Introduction UNIT PREVIEW: TODAY’S ISSUES Rain Forest Resources Giving Citizens a Voice The Income GapUNIT 3 ATLASREGIONAL DATA FILEChapter 9 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF LATIN AMERICA From the Andes to the Amazon1 Landforms and ResourcesRAND MCNALLY MAP AND GRAPH SKILLSInterpreting a Precipitation Map2 Climate and Vegetation3 Human-Environment InteractionChapter 9 AssessmentChacobo Indians on the Amazon River, BoliviaChapter 10 HUMAN GEOGRAPHY OF LATIN AMERICA A Blending of Cultures
VIDEOMexico’s Ancient Civilizations1 Mexico2 Central America and the CaribbeanDISASTERS! The Haiti and Chile Earthquakes3 Spanish-Speaking South America4 BrazilCOMPARING CULTURES Festivals and HolidaysChapter 10 AssessmentMULTIMEDIA CONNECTIONSMexicoChapter 11 TODAY’S ISSUES Latin America1 Rain Forest ResourcesRAND MCNALLY MAP AND GRAPH SKILLSInterpreting Satellite Images2 Giving Citizens a VoiceUNIT CASE STUDY The Income GapChapter 11 AssessmentSao Paulo,Brazil
Three of the most important issues that concern Latin America today are resources, democracy, andthe income gap between rich and poor.As you read Chapters 9 and 10, you will learn helpful background information. You will studythe issues themselves in Chapter 11.In a small group, answer the following questions. Then participate in a class discussion of yourideas.Exploring the Issues1. RESOURCES What are some resources that are becoming increasingly scarce in the world?2. DEMOCRACY What are some threats to democracy in the world today? What conditions might benecessary for democracy to thrive?
3. INCOME GAP Why might an income gap exist in a country? How might a growing gap between richand poor affect a country?For more on these issues in Latin America How can we preserve and develop the rain forest?Agriculture and timber harvesting in Brazil are reducing the size of the rain forests by destroyingthriving ecosystems, but are providing food and export products.
How can Latin Americans gain a voice in government?Demonstrators in Chile rally in support of putting former dictator General Augusto Pinochet on trial.The signs say, “Judgment for Pinochet—truth and justice for Chile.”
C SHow can the economic gulf between rich and poor bebridged?ASETUDYThere is a growing gap between rich and poor in Latin America, with all the problems of slums,homeless children, and street crime. Here, a young girl stands above polluted water in a slum in Belém,Brazil.
1Landformsand ResourcesMain Ideas Latin America’s landforms include highlands, lowlands, mountains, and plains. The Andes Mountains and the Amazon River are the region’s most remarkable physical features.Places & TermsAndes MountainsllanosOrinoco RivercerradoAmazon RiverpampasParaná RiverCONNECT TO THE ISSUESRESOURCES
People in Latin America have often struggled over the best way to develop and use natural resources.A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Simón Bolívar was a general who led the South American wars ofindependence against Spain. In August 1819, Bolívar led approximately 2,500 soldiers on a daringmarch from Venezuela over the mountains into present-day Colombia. Coming from this direction, overthe massive barrier of the Andes Mountains, Bolívar and his troops were able to advance unseen.Bolívar’s soldiers surprised the Spanish army and won a great victory. Military leaders such as Bolívarwere able to use the geography of the region to help the South American republics win theirindependence from Spain.Mountains and HighlandsLatin America has an enormous span from north to south, as you can see from the map on. It reachesfrom the border between the United States and Mexico down to Tierra del Fuego at the southernmost tipof South America, a distance of about 7,000 miles. It covers part of North America, all of Central andSouth America, and the Caribbean Islands. Its highlands, lowlands, rain forests, and plains are boundedby the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. The mountains of LatinAmerica form one of the great ranges of the world.MOVEMENT Two sure-footed guanacos climb the foothills of the Andes in Patagonia, a region thatincludes parts of Argentina and Chile.THE ANDES MOUNTAINS The Andes Mountains of the South American continent are part of achain of mountain ranges that run through the western portion of North, Central, and South America.This range is called the Rockies in the United States, the Sierra Madre in Mexico, and the Andes in
