Basic Economic Points Latin America reveals the disparities between those with incredible wealth and those who are desperately poor. –(A) Social, political, and especially economic factors contribute to these differences amongst the social classes.
Basic Economic Points Agriculture/Farming is the main form of economic sustainability in Latin America despite the fact that 75% of people live in cities. –(A) Bananas, sugarcane, and coffee are three major crops grown in Latin America. Because they are often grown on large plantations, these crops are referred to as “cash crops”. –(B) Today most agricultural land are owned by large corporations, in turn canceling out the productivity of small-scale, family owned farms. –(C) Large plantations known as haciendas dominate economics over smaller subsistence farming operations. –(D) Cattle farmers known as gauchos are prevalent throughout much of Latin America, but especially in Argentina and Uruguay.
Basic Economic Points The economies of Latin American countries are a diverse set. –(A) While countries like Brazil are among some of the more developed in the region, others like Haiti are among the poorest in the world and are considered “developing.” –(B) Industries are an integral part of some Latin economies. In Mexico, maquiladoras have been created near the border with the United States. –(C) What are maquiladoras, and why are they used near the U.S.-Mexico border? Maquiladoras are large American-owned factories just over the border from the United States. They provide cheap labor for a lot of people and low-transportation costs given their location. –(D) Critics of maquiladoras argue they ignore labor and environmental laws. They encourage dangerous and low-paying jobs.
Trade and Interdependence Just as was the case between Canada and the United States, Mexico is also a part of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). It has helped reduce trade restrictions, tariffs, and increased the flow of goods in North America. The smaller countries of Central America also have a free trade agreement -- CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement).
Environmental Issues Caused by Economics Latin America is home to a variety of mineral and natural resources. –(A) Copper in Chile –(B) Mineral Ore in Venezuela and Brazil –(C) Tin in Bolivia –(D) Oil/Petroleum Resources in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Mexico
Environmental Issues Caused by Economics The largest rainforest in the world, the Amazon Rainforest, is suffering the effects of deforestation in which land is being cleared in order to make way for more profitable industries such as farming and industries. –(A) Brazil has looked to develop its interior rainforest in order to tap its vast mineral resources and to connect the interior with the coasts. –(B) In the last twenty years or so, 20+% of the Amazon Rainforest has been destroyed. –(C) In order to quickly clear land for farming, land is prepared through slash and burn agriculture. All plants and trees are cut down, and then burned to provide nutrients to the soil. Rains eventually erode the soil, forcing farmers to repeat the practice within a few years elsewhere.
Environmental Issues Caused by Economics One of the major issues in most developing regions like Latin America is pollution, particularly air and water pollution. –(A) Smog (air pollution) in Mexico City –(B) Chemical pesticide runoff throughout Latin America
What are some examples of push factors? Overpopulation Religious persecution Lack of job opportunities Agricultural decline Conflict Political persecution Natural hazards (floods, famine, volcanoes) Limits on personal freedom Environmental degradation
What are some examples of pull factors? Freedom of religion Economic opportunities Land availability/arable land Political freedoms Ethnic and family ties