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  • 1. Luxembourg<br />Description <br />Luxembourg is a grand country located in Western Europe. It is a total of 2,856 sq km in area, about the size of Rhode Island and is made up of all land. Luxembourg borders Belgium, France, and Germany. The population is 491,775, this number may seem small but it really is the 169th largest population in the world. The climate of Luxembourg is modified continental with mild winters and cool summers. The climate is mainly warm in the winter months and cooler in the summer months. The average temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit and they get 32 inches of rain. <br />Geographic Features<br />Luxembourg is made up of regions of the north, the Ardennes region, which has forests and the highest elevation point in the country. The center of the country, the Mullerthal region, is filled with meadows. In the southwest there are vineyards and rocky patches. In the south there are many farms. The rivers of Luxembourg consist of the minor ones: the Eisch, the Alzette, and the Petrusse, and the major ones: the Moselle, the Sure and the Our. These major rivers serve as the setting of many medieval castles, and natural boundaries against Germany. The Moselle flows north and eventually joins with the Rhine River in Germany, it is also navigable. The Sure River flows in an eastern direction and joins into the Moselle; it cuts Luxembourg from east to west. The Our River is a tributary of the Sure and flows along the northeastern border, surrounded by countryside. Luxembourg also contains many lakes the largest being the Upper Sure lake. This lake is the largest in the Grand Duchy and is the center of tourist water attractions and water sports. A dam was built in the 1960s, called the Upper Sure Dam, to help with the countries drinking water requirements. In the north there is also a plentiful amount of beech and oak trees. Along riverbanks the Black Alder and willow trees grow. The wood of these trees can all be used as timber for something else. Luxembourg is home to the rare European Otter which resides in the valleys of the north. The highest point of Luxembourg is at Buurgplaatz, 559m, and the lowest point is at the Moselle River, 133m. <br />History<br />Evidence has been found of ancient civilizations living in Luxembourg. Jewelry, dwellings, and knives have been found to support the idea. In the Middle Ages there was the building of the Luxembourg Castle. The Count of Ardennes, Siegfried I, bought the land on which the castle was located. Towns began to spring about around the fort and the fortress became known as the Bock. The Bourbons, the Hapsburgs, and the Hohenzollerns all had owned the fort which became known as the ‘Gibraltar of the North.’ The House of Luxembourg produced kings of the Holy Roman Empire, Kings of Bohemia, and Archbishops of Trier and Mainz. In 1354, Emperor Charles IV named Luxembourg a duchy. Under a series of different rulers, Luxembourg became one of the seventeen provinces of the Netherlands. When Mary of Burgundy married Maximilian all the provinces became under Hapsburg rule. Luxembourg was annexed by revolutionary France during the War of the First Coalition. Luxembourg fought back in the Peasant’s War but their efforts were quickly stopped. The Congress of Vienna later gave the country freedom and it again became under the Netherland rulers. The Crisis of 1867 brought Luxembourg’s final independence. There was civil unrest due to the want to annex the country to Belgium, Germany, or France. The Treaty of London ended the possible war between France and Prussia and gave Luxembourg its independence. <br />During WWI, Luxembourg was occupied by German troops, but remained neutral. The Country experienced social unrest because of the war, causing the first trade union to be formed. Luxembourg became a member of the League of Nations after the war but also experienced an economic slowdown. During WWII, Luxembourg again stayed neutral. Germany was invaded and occupied by German troops. It was then annexed under the third Reich and was an official part of Germany. Luxembourgers were forced to join the army, taken to labor and concentrations camps, and some were even deported. American forced liberated Luxembourg in 1945. 5,259 Luxembourgers died in WWII. The country reinstated its neutrality and became founding members of NATO and the United Nations. It also became a member of the European Economic Community and began to use the euro. Luxembourg transformed into a strong country. Luxembourg is being represented at the World Expo 2010, in China. It will have its own pavilion and will showcase the country as the ‘Green Heart in Europe.’