Latin America The People Latin Americas Kaleidoscope Latin
- Slides: 35
The People Latin America’s Kaleidoscope • Latin America is made up of Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. Central America • Central America is a thin ribbon of land that connects Mexico to the continent of South America.
• The Caribbean Islands are scattered throughout the Caribbean Sea. • The island area is mainly mountains and volcanoes. • This area is the most ethnically diverse area in the world. • Three streams of people populated this area.
The First Stream of People • Natives were the first people to live in Central America and the Caribbean. • The Mayan people extended from Mexico to Guatemala, Belize, and western Honduras. • Many Mayan descendants still live in small mountain villages in this area. • Both traditional religions and Roman Catholicism are practiced. • Many Mayans continue to worship spirits who live in the “wind, the rain, the lakes, the rivers, and the mountains. ”
The Second Stream • The second stream of people were the European colonists settling in Central America and the Caribbean. • The Europeans settled in areas that were rich in natural resources. • Most people are a mix of Spanish and Native origin. • Even though the Spanish were dominant in the area, the British, French, and Dutch colonists settled on some islands in the 1600 s.
The Third Stream • The third stream of people were African slaves. • Since many Natives had been killed by war or disease, European colonists needed another source of slave labor to work on their plantations. • Maroons live in Jamaica, south of Montego Bay, in a dry, rugged, hilly land called “Cockpit Country. ” • The Maroons were enslaved Africans who escaped from the Spanish. One Caribbean People • Jamaica, a former colony of Great Britain, has many British customs and a population including people of African, British, Chinese, and East Indian ancestry.
Language • Since many countries colonized the Caribbean Islands, many languages are spoken throughout the island network. • These languages include: - French in Martinique - Spanish in Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico - Creole in Haiti; Creole is a combination of French and African languages. - Dutch and English in many other islands. Religion • Most of the colonists were Roman Catholic or Protestants. • There also several religious sects in the Caribbean Islands. A sect is a religious group that is outside the mainstream of large, organized religions.
South America - Native Heritage • October 12 th is called El Dia de la Raza, the “Day of the Race”, in South America. This is the day set aside to celebrate the mestizo people. • The Natives were the first people in South America. • The Inca people built a great civilization in the Andes Mountains. • Many Natives still live in the Andean nations of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.
Europeans • South America has more European immigrants and their descendants than all of the rest of Latin America. • Most of the people of Argentina and Uruguay are of European ancestry. Gauchos • The population of Paraguay, Venezuela, Chile, and Ecuador consists mainly of mestizos. • The gauchos are cowhands who roam the Pampas of Argentina herding cattle.
Religion • Many of the people are Roman Catholic since the Spanish and Portuguese settled much of the area. • Guyana has many Protestants since they were a British colony until 1966. • Suriname was a Dutch colony until 1975 so many people here are Protestant. • Many East Indians live in Suriname as well and follow the Hindu religion.
The Economy Central America - Plantation Agriculture • Most of the countries in Central America and the Caribbean Islands do not have a developed economy. • More than half of the people farm small plots of land that do not produce much food because of the poor quality of the soil. • The best land in the area is used for large commercial farms called plantations.
• Assorted tropical fruits, sugarcane, cacao, spices, 15% of the world’s coffee, and 10% of the world’s bananas are grown here. • Most economies in Central America and the Caribbean are one-crop economies. • These countries depend on a single crop for income. • For example, over ½ of Panama’s exports are bananas. • Depending so heavily on one crop is risky for a nation in case the crop fails or is destroyed by a natural disaster.
Manufacturing • The islands and Central America have very few minerals and natural resources. • Most factories process food and beverages. • Jamaica is an exception; it has a large bauxite mining industry. • Bauxite is a mineral used in making aluminum.
Tourism • Tourism is the major economic activity in the Caribbean Islands. A Revolution in Cuba • Political solutions have been used to try and solve economic problems in this area. • Communism was tried by Fidel Castro’s government after the 1959 revolution in Cuba. • Under Communism, the government controls the economy and way of life.
• The Soviet Union helped support Cuba for many years. • Trade restrictions by the United States have caused further economic difficulties for the Cuban people. • The United States has an embargo against Cuba. An embargo is a commercial, economic, and financial ban on everything in and out of the country. • Cuba’s new President, Raul Castro, is attempting to reopen trade with the U. S. and the Cuban people are starting to gain small freedoms.
South America - The Search for Opportunity • Since the Amazon rain forest is a great resource in South America, many people have looked to the rain forest for a better life. • Some people just want enough land to feed their families. • Some people are just trying to get rich quick. • Many people are concerned because the soil of the rain forest is poor and cannot be farmed for long. • Others are concerned that cutting down the rain forest trees could harm the world’s environment by destroying plants and animals.
Commercial Agriculture and Ranching • The economy of South America is largely based on agriculture. • Profits come from cash crops that plantation owners sell to other countries. • Ecuador sells more bananas than any other nation. • Brazil and Colombia grow some of the world’s finest coffee. • Wool and meat come from the grazing sheep and cattle in the Pampas. • Wheat and cotton are also grown on the plain.
