    • This country produces bananas, coffee, sugarcane, and rice.
chapter 5 south america
Chapter 5: South America
  • South America is the fourth largest landmass in the world, with 7,000,000 square miles of land surface.
chapter 5 south america79
Chapter 5: South America
  • Of the 7,000,000 square miles, 2,000,000 are not populated so that the population concentration of 46 persons per square mile is unevenly distributed.
chapter 5 south america80
Chapter 5: South America
  • The continent extends from 13 north latitude to 55 degrees south latitude (or 4,700 square miles long in a north-south direction) and 35-80 degrees west longitude (3,100 miles long in an east-west direction.)
  • There approximately 324,000,000 inhabitants in South America; and if we include the population of Middle America, the total population of Latin America is 488 million, with a growth rate of 1.8 percent.
south america
South America
  • Total population centers are along the mountains in the eastern coastline and, principally, in the Andes Mountains on the western coastline.
  • In some areas of the Andes, population concentrations have become so high that extreme soil erosion has occurred.
  • Draw diagram of the Andes Mountains.
population characteristics
Population Characteristics
  • Urbanization and Ethnic Composition: As I mentioned above, South America is settled on the fringe. The patterns are based on culture, attitude, and accidents of history.
  • Spaniards always have had a predilection for communal life. To a Spaniard, a city represents culture, politics, and “where the action is.”
population characteristics83
Population Characteristics
  • The population of all countries is highly nucleated. Cities such Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro have populations over 8 million, and the growth of these cities has resulted in the encirclement of slums around the cities which go by different names.
  • For example, in Lima approximately ¼ of the population live in barridas; in Brazil slums are known as favelas; in Columbia as ranchos; and in Argentina as barrios.
the human sequence
The Human Sequence
  • The south American continent was inhabited by ancient people who migrated to south America via Middle America more than 5,000 years ago.
  • Thus, for thousands of years indigenous Amerindian communities and societies have been developing in South America.
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The Human Sequence
  • The Inca Empire
    • This empire was forged from a series of elongated basins called altiplanos. From their home base –Cuzco– the Incas (or Quechua) extended their authority over peoples of coastal Peru and other altiplanos.
    • At their zenith, the Inca Empire contained more than 20 million subjects, and they strictly controlled the life of the empire’s subjects so that there was little personal freedom. The empire was controlled so tightly that a takeover at the top was enough to gain power over the empire --- as the Spaniards soon found out.
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The Human Sequence
  • A word about the Amerindians:
    • The number and distribution of the Amerindians during the period of exploration played a significant element in the settlement of south America. (In some areas, they form the dominant racial group as in the Amazon basin, Peru and Bolivia.).
    • Being an Indian in many of these countries (as in Mexico) results in a bad situation because they are socially discriminated.
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The Human Sequence
  • They usually lead a life of misery, only elevated by an occasional religious ceremony and market shopping.
  • To relief their troublesome lives, they use quinine and chicha which is made from decayed potatoes which are spat out of the mouth into a bowl. This ritual is a family affair, and YES, the incidence of tuberculosis is very high throughout the Andes.
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The Human Sequence
  • The Iberians:
    • The Spaniards, under the leadership of Francisco Pizzaro, rode victorious into the city of Cuzco. Soon after their conquest, they placed the Amerindians into serfdom and formed haciendas by land alienation or by disenfranchising the Amerindians off their land.
    • As the wealth of Peru was siphoned to Spain, the city of Lima became a viceroyalty. And, from this city they extended their conquest to the north –Columbia and Venezuela– and to the south –Argentina and Uruguay.
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The Human Sequence
  • The Portuguese took possession of eastern South America because the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) gave Portugal possession of all lands to the east of 50 degrees West longitude.
  • Eventually, they extended their control beyond this longitude to include the Amazon Basin and a good part of the Panama-Paraguay Basin.
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The Human Sequence
  • The Africans
    • When the Portuguese began to develop their New World territory, they turned to the cultivation of sugar and the use of black slave labor. Consequently, million of Africans were brought to the New World. For this reason, Brazil has the largest black population of South America.