<br />Political <br />The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy. The chief of state is Grand Duke Henri and the head of government if Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker. The Deputy Prime Minister is Jean Asselborn. The monarch is hereditary and the monarch usually appoints the Prime Minister. The Legislative Branch holds sixty seats which members are voted into. The Judicial Branch has all judges appointed by the monarch for life. The major political parties include the Democratic Reform Party, the Christian Social People’s Party, the Democratic Party, the Green Party, the Left Party, and the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party. Luxembourg currently has no international disputes.<br />Economy<br />Luxembourg has a high income economy with low inflation and low unemployment. It exports steel, natural gas, electricity, oil, rubber products, and glass. Their export partners include Germany, France Belgium, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Spain. They import minerals, metals, foodstuffs, and quality consumer goods. Their import partners include Belgium, Germany, China, France, and the Netherlands. It major trading countries are Germany, Belgium, and France. It major trade association is the European Free Trade Association. <br />Daily Life<br />Luxembourg has the third highest standard of living in the world and the highest in the European Union. The literacy of Luxembourg is defined as everyone above the age of 15 can read and write. The telephone system is very highly developed and has many mobile cell phone users. The internet is used by 387,000 people and there are 220,107 internet hosts in the country. The country has two airports. The military type is the Army, which both men and women can join. Luxembourgers mainly wear the modern Western European clothing styles. Publicly the people are always seen well put together and very neat. <br />Cultural<br />The languages of Luxembourg include Letzebürgesch, French, and German. The major religion is Roman Catholic with a few groups of Protestants and Jews. Luxembourg folklore includes the tale of Melusine, a mermaid who is said to live within the city walls, she must be released by a kiss or by killing the serpent that traps her or she could finish building her quilt, a stitch a year. If she finishes her quilt the whole city will vanish into the walls. Handshakes are the most common greeting or a kiss on the cheek three times. The food of Luxembourg combines French and German influences. Luxembourg is known for its delicious pastries. Music is mainly the modern European along with the music and dance of the traditional folk. <br />Luxembourg<br />Overall, Luxembourg is a magnificent country bound by tradition and modern cultures. I think the country would be a very interesting one to visit and would be a good vacation spot. Place in the heart of Northern Europe, Luxembourg could be described as a small yet impacting country. <br />Flag<br />The flag of Luxembourg is made up of a red stripe a white stripe and a blue stripe, the flag is very similar to the flag of the Netherlands. The flag represents the Grand Duke’s coat of arms, which is a red lion on white and blue striped fields. <br />Map <br />^ - indicates mountain<br />
    • - indicates major city
    Star- Indicates capital city<br />Moselle- indicates rivers<br />Bulgaria<br />Description<br /> Bulgaria is located in southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea. It is between Romania and Turkey. The total area of the country is 110,879 sq. km; this is slightly larger than Tennessee. It borders Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey. It has 354 km. of coastline against the Black Sea. The Climate is temperate with cold damp winters and hot dry summers. The population is 7,204,687 people and is the 98th largest in the world. <br />Geographic Features<br /> Bulgaria has many different geographic forms. In the southwest there are the Rila and Pirin mountains and Rhodope Mountains. The Balkan Mountains run west-east through the middle of the country. In the southeast lie the plains and hills, like the Rose Valley. In the northeast region there are the Strandzha Mountains. The Balkan Peninsula comes from the mountain range. Bulgaria has about 540 rivers, the main one being the Danube, the Iskar, the Struma, and the Maritsa River. Many glacial lakes have formed, this includes Lake Mandrensko. There are also more than 2,200 dam lakes. Deforestation acts have bears, foxes, squirrels, elks, wildcats, and rodents. Trees like broadleaf and needle leaf conifers grow in the mountains. The Black Sea’s fish resources are limited. The highest point of Bulgaria is Musala 2,925m. and the lowest point is the Black Sea 0 m.<br />History<br /> In 632 the Bulgars, from Asia, formed the first Bulgarian State with local tribes. The state became a part of the Byzantine Empire. Several uprisings occurred with the rulers but they were always calmed before any major event occurred. Peter IV started a rebellion that established Bulgaria as an important empire of its own. The Asen Dynasty set up its empire here which was an increase of artistic and economic growth. Eventually the empire fell and became a part of the Ottoman Empire. Turkish troops ruined many of the Bulgarian relics. During the four centuries of Ottoman rule the Bulgarians tried to free themselves from the rule. In 1876 the April Uprising, which was not completely successful, caused the Great Powers to free Bulgarian territories. In 1908, all of Bulgaria was free from other rule. Bulgaria became very militarized and was known as the ‘Prussia of the Balkans.’ The First Balkan War broke out and ended in victory for Bulgaria. The Second Balkan War was a loss and in turn lost all the land they had gained during the first war.<br /> During WWI, Bulgaria sided with the Central Powers. The army suffered 300,000 casualties and 100,000 were killed. As a result of the loss Bulgaria lost even more land. Many refugees came to the country from surrounding Macedonia. Between the two world wars the country had a social unrest. The government turned into a royal authoritarian rule. In 1940, they regained the southern Dobrudzha area and sided with the Axis Powers in WWII. Bulgaria never declared war on the USSR. Germany gave Bulgaria control over parts of Greece and Yugoslavia. During the war, Bulgaria managed to save its Jewish population from undergoing the horrors of the concentration camps. In 1944 the USSR declared war on Bulgaria and overtook it. The Workers’ Party took control and established a communist state, now Bulgaria was sided with the Allies. After the war the People’s Republic of Bulgaria was formed under the influence of the Soviet Union. In 1989 the republic died out along with the fall of the Soviet Union. In 1990, the Bulgarian Socialist Party took control and established the Republic of Bulgaria. In 2004, the country joined NATO, and in 2007 joined the European Union. Today the country is said to have good freedom of speech and human rights records.<br />Political <br /> The Republic of Bulgaria is a parliamentary democracy. The capital of the country is Sofia. The country is made up of twenty eight provinces. The civil and criminal law is based on Roman Law. The chief of state is President Georgi Parvanov and the Vice President is Angel Marin. The head of government is Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and the deputy Prime Ministers are Simeon Djankov and Tsvetan Tsvetanov. The Council of Ministers is nominated by the Prime Minister and elected by the National Assembly. The President and Vice President are elected every five years. The Legislative Branch is composed of 240 seats, elected by popular vote. The Judicial Branch is composed of judges, prosecutors, and investigating magistrates. <br />Economy<br /> The global downturn is slowing the exports of Bulgaria. The economy is an open free market. The exports are clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, and fuels. Their export partners are Greece, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Romania, Belgium, and France. The imports are machinery and equipment, metals and ores, chemicals and plastics, fuels, minerals, and raw materials. Their import partners are Russia, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, Romania, Turkey, Greece, and Austria. The industries of Bulgaria include electricity, gas, water, food, beverages, tobacco, machinery and equipment, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum, and nuclear fuel. The major trade association is the Bulgarian Trade Association.<br />Daily Life<br /> The standard of living in Bulgaria is pretty high. Many local goods are bought for inexpensive prices; the only pricey things are electronics and fuel. 98.2% of the population is literate, people above the age of 15 are able to read and write. The telephone system is not the most modern but is utilized by many people, along with the use of mobile cell phones. There are 2.647 million internet users in Bulgaria and 706,648 internet hosts. There are 212 airports in Bulgaria. The military branches include the Bulgarian Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Naval Forces, and Bulgarian Air Forces. The fashions of Bulgaria are very modern and are things that you would see in stores near you.<br />Cultural<br />The national language of Bulgaria is Bulgarian. Other Languages include Turkish and Roma. The major religion is Bulgarian Orthodox; others include Muslim and other Christian. The diet of the Bulgarian people depends on the local in-season products. Typical restaurants offer salads, meat platters, and meatless platters. Bulgarians mainly marry by personal choice. Bulgarians traditionally work with herbal remedies to help with illnesses. Western European practices are usually the last resort. Many Bulgarians drink and smoke and the stroke rate is one of the highest in the world. Arts and dramatic arts are a big part of the daily life. The field of science has also increased in Bulgaria. Traditions include the horserace, in which the horses are covered in traditional garb and must compete in a race. <br />2010 Winter Olympics<br /> Bulgaria had six biathlon two luge, three short track speed skating, and two snowboarders competing in the Olympics this year. Unfortunately none of them won any medals or did exceptionally well; Bulgaria is still working on becoming an Olympic nation. <br />Bulgaria<br />After completing my research on Bulgaria I have learned about the rough past and the bright looking future. The world is influencing the country greatly and I believe that in a few years the country will produce something great.<br />Flag<br />The flag of Bulgaria consists of three stripes. The white, the green, representing freedom, and the red colors represent the Pan- Slavic culture of the Bulgarian people. <br />Map<br />^ - indicates mountain<br />
