• Latin America has
an area of about
7,880,000 sq mi
almost 3.9% of the
• The basic
regions are Central
America, SA, & the
• 2 Mt ranges in
• Andes Mts: The world's longest
continental mountain range @
4,300 mi long.
• Also the world's highest mountain
range outside of Asia.
• The highest peak, Mt. Aconcagua,
rises to an elevation of about
• The 2nd longest river in the world @ about
4,200 miles long.
• accounts for about 1/5 of the world's total
river flow & covers about 40 % of South
• The Amazon River is characterized by
extensive forested areas that become flooded
every rainy season.
• Every year the river rises more than 30 ft,
flooding the surrounding forests, known as
várzea ("flooded forests").
• There are over 2,100 species & growing of fish
currently recognized in the Amazon Basin.
• THINGS THAT CAN KILL YOU
• Bull Shark- have been found close to 2,500
• Anaconda- One of the world's largest species of
snake, spends most of its time in the water,
with just its nostrils above the surface.
• This region includes territory
belonging to 9 nations. Brazil = 60%,
Peru = 13%, and with minor amounts
in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador,
Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, & French
• The Amazon represents over 1/2 of
the planet's remaining rainforests.
• What are some problems/concerns facing the
• 1. Deforestation- The main sources are human
• Prior to the early 1960s, access to the forest's
interior was highly restricted, and the forest
remained basically intact.
• The soils in the Amazon are productive for just a
short period of time, so farmers are constantly
moving to new areas & clearing more land’
• Between 1991 and 2000, the total area of forest
lost rose from 160,000 to 227,000 sq mi.
• The average annual deforestation rate from
2000-2005 was 8,600 sq mi.
• 2. Climate Change- One computer model of
future climate change caused by greenhouse
gas emissions shows that the Amazon
rainforest could become unsustainable under
conditions of severely reduced rainfall and
increased temperatures, leading to an almost
complete loss of rainforest cover in the basin
LA Drug Issues
• Latin America has been a major source of
drugs in the US for decades & is the principle
target of U.S. drug war efforts.
• 82% of heroin in the U.S. comes from Latin
• Colombia alone produces 3/4 of the world's
• The production & trafficking of illegal drugs
like cocaine, marijuana, opiates, &
methamphetamine generates a multi-billion
dollar black market.
LA Drug Issues
• Since the mid-1970s,
the U.S. government
has invested billions of
dollars in anti-drug
aimed at reducing the
flow of Latin American
drugs to the U.S.
• Multiple aspects of
the drug supply chain
take place in the
region, including drug
crop cultivation, drug
• Drug consumption in
Latin America remains
low, compared to US,
W Europe, & Canada
LA Drug Issues
• Drug Cartels are the driving force behind the
drug trafficking problem.
• Combined, Mexican & Colombian cartels
reportedly “generate, remove, and launder”
between $18 & $39 billion in drug money
• The L.A. & the Caribbean regions have among
the highest crime rates of any region in the
• Some violence is directly related to the
protection of drug trafficking routes.
LA Drug Issues
• Drug & alcohol abuse is widespread among
the urban poor in Latin America.
• In poor neighborhoods in Colombia’s
bigger cities around 1/2 the population use
• 90% of all US cocaine enters through
Mexico or its territorial waters. This is a
shift from the 1980s & early 90s, when the
main smuggling route was through the
Caribbean into Florida.
• Because of its vast size and topographic change,
Mexico has many climate conditions.
• More than ½ of the country lies south of the
Tropic of Cancer.
• In those areas, tropical air masses from the Gulf
of Mexico, the Caribbean, & the Pacific, are
attracted by the relatively low pressures that
occur over land.
• Tropical hurricanes, from the oceans on both
sides of the country, are common in the coastal
lowland areas from August through October.
• Northern Mexico is dominated by the Sonoran
& Chihuahuan deserts, & arid & semiarid
conditions over much of the Mexican Plateau.
• Three main factors that control the features of
South America’s climate.
• 1. 1st & most important is the subtropical highpressure air masses over the S. Atlantic & S.
Pacific & their seasonal shifts in position.
• 2. 2nd is the presence of cold ocean currents
along the continent’s W side. This affects both
air temps & rain along the Pacific coast; on the
Atlantic coast, warm currents are leading.
• 3rd the barrier of the Andes produces a vast
rain shadow over much of the southern end of
• Found in Central
• Main city was
• Conquered by
Cortez & the
Spanish in 1520.
was in the form
• Mainly found in Northern Central
America & Southern Mexico.
• Known for developing a written
language, art, architecture, and math.
• Began & ended around 2000 BC to 250
• The calendar didn’t originate w/ the
Maya, but they fully developed the
• Settled on the W coast of SA.
around 1200 & expanded
amassing great wealth.
• Spanish conquistadors led by
Francisco Pizarro explored
south from Panama, reaching
Inca territory by 1526.
• It was clear that they came to
a land w/ a lot of treasure.
• After one more expedition in
1529, Pizarro returned to
Spain & received royal
approval to conquer the Inca.
• With the arrival of the Europeans following
Christopher Columbus's voyages, the Incas & Aztecs,
lost power to the heavy European invasion.
• Hernándo Cortés seized the Aztec power w/ the help
of local groups who did not favor the Aztecs
• Francisco Pizarro eliminated the Incan rule in Western
• The European powers of Spain & Portugal colonized
the region, which along with the rest of the
uncolonized world, was divided into areas of Spanish
and Portuguese control by the line of demarcation in
1493- gave Spain all areas to the west, and Portugal
all areas to the east (the Portuguese lands in South
America became Brazil)
• The Roman
became the major
political power to
traditional ways of
becoming the only
official religion of
• 1. Crime- Crime and violence prevention and
public security are now important issues for
governments & citizens in Latin America & the
• In 2004, violence was the main cause of death in
Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Mexico
• Homicide rates in Latin America are among the
highest in the world. From the early 1980s
through the mid-1990s, homicide rates increased
by 50 %.
• The major victims of such homicides are young
men, 69 % were between the ages of 15 & 19
• 2. Poverty & inequality- continues to be one
of the region's main challenges
• Latin America is the most un = region in the
• is rooted in exclusionary institutions that have
been perpetuated ever since colonial times &
that have survived different political and
• Inequality has been spread through
generations because of influence that social
groups have in the governmental decision
• Opportunities tend to be based on race, ethnicity, rurality &
gender these have a strong impact on the distribution of
income & political standing.
• According to a study by the World Bank, the richest portion of
the population of Latin America earn 48% of the total income,
while the poorest 10% of the population earn only 1.6% of
• Many countries in Latin America have responded to high
levels of poverty by implementing new, or altering old, social
• These programs provide money to poor families under the
condition that they are used as an investment on their
children‘s regular school attendance and basic preventive
• The purpose of these programs is to address the intergenerational transmission of poverty & to help build social
inclusion by targeting the poor, focusing on children,
delivering transfers to women, and changing social
accountability relationships .
When was it built?
What diseases affected the building?
How long it took?
How many folks were kilt?
How many countries were in control?
What countries had control of it?
Why was it important?
Who owns it now? Panama
When did the US give up control & why?
Who originally started construction?