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Carnaval; Olinda, Brazil. La Civilización Tarasca , D. Rivera (1947). Latin America.

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What are the three primary cultural influences on Brazil?

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Carnaval; Olinda, Brazil

La Civilización Tarasca, D. Rivera (1947)

Latin America

Latin America comprises those countries of Central America and the continent of South America that developed from the colonies of Spain, Portugal, and France. Because these European powers used languages derived from Latin, the term Latin America was devised to designate the parts of the New World that they colonized. The areas that are now Belize and Guyana were colonized by the British, and the official language of those countries is English. Suriname was colonized by the Netherlands, and Dutch is the official language. These countries’ histories differ from those of others in the region.

Central America South America

Name two Native American cultures that were dominant in Central America before they were conquered by Spain.

What are the three primary cultural influences on Brazil?





The Samba!

In the late 1800s, samba moved from rural to urban areas. By the 1920s, the samba and its accompanying music became part of annual pre-Lenten Carnival celebrations, particularly in Rio de Janeiro. Both the music and dance grew increasingly popular in the 1920s and '30s until they achieved international acclaim.

Samba music’s percussion-dominated rhythms reflect religious possession dances. The various drums, or bateria, are considered powerful instruments with supernatural connections to pagan gods.

Derived from traditional West African circle dances, modern samba is an Afro-Brazilian folk dance which originated in rural Brazil in the 19th century. Batuque, or folk samba, is highly syncopated and is accompanied by percussion instruments and singing in which a soloist and chorus alternate.

World Tour: Brazil





Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “Fifth of May”) is a national holiday in Mexico which celebrates the Mexican Army’s defeat of the invading French forces of Emperor Napoleon III on May 5, 1862, in the Batalla de Puebla (Battle of Puebla). The battle was part of a French campaign to install a European monarch, the Austrian archduke Maximilian, as emperor of Mexico. At the time the French army was among the best-equipped and most highly regarded fighting forces in the world. French troops expected to march from the port city of Veracruz in eastern Mexico to Mexico City with little resistance from Mexican troops.

Anticipating the attack, Mexican forces under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza prepared to confront the advancing French troops at the city of Puebla east of Mexico City. On May 5, 1862, after two hours of fierce fighting, the vastly outnumbered but unyielding Mexican Army prevailed and forced the French to retreat. The triumph of Mexican courage in a nation struggling to maintain its independence became a symbol of Mexican unity and patriotism.

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated not just in Mexico, but also in regions of the United States with sizeable communities of Mexican origin, including southern California and the Southwest. Particularly well known is the celebration in Los Angeles, California, on the streets outside City Hall. Festivities often include sports events, parades, mariachi music and dancing, picnics featuring Mexican food, and beauty contests.

World Tour: Mexico

Cinco de Mayo