    • - indicates major city
    Star- Indicates capital city<br />Danube- indicates rivers<br />Bosnia and Herzegovina<br />Description<br /> Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in southeastern Europe. It borders the Adriatic Sea and Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro. Its total area is 51,197 sq km., this is slightly smaller than West Virginia. It has 20 km of coastline against the Adriatic Sea. The climate consists of hot summers and cold winters. The areas of high elevation have short cool summers and long severe winters, while along the coast they have mild rainy winters. The population is 4,613,414 people and is the 119th largest in the world. <br />Geographic Features<br /> The Dinaric Alps stretches from northwest Slovenia through the country to Montenegro. The central part of the country contains rocky mountains and hills covered with conifers. The northern part is home to agriculturally rich plains. The northwest is home to deep limestone caves and underwater rivers. There are more limestone fields in the south, when combined these fields form the largest karst field in the world. Close to 50% of the country is forested. There are seven major rivers in the country they are: the Una, the Sana, the Vrbas, the Bosna, the Drina, Neretva, and the Sava. Many of the countries lakes drain into the Black Sea, the Adriatic Sea, or into lakes. Many of these rivers are used fishing. The diverse fauna and flora of the country include ferns, flowers, mosses, trees, deer, brown bears, rabbits, fox, and wild boars. <br />History<br /> In the ancient times the Thracians, Illyrians, Celts, and Greek cultures all set up colonies in the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Romans then took over the land and called it the Dalmatia Province. When the Roman Empire divided into Eastern and Western halves, Bosnia was the main western province. Tribes were taking lands and Bosnia and Herzegovina was the settling site of the Croats in the west, and Serbs in the eastern area. This area became a battleground between the two tribes and the Byzantine Empire. The area was completely Christianized by the ninth century. The western area was influenced by the Roman Catholic and the eastern area by the Eastern Orthodox. The country went under Ottoman rule and then under Austro- Hungarian Rule. <br /> The country was annexed to Austria in 1908. The Black Hand, terrorist group, killed the Archduke Ferdinand which led to the First World War. During WWI, Bosnians fought on Austrian platoons, until their surrender to Italy. The country was then annexed to Serbia, which later changed the name to Yugoslavia in 1929. During WWII, Germany invaded Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina were made a part of Croatia. Resistance fighters fought against the NAZI troops. After WWII, the country was again made part of Yugoslavia. In 1992, they declared their independence from the country. The country was made up of Muslims, Serbs, and Croats. Bosnian Serbs did not support the freedom but later joined with the Croats in 1994. In 1995, the interethnic civil unrest came to an end with the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords. The signings established government groups and aided the country. In 1996, NATO sent troops to the country to oversee the peace keeping. In 2004, European Peace Troops replaced the NATO troops. At the end of 2009, there were still 2,000 troops there. The country is currently filled with refugees trying to stay away from the ethnic fighting.<br />Political <br />Bosnia and Herzegovina has an emerging federal democratic republic. The capital city is Sarajevo. The chief of state is Chairman of the Presidency Haris Silajdzic, the Bosniak, Zeljko Komsic, the Croat, and Nebojsa Radmanovic, the Serb. The three take the presidency rotating every eight months. The head of government is Chairmen of the Council of Ministers Nikola Spiric. The Council of Ministers is voted in by a Council Chairman. The Legislative Branch holds fifteen seats, five for each ethnic group. The President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is Borjana Kristo and the vice presidents are Spomenka Micic and Mirsad Kebo. President of the Republika Srpska is Rajko Kuzmanovic. Every different political group that holds power has different representatives most dividing