South America. There are many active volcanoes throughout the region.All along the west and south coasts of South America, the Andes Mountains are a barrier tomovement into the interior. As a result, more settlement in South America has occurred along theeastern and northern coasts.Even so, the mountain ranges of Latin America were the home of some of the most importantcivilizations in the hemisphere, including the Inca in Peru.HIGHLANDS Other ranges in Latin America include the Guiana Highlands in the northeast section ofSouth America. Highlands are made up of the mountainous or hilly sections of a country. The highlandsof Latin America include parts of Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Brazil. TheBrazilian Highlands (see the map on) are located along the east coast of Brazil.Plains for Grain and LivestockSouth America has wide plains that offer rich soil for growing crops and grasses for grazing livestock.LLANOS OF COLOMBIA AND VENEZUELA Colombia and Venezuela contain vast plains calledllanos (LAH nohs), which are grassy, treeless areas used for livestock grazing and farming. They aresimilar to the Great Plains in the United States and the pampas of Argentina.PLAINS OF AMAZON RIVER BASIN Brazil also contains expansive plains in the interior of thecountry. These are the cerrado (seh RAH doh), savannas with flat terrain and moderate rainfall thatmake them suitable for farming. Much of this land is undeveloped. However, the government of Brazilis encouraging settlers to move into the interior and develop the land.PAMPAS OF ARGENTINA AND URUGUAY In parts of South America, the plains are known aspampas (PAHM puhs), areas of grasslands and rich soil. Pampas are found in northern Argentina andUruguay. The main products of the pampas are cattle and wheat grain. A culture of the gaucho hasgrown up in the region, centered on the horsemen of the pampas.ASeeing PatternsA How are the llanos, cerrado, and pampas of South America similar to the Great Plains of the UnitedStates?
The Amazon and Other RiversThe countries of Central America and the Caribbean do not have the extensive river systems that arefound in South America. In North America, the Rio Grande, which forms part of the border between theUnited States and Mexico, is longer than any other river in Mexico, Central America, or the Caribbean.However, these areas are all bordered by water. As a result, they are less dependent on river systems fortransportation than is South America.South America has three major river systems. The Orinoco is the northernmost river system, withthe Amazon also in the north, and the Paraná in the south of the continent.ORINOCO RIVER The Orinoco River winds through the northern part of the continent, mainly inVenezuela. It flows more than 1,500 miles, partly along the Colombia-Venezuela border, to the Atlantic.The Orinoco River basin drains the interior lands of both Venezuela and Colombia. Some of the areasdrained by the Orinoco are home to the few remaining Native American peoples, such as theYanomamo.BACKGROUND The Amazon is the second longest river in the world after the Nile.AMAZON RIVER Farther south, the Amazon River flows about 4,000 miles from west to east,emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. Its branches start in the Andes Mountains of South America, close to
the Pacific. Yet it flows eastward across the central lowlands toward the Atlantic. The Amazon River isfed by over 1,000 tributaries, some of which are large rivers in themselves. The Amazon carries morewater to the ocean than any other river in the world. In fact, it carries more water to the ocean than thenext seven largest rivers of the world combined.PARANÁ RIVER The Paraná River has its origins in the highlands of southern Brazil. It travelsabout 3,000 miles south and west through Paraguay and Argentina, where it is fed by several rivers, andthen turns eastward. The last stretch of the river, where it turns into an estuary of the Paraná andUruguay rivers between Argentina and Uruguay, is called the Río de la Plata. An estuary is the widelower course of a river where its current is met by the tides.Major Islands of the CaribbeanThe Caribbean Islands consist of three major groups: the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the LesserAntilles. (See the map on.) These islands together are sometimes called the West Indies and were thefirst land encountered by Christopher Columbus when he sailed to the Western Hemisphere in 1492.They served as a base of operations for the later conquest of the mainland by the Spanish.The Bahamas are made up of hundreds of islands off the southern tip of Florida and north of Cuba.They extend southeast into the Atlantic Ocean. Nassau is the capital and largest city in the Bahamas.THE GREATER ANTILLES The Greater Antilles are made up of the larg-er islands in the Caribbean.