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The Human Sequence
  • Mestizos
    • Racial mix of Spanish and Indian cultures, this group forms 85 to 90 percent of all of the people of South America. The mestizo is fundamentally the “Matrix of South America.”
cultural fragmentation
Cultural Fragmentation
  • South America is a continent of plural societies where Amerindians of different cultures, Europeans from Iberia, blacks from Africa, and Asians from India, Japan, and Indonesia cultures form a mosaic of cultural and economic spheres.
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Cultural Fragmentation
  • These spheres, as defined by John Augelli, are discussed below:
    • Tropical-Plantation Region: This area is found along the humid Brazilian coastline, including four more areas in the Atlantic-Caribbean areas of the continent. The region resembles the Rimland’s culture and economic characteristics.
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Cultural Fragmentation
  • European-Commercial Region: The area includes the southern countries, including southern Brazil; and it consists of an area that is economically more advance that the rest of the country.
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Cultural Fragmentation
  • Amerindian-Subsistence Region: The region focuses on the high Andes where most of the inhabitants are Amerindian who live in minifundias.
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Cultural Fragmentation
  • Mestizo-Transitional Region: This area is a mix of the three major culture groups, namely, the Europeans, Amerindians, and mestizos. This area surrounds the Amerindian Subsistence Region, and it is less commercial than the European sphere but less subsistent in orientation than the dominantly Amerindian areas.
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Cultural Fragmentation
  • Undifferentiated Region: This region consists of the Amazon Basin. It is an area that is hard to classify because it is remote and exhibits limited economic development.
economic integration
Economic Integration
  • Most of South America’s republics have replaced old policies that protected domestic economies with new ones that embrace market-oriented reform and the expansion of trading partners.
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Economic Integration
  • The following list shows the new economic organizations that have developed in order to forge new trading zones.
    • Mercosur – This trading area consists of the Southern Cone Common Market which includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
    • Andean Community – The members of this trading group include Bolivia,Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru.
    • Group of Three (G-3) – This free-trade agreement involves Mexico, Venezuela, and Columbia.
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Economic Integration
  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – This free-trade agreement includes Canada, Mexico, and the United States. This group hopes to include Chile in the organization very soon.
  • These organizations represent only an intermediate step toward a much grander goal: the creation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).
  • Today, seventy-six percent of the South American population now resides in urban areas, and this trends will continue for the foreseeable future. Moreover, the urban population is growing at a faster rate than rural populations, that is, the urban population has grown annually by 5% since 1950 while the increase in rural areas has been 2 %.
  • Brazil is the largest country in South America (3.3 million square miles), and it ranks fifth in size. It is smaller than Russia, Canada, China, and the United States. Its population size is larger than another state in South America, with 167 million inhabitants as of 2000 (estimate).
  • Its population is very diverse. Brazil has approximately 8.5 million blacks, 67 million of mixed-race, with African-European-Amerindian ancestry, and 91 million of European ancestry.
  • Japanese immigrants recently have joined the ranks, and they live in farming communities throughout southern Brazil.
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Brazil-Regional Areas
  • Brazil can be divided into six regions:
    • The Northeast
    • The Southeast
    • The South
    • The Interior and
    • The Amazonian North.
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Brazil-The Northeast
  • The NORTHEAST is the cultural heart of Brazil, and it is an area which is highly populated.
  • The economy is essentially commercial agriculture, with an emphasis on sugar cane along the wetter coastal areas. But, unfortunately, this economy is depressed and the area experiences widespread poverty.
  • Here, the Portuguese quickly imported African slaves to work the sugar fields.
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Brazil-The Northeast
  • The area inland is known as the sertao, and it is often impacted by serious droughts.
  • This is why it is referred to as the Polygon of Drought. Precipitation patterns are quite erratic here. The vegetation is called the Caatinga which is comparable to our semi-arid vegetation of cactus and small thorny bushes.
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Brazil-The Northeast
  • The major cities are Recife which is the oldest city in the region and San Salvador which is the area’s most economically diversified city, with a major petrochemical complex in its vicinity.
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Brazil-The Southeast
  • The SOUTHEAST consists of the States of Bahia, Espirito Santo, and Minas Gerais. This area is richly endowed with gold, bauxite, manganese, nickel, and many precious and semi-precious stones. The State of Minas Gerais means General Mines, and it derives its name from the more than 100 different mines that are found throughout the state.
