MAP LOCATIONS Landforms – Amazon Basin, Andes Mountains, Atacama Desert, Pampas, Patagonia Water bodies – Amazon River, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Lake Titicaca Urban centers – Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Bogotá, Santiago, Caracas, Buenos Aries, Quito Countries – French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay
Brazil, Argentina, Peru Predominately Spanish-speaking with the exception of Brazil where Portuguese is the official language, a result of Portuguese and Spanish colonization Blended culture and society because of the mixing of enslaved Africans, American Indian tribes and European colonizers to the region; the region received more enslaved Africans that did other regions including the United States via the trans-Atlantic slavery trade
Economic systems tend to rely on the extraction of natural resources, such as mining in Peru, as the region was the supplier for colonial powers; Brazil has made significant economic development; Argentina developed ranching activities on a wide-scale after the introduction of cattle and horses to the region in the Columbian Exchange Many agricultural products originated in the region and spread via the Columbian Exchange, including potatoes
Latin America is noted for the tall mountains and deserts that hug the west coast, the dense rainforests of the Amazon River Basin, tropical climates of Central America and the Caribbean, the grasslands of Argentina and many other spectacular natural features. These features are all the result of many physical forces like tectonic activity over very long periods of time. The major physical features along with their relative location from the equator and nearby ocean and wind currents create many different climate regions throughout the region, and
these climate areas along with the natural features determine what kinds of economic activities, specifically agriculture, can take place. arrival of Columbus in the late fifteenth century led to the ex tensive exchange of agricultural products between the “Old World” and “New World” The Columbian Exchange is an excellent example of diffusion processes at work. New crops provided people with better opportunities to thrive, but there are downsides as well including invasive species and the spread of infectious diseases, such as small pox
Latin America’s patterns of settlement are closely tied the physical geography. Deserts, rainforests, mountains, and islands all inhibit growth in settlements. This region also has made use of extensive coastlines, which is evident in the peripheral settlements: most major cities are directly on the coast.
Latin America is marked by regional development. There are many areas of Latin America that have remained almost unchanged over the decades, and even centuries, while growth in some areas has been phenomenal. Reasons for growth primarily center on increased global trade that has created new job markets. Many countries still rely on major products for export (rum, sugar, bananas, coffee, copper, and other minerals) and tourism as their primary source of income.
Unlike North America, Latin America still has many cultural groups that have little to no contact with modern society. However this is rapidly changing a modern society encroaches on lands held by these groups. There is much political instability in Latin American and this affects indigenous societies.