Mining and Manufacturing • South America is working to develop varied manufacturing businesses. • Most current manufacturers process, or treat, agricultural resources. Some businesses squeeze fruit for juice and others make cheese. • Colombia and Ecuador are leading food processing nations. • Argentina is a leader in meat packing and leather production.
• South America wants to use more of their own minerals to make products to provide jobs for people. • Only about 20% of South American workers are in manufacturing and mining jobs. • Several South American countries have large mineral and fuel deposits that they sell to other countries. • For example, Bolivia exports tin; Suriname exports bauxite, and Chile brings in almost half of its income exporting copper.
Venezuela • Venezuela was a leader in forming OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in 1960. • OPEC nations work together to control the price and amount of petroleum produced around the world. • Venezuela is now developing gas, coal, steel, and aluminum resources.
Transportation • Most people live along the coasts of South America because the interior is rugged, dry, or thickly forested. The large coastal cities are joined by modern transportation and communication systems. • In an effort to develop the interior lands, Brazil built a new capital, Brasilia. • Many people now live in Brasilia, but few have moved to the area around the city. • Airplanes and railroads are South America’s major means of transportation. • The Pan American Highway starts in Mexico and continues to South Chile as well as east and west across the continent making travel easier.
The Government Central America - Colonies and Overseas Areas • All of Central America and the Caribbean Islands had been divided into European colonies. • Great Britain still has five colonies: Montserrat, the British Virgin Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Cayman Islands, and Bermuda. • Some islands are considered overseas areas of European countries. • The island of Martinique is an overseas area of France. • Aruba is part of the Netherlands.
Republics and Dictatorships • Almost all of the 21 nations of Central America and the Caribbean have constitutions that give them representative governments. • Some of these governments are true republics; others are dictatorships. • A dictator is a ruler who has total control over a country and usually rules by force. • Dictators often take power when there is a wide gap between ordinary people and their leaders causing social unrest.
United States Interest • Puerto Rico is a self governing territory of the United States known as a commonwealth. • Puerto Ricans choose their own governor and legislators including a non-voting representative to the U. S. Congress. • The Puerto Rican population debates whether they should remain a commonwealth or become a state.
Panama Canal • The Panama Canal is a direct water route between the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. • The United States built the canal from 1903 – 1914. • It was built to cut down on travel time for ships as they no longer had to travel all the way around South America. • The U. S. controlled the canal area until it started turning over ownership to the Panama government, completing the transfer in 2000.
South America - Caudillos • Very few people had experience governing large areas when most Latin American colonies gained their independence in the 1800 s. • Caudillos, military leaders, took control of many governments and formed their own armies. • El Tigre, the Tiger, also known as Juan Quiroga was a caudillo leader who used fear and cruelty to control people in Argentina.
Rule by Dictatorship • Today, all South American countries except French Guiana, an overseas area of France, have constitutions that require them to have democratic governments. • Democracy exists only on paper in many countries. • Presidents are really dictators who declare a state of emergency and rule with complete power. • In some countries, the army has complete power. • Military leaders choose to rule through a group of officers called a junta.
A Struggle for Democracy • Juan Peron was a President who became a dictator in Argentina. • Juan Peron maintained power by creating labor unions, schools, and industries to help the poor people of Argentina. • He also took over the press, businesses, labor unions, and the army until his enemies overthrew him in a coup. • A coup is the sudden overthrow of a government.
• Peron was then re-elected President in 1973 and was followed in office by a series of dictators, but Argentina is now making progress towards becoming a democracy. • Today, Argentina is a republic and the President is Mauricio Macri. Strong Leaders, Weak Governments • When an army is the only strong and organized part of the government, some military leaders band together to become a junta and rule the country or control a puppet President.
Arts and Recreation Music • The steel drum was invented on the island of Trinidad in the 1930 s. • The inventor took an oil drum, sliced off the end, and hammered the other end into sections that produced different tones. • By using drums of different sizes and wooden mallets, steel bands can play any form of music.
• One style of music associated with steel bands is calypso. • Calypso music developed from the music that enslaved Africans sang while they worked. • Reggae mixes American pop music and calypso rhythms.
Sports • Sports are popular throughout the area. • Soccer and baseball are two of the favorite sports. • The Dominican Republic has produced almost 2000 major and minor league baseball players.
South America - Literature • South Americans take great pride in their language. • Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet, wrote about rain forests and the rain that fell on his roof as “the piano of my childhood. ” • Colombian writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, combines real history with imaginary events to create exciting stories.
Music and Celebrations • South America’s artistic tradition also includes music, dancing, and many different celebrations. • The tango and the samba are two of the best known dances that originated in South America. • The tango, the national dance of Argentina, is a dramatic dance based on Spanish dances. • The samba, the national dance of Brazil, has African roots.
• Carnaval is celebrated every year in Rio de Janeiro. • Carnaval is a huge celebration where samba bands ride on floats and gather dancers. Sports • South Americans are fond of soccer, baseball, tennis, jai alai, and polo.