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Brazil-The Southeast
  • In fact, it was the lure of gold what brought people to this area. But, it is iron ore (around Lafaiete) that now makes this area, one of the most productive areas in Brazil.
  • Brazil now ranks second, next to Russia, in the total production of iron and steel, and Belo Horizonte, the Capitol, is the leading metallurgical center of Brazil. Volta Redonda, close to Rio de Janeiro, contains the second largest steel mill in Brazil.
sao paulo
Sao Paulo
  • The State of Sao Paulo is the leading industrial producer and a very important agricultural region that specializes in coffee (grown in coffee plantation known as fazendas), soybeans, and citrus fruits (for orange concentrate). The area is well known for its fertile Terra Roxa or “Red Soils.”
  • The City of Sao Paulo is the leading manufacturing city in all of South America, and it has a very active automobile industry.
the south
The South
  • THE SOUTH consists of the southern states of Parana, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul. This area is characterized by numerous farming communities which were settled by European immigrants, especially Germans, Italians, and Portuguese farmers. (The staple crops are corn, potatoes, dairying, and vineyards. Recently, tobacco has been come an important cash crop for American tobacco companies.).
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The South
  • This area, unfortunately, has been experiencing a separatist movement that is fueled by people who want to keep European cultural lifestyles intact and who do not want to mix with the non-European citizens from the North.
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The South
  • Main industrial activity focuses on Tubarao where South America’s single largest steel-making plant opened in 1983. It obtains its coal from the states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.
  • During the 1990’s an internationally significant center of the computer software industry was established in Florianopolis, the island city and State Capital, of Santa Catarina.
the interior
The Interior
  • THE INTERIOR focuses on the region that surrounds the capital city of Brasilia which was deliberately located in the savanna region of the Centro-Oeste of the interior of Brazil.
  • The City of Brasilia, the forward capital, of Brazil is located in this region; and this region has been integrated into the nation’s economy through the exploitation of the cerrado– the fertile plains that blanket the Central-West. This area is one of the world’s most promising agricultural frontiers.
the amazonian north
The Amazonian North
  • THE AMAZONIAN NORTH was the scene of the great rubber boom at the turn of the century, but with the discovery of synthetic rubber, the industry ended rapidly in 1910.
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The Amazonian North
  • This area contains the world’s largest rain forest reservoir, and it is now receiving a massive infusion of immigrants from the coast, that is, immigrants who seek gold and cheap land, just for the clearing. Unfortunately, the clearing of the land has lead to a great environmental catastrophic in which the rain forest is being destroyed at alarming rates which may lead to global warming and desertification of vast areas of the world.
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The Amazonian North
  • Today, it has a major industrial project. It is the Grande Carajas Project in eastern portion of the State of Para. This is a huge industrial scheme which focuses on one of the world’s largest deposits of iron ore in the Serra dos Carajas hills.
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The Amazonian North
  • This project is referred to as a growth-pole concept. A growth-pole is a location where a set of industries, given a start, will expand and generate widening ripples of development in the surrounding area.
  • Another important project includes the Polonoroeste Plan which is an attempt to settle the western Amazonia via the Trans-Amazon Highway.
  • The name “Venezuela” comes from the Spanish word for “Little Venice.” The name was derived when early Spanish explorers saw Indian huts on stilts on the shallow “Lake Maracaibo.”
  • Petroleum was found in this “lake” during the 1920s, and it has flowed since then.
  • Two-thirds of the national output comes from oil pools found under Lake Maracaibo.
  • The capital of Venezuela is Caracas, and it is located approximately 3,000 feet above sea level. Caracas fills a narrow valley 15 miles wide by 30 miles long and it has a population of approximately 3.2 million.
  • The elevation of Caracas gives the city a temperate climate. Comparatively, the city’s port of La Guaira sits six miles away on a desert coastline, and its is extremely hot, dry, and unpleasant.
  • The Guiana Highlands lie north of the Amazon Basin, and it remains the least explored area of South America. The highlands consist of high tabular mesas, the biggest is Mt. Roraima, with an elevation of 9,212 feet.
  • In the 1920s, an American flyer, Jimmy Angel, accidentally discovered the world’s highest waterfall --- Angel’s Fall. It drops 3,212 feet.
