Mr. Burton Please grab out: a writing utensil, notebook/blank paper, your folder, and book. Please answer the following bell-ringer and remain silent after you are finished. Thank you. BR: What group of people do you feel influenced central America? Justify your answer.
Early History • AD 250–900: Maya built large cities with pyramids and temples. • Maya descendents live in Guatemala and Belize. • Early 1500s: Europeans controlled most of Central America. • Britain: Belize and Nicaragua’s coast • Spain: Large plantations of tobacco and sugarcane • Forced Indians and enslaved Africans to work in mines and plantations
Independence 1821: Independence from Spain Remained joined as the United Provinces of Central America 1838-1839: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatamala separated. 1903: Panama and Columbia separated. 1981: Belize independence
Continuing Independence • Wealthy landowners continued to run countries. • Economy remained based on bananas and coffee. • Early to mid-1900s: U.S.-based United Fruit Company controlled most of banana production. • The company developed railroads and port facilities. • This development improved transportation and communication. • People resented role of foreign companies. • Mid- to late 1900s: Demands for reform led to armed struggles in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. • Peace achieved only in recent years
People and Language • Most people are mestizos, or people of mixed European and Indian ancestry. • Descendents of ancient Maya live in Guatemalan Highlands and other places. • People of African ancestry live mostly along the Caribbean coast. • People speak mostly Spanish, but also native Indian languages and English.
Religion, Food, Festivals • Most people are Roman Catholic. • Indian traditions influenced Catholicism. • Celebrations are tied to religion: special saints’ feast days and Easter. • Traditional foods are corn, tomatoes, hot peppers, and cacao.
The countries of Central America today have challenges and opportunities. • Guatemala • More than 14 million people • Most mestizos; almost half Indian • Live mostly in small villages in highlands • 1960-1996: Fighting killed 200,000 people. • Crops: coffee and cardamom • Belize • Smallest population in Central America • Not much land for agriculture • Ecotourism, the practice of using an area’s natural environment to attract tourists • Honduras • Mountainous country • Transportation difficult because of rugged land • Little land for farming • Exports: citrus fruits and bananas
Central America Today Write down two lines off of each one • El Salvador • Land owned by a few rich people • 1980s-1992: Civil war, a conflict between two or more groups within a country • Fertile soil to grow coffee and sugarcane • Costa Rica • History of peace and stable, democratic government • Progress toward reducing poverty • Crops: coffee and bananas • Tourism to rain forests • Nicaragua • 1979: Dictator overthrown by Sandinistas • 1979-1990: Civil war • Rebels aided by the U.S. • 1990: Democratic elections pushed Sandinistas out of power. • Panama • Narrow, southernmost country • Canal links Caribbean Sea and Pacific and Atlantic Oceans • Panama Canal fees and industry make this region prosperous. • 1914-1999:Canal controlled by U.S.