These include Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico. The island of Hispaniola is divided betweenthe countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.THE LESSER ANTILLES The Lesser Antilles are the smaller islands in the region southeast ofPuerto Rico. The Lesser Antilles are divided into the Windward Islands and Leeward Islands. TheWindward Islands face winds that blow across them. The Leeward Islands enjoy a more shelteredposition from the prevailing northeasterly winds.BUsing the AtlasB Use the map on. Which of the Antilles are closer to the coast of South America?Resources of Latin AmericaLatin America is a treasure house of natural resources. These include mineral resources, such as goldand silver, as well as energy resources, such as oil and natural gas. In addition, the region is rich inagricultur-al and forest resources, such as timber. These resources have drawn people to the region forcenturies.MINERAL RESOURCES Gold, silver, iron, copper, bauxite (aluminum ore), tin, lead, and nickel—allthese minerals are abundant in Latin America. In addition, mines throughout the region produceprecious gems, titanium, and tungsten. In fact, South America is among the world’s leaders in themining of raw materials.
Many of these minerals are mined and then exported to other parts of the world, where they aremade into valuable goods. For example, Jamaica was originally a plantation economy that depended onthe sale of bananas and sugar for its livelihood. Then it turned to the mining and processing of bauxite(aluminum ore) in an attempt to make the country less dependent on agriculture and tourism. Today, thisresource is mainly an export that is shipped elsewhere for industrial use.
ENERGY RESOURCES Oil, coal, natural gas, uranium, and hydroelectric power are all plentiful inLatin America. Venezuela and Mexico have major oil reserves. Brazil is rich in hydroelectric powerbecause of its many rivers (including the mighty Amazon) and waterfalls. It is also rich in oil and gas.Trinidad has discovered vast reserves of natural gas. New factories have turned Trinidad into amajor exporter of methanol and ammonia. Natural gas has also attracted developers to the island.In Mexico and Venezuela, oil has been a very important resource. Venezuela sits on top of majoroil deposits. This resource was developed into a significant oil industry. Mexico has huge oilfieldscentered along the Gulf coast. Because of its reserves, Mexico is able to export oil to other countries.However, changes in the global price of oil have had a great impact on the economies of thesecountries.CCONNECT TO THE ISSUESRESOURCESC How do the countries of the region make use of their natural resources?Latin America has great variety in its climate and vegetation. You will read about each in the nextsection.
Assessment1 Places & TermsIdentify and explain where in the region these would be found. Andes Mountains llanos cerrado pampas Orinoco River Amazon River Paraná River2 Taking NotesPLACE Review the notes you took for this section. What types of landforms are found in Latin America? What is their relative location?3 Main Ideasa. How did the Andes Mountains affect settlement along the western coast of South America?b. How are the landforms of the region both an advantage and disadvantage?c. What effect did natural resources have on the development of the region?4 Geographic ThinkingDrawing Conclusions How might the Amazon River have affected movement into the interior ofSouth America? Think about: the network of travel offered by a river systemSee Skillbuilder Handbook.SEEING PATTERNS Pair with a partner and draw a sketch map of Latin America’s riversand mountains. Use arrows to indicate the directions the rivers flow. Why does the Amazonflow all the way east across the continent even though its headwaters begin in the AndesMountains along the west coast?
Map and Graph SkillsInterpreting a Precipitation MapThis map shows differences in annual precipitation throughout South America. Suppose you havebeen given a chance to live in either Manaus, Brazil, or Buenos Aires, Argentina, for a year. Youdon’t want to live in a city where it rains a lot. Which city would you choose? To help make yourdecision, find the two cities on the Unit Atlas map on. Then find their locations on this precipitationmap.THE LANGUAGE OF MAPS A precipitation map is a type of thematic map. Many precipitationmaps show differences in annual precipitation within a given region.Map and Graph Skills Assessment1. Making ComparisonsWhere are you likely to experience more rain-in Peru or Brazil?2. Drawing ConclusionsDoes Guyana have heavy or light an