  • The Guiana Highlands are very important economically because they contain large deposits of iron ore, bauxite, and gold.
  • Iron ore has been found south of Ciudad Bolivar, in Cerro de Bolivar. Huge deposits of bauxite had also been found near the City of Guayana which refines bauxite ore into alumina, raw aluminum.
  • Gold is the most recent element discovered in the Guiana Highlands near the Brazilian border. Unfortunately, would-be gold prospectors are now indiscriminately ravishing the countryside to mine for gold.
  • The Orinoco Lowlands extends for about 400-mile long plain along the Orinoco River. This area is devoted to ranching activities that satisfy the needs of numerous large cities in the mountains.
  • Although this country contains a physical geography so varied that it produces crops ranging from the temperate to the tropical and is richly endowed with energy resources, it has been ravished by civil unrest and violence, and its future is uncertain.
  • It recent unrest began in 1970s when groups opposing the power-sharing monopoly between the political parties began a campaign of terrorism, damaging the developing infrastructure of the country. In addition, drug cartels formed in response to the U.S. market for narcotics increased.
  • Although its future is uncertain, the country has some very interesting characteristics:
    • It has a population that is predominately mestizo, it population size is approximately 40 million (2000 est.).
    • Most of the population is concentrated in the western and northern portions of the country.
    • The largest city is Bogota, the capital, which has a population of 5.6 million and an elevation of 8,500 feet.
    • The second largest city is Medellin, with a population of 1.7 million and an elevation of 5,500 feet. This city is also famous for its coffee plantations which produce the most flavorful coffees.
  • Coffee is now Columbia’s main export crop, but it is coca leaves that accounts for Columbia’s leading unofficial export to the United States.
  • The city of Cali, on the Cauca River,has a population of 1.8 million, and it is the focal point where tobacco and sugar are produced and cattle raised for the larger cities of Columbia.
  • Another major export is oil which was first found in the Casanare oilfield of northern Columbia, but a larger field was found in the Cusiana oilfield in 1991. Both oilfields allow Columbia to be a major exporter of oil in South America.
  • A major source of coal is located in the Guajira Peninsula which is adjacent to the Maracaibo Lowlands. The mining activities centers in the Cerrejon District.
  • The coastal Columbian area along the Pacific coastline of a rain forest climate and vegetation. In fact, one station in the mountains on the Pacific coast report 400 inches of rain a year.
  • This coastal areas is sparely populated, and it has a large number of blacks who live in Buenaventura and other small villages.
  • Commercial agriculture dominates, with banana and cocoa plantations.
  • Finally, the Caribbean coastline is highly populated with three major cities, Barranquilla (975,000). Cartagen (525,000), and Santa Marta.
  • In fact, Cartagen is now the Columbian headquarters for illegal, export trade in cocaine and marijuana.
  • Ecuador is the second smallest country in South America, that is, after Uruguay.
  • It has a population of 12.7 million, with 40 percent of the population of Amerindian stock.
  • The capital is Quito which is located in the tierra fria zone.
  • This country is divided into three physiographic parts: 1) the coastal zone, 2) the Andes, and 3) the Oriente.
    • The coastal zone consists of two parts: a) a belt of low-lying hills which are utilized for the production of coffee, rice, and cotton; b) the lowlands which produce bananas, making Ecuador the world’s largest producer of bananas, and cacao.
    • The Andes form two parallel north-south ranges. Crest elevations are very high, with some volcanic peaks reaching heights of 15,000-20,000 feet; it is here where the majority of the people live. They in turn, cultivate small farm plots, which is characteristic of minifundia.
  • El Oriente, located east of the Andes, is sparsely populated and has a rain forest canopy, but the forest is quickly disappearing due to large scale logging. Here, large oil fields have been discovered, and it is piped over the Andes to the city of Emeraldas.
  • Presently,Ecuador is second, next to Venezuela, the largest oil producing country in South America.
  • Peru is the third largest country in South America. It has a population of 27 million. Its territory is divided physiographically into three sub regions:
    • The desert coast, the European-mestizo region;
    • The Andean highlands or Sierra, the Amerindian region;
    • The Oriente, which includes the eastern slopes of Andes, or montana, the sparsely populated Amerindian-mestizo interior.
  • The capital, Lima, is situated several miles inland from a good harbor, Callao. The location of Lima is favorable in light of its productive sea that produces vast amounts of fish and sardines.
  • The city is also close to 40 oases, along the arid coast, which produce cotton, sugar, rice, vegetables, fruits, and wheat for export.
  • The Amerindian population lives in clustered, isolated villages or in haciendas where they practice subsistence agriculture in the Andean mountains.
  • In either case, they grow corn, barley, and potatoes in tierra fria or tierra helada zones.
  • The minerals produced for export include
    • Copper
    • Zinc
    • Lead.
  • The most important mining area focuses on Cerro de Pasco.
  • In the rain forest of the Oriente, the focal is the city of Iquitos which looks to the east rather than the west, and it can be reached by oceangoing vessels from the Atlantic ocean.
  • Oil was discovered west of Iquitos in the 1970s, and it is piped to the seaport of Bayovar. This area also contains natural gas deposits which are now being developed.
  • Bolivia is the second poorest country in South America, and it has a population of 8.4 million inhabitants, half of which are Amerindians while mestizos comprise approximately 35 percent of the total.
  • This country is landlocked because it lost its corridor to the sea in a war with Chile in 1903. Consequently, this condition has limited its economic development .
  • The Andes form two large, paralleling ranging which are over 20,000 feet in elevation, and a large altiplano, or high plain, has been formed between them.
  • On the boundary between Peru and Bolivia, freshwater Lake Titicaca – the highest large lake on Earth – lies at 12,507 feet above sea level.
  • Bolivia’s de facto capital is La Paz which is situated on the Altiplano at an elevation of 11,700 feet, making it the highest capital in the world. (La Paz contains only the Legislative and Executive departments.)
  • Bolivia’s legal capital, however, is Sucre which still holds the Judicial branch or the Supreme Court.
  • Bolivia has tremendous mineral wealth. The city of Potosi, in the eastern cordillera is the center of silver mining industry. In 1544, the Spanish conquerors of Peru discovered the Cerro Rico, a conical mountain which stands above the city of Potosi. The bulk of this mountain is made up of one of the richest ore bodies known to man – an ore so rich that it not only contains rich deposits of silver but tin, bismuth, and tungsten.
  • However, out of the mountain, between the its discovery and the beginning of the seventeenth century, came about one half of all of the silver produced in the world during the 56 years of discovery. This was the “royal fifth” which poured into the Spanish treasury which played a vital role in shaping the course of European history.
  • Bolivia is an important producer of tin. Tin was discovered at the end of the nineteenth century, and it is centered in the cities of Oruro and Unica. But, today, declining tin reserves and falling world prices has force much of the industry to shut down.
  • Bolivia also produces zinc, lead, copper, tungsten, and antimony.
  • The Oriente produces natural gas and oil which are exported to Brazil and Argentina.
  • Soybeans are now becoming an important source of revenue, accounting for Bolivia’s most important export item.
  • Cattle ranching is also an important activity around the city of Santa Cruz.
  • Argentina is the second largest city in southern South America. It contains approximately 37 million inhabitants. A vast majority of these people live in the sub-region which is referred to as the Pampa, a word meaning “plain.”
  • This area is the most intensely utilized area of Argentina. This area is also dominated by large estancias (latifundia) that raise thousands of cattle, sheep, and pigs for market. They also raise soybeans, alfalfa, wheat, corn, and other grains for animal and human consumption.
  • All of these products are shipped to market via hundred of miles that dot the countryside. Most of the industry in the Pampa focuses on manufacturing of agricultural products such as vegetable oils, beef hides, woolen clothes, and fruit products.
  • Outside of the Pampa, the population is sparse and agricultural activities focus on pastoralism while sheep ranching and fruit farming are dominant features in the Patagonia plateau which is quite dreary during the winter months. For this reason, Patagonia is called “Argentina’s Siberia.”
  • In the area known as “Mesopotamia of Argentina” or “Entre Rios” or “Between Rivers”, the area is primarily utilized for agriculture, mainly corn, cotton, and wheat.
  • Here, flax is grown for flaxseed oil and linen while yerba mate, a local tea, is grown. Another product is the quebracho-tree extract used for tanning leather.
  • In the north of the Mesopotamia region, Paraguay and Argentina are currently building the world’s largest hydroelectric dam; it is called the Yacyreta Dam which is located on the Parana River which is designed to enhance the economic potential of this area. This dam is even larger than the Itaipu Dam which is located upstream on the Parana.
  • This country is a small, compact country which has an agricultural economy and a population of 3.3 million inhabitants of European ancestry.
  • Montevideo is the capital of this country, and it contains 40 percent of the country’s population. As in Buenos Aires, railroads and roads radiate outward into the agricultural interior (This city is the administrative capital for Mercosur.).
  • Around the capital, market gardening dominates the landscape, but this activity gives way to cattle and sheep ranching, with beef products, wool, and textile manufacturing.
  • This country has 5.5 million inhabitants, and it has a mestizo majority of 95 percent.
  • As for languages, Amerindian Guarani is so widely spoken alongside Spanish that the country is completely bilingual.
  • Paraguay’s landlocked position has had much to do with its modest economic development. These opportunities have not been realized because of the fact that exports must be shipped through Buenos Aires via the Paraguay-Parana Rivers.
  • Soybeans products, cotton, timber, vegetable oils, and beef hides are important export items for this country.
  • In the dry Chaco area, cattle ranching and oil mining are the most important activities, besides a large peanut crop that is grown by a Mennonite colony in this area.
  • Chile extends for 2,500 miles along the western coastline of South America, but it is, on the average, approximately 90 miles wide and rarely 150 miles wide.
  • It has approximately 15 million inhabitants, and it capital is Santiago, the largest city in Chile.
  • Chile is a mestizo country. Its population has none of the profound racial divisions found in the lands to the north. Only 5 percent of the population is pure Amerindian while Europeans form approximately 30 percent of the population. The remaining 65 percent consist of mestizos.
  • This country is divided into three parts:
    • The arid north
    • The central Mediterranean area
    • The southern Marine West Coast area.
  • Northern Chile or the Arid North
    • The northern third of Chile consists of the Atacama Desert which consists of the driest place on earth. The wealth of the Atacama lies in its bolsones which contain valuable caliche which is composed of sodium nitrate, and a variety of other salts that include iodine salts.
  • Sodium nitrate has been used traditionally as a fertilizer but it was also used for the production of explosives, but with the discovery of synthetic nitrates, the industry has declined considerably.
  • Another very important natural resource is copper which is mined near the city of Chuquimata. The mine is the largest copper mine in the world, making Chile the leading exporter of copper in the world bar none.
  • Middle Chile- This portion of Chile is the most important economic area because this is where most of the Chileans live.
  • In central Chile, especially in the northern portion of this area, haciendas dominate the landscape. Here, wheat, corn, grapes, fruits, and vegetables are the main crops while beef and beef byproducts are the important export items.
  • The most distinctive feature of middle Chile is its climate which is the Mediterranean climate. Here, one finds a transitional zone between the desert and the continuously rainy climate of southern Chile.
  • Because this climate has dry-summers, central Chile produces some of finest wines in South America, and they find markets throughout the world.
  • Southern Chile- South of the Rio Bio bio, the Mediterranean gives way to the Marine West Coast climate. Here, instead of large haciendas we find small or medium-size farms that have been created on cleared land; and Southern Chile has a rainy climate and forests dominate the landscape.
  • In spite of the abundance of trees, some of which could be used for lumber, Chile does not have a large lumber industry. Lumber is is still imported while the forests of the south are burned to make room for pasture or crops such as fruits, vegetables, and wheat.
  • As the 21th century opens, Chile is emerging from a developing boom that has established its reputation as South America’s greatest success story.
  • Since 1990, Chile has embarked on a program of free-market economic reform that brought stable growth and has attracted massive foreign investment.
  • Consequently, Chile’s newly international economy has propelled the country to forage a prominent role for itself on the global trading scene.
  • Thus, Chile was invited to join NAFTA in 1994, but it is still waiting for U.S Congress to approve its membership.
  • But, in the meantime, it is a member of Mercosur, and this country is widely touted as the “economic model” for all of Middle and South America to emulate.
  • Consequently, developing nations of Latin America aspire to follow in Chile’s footsteps in order to become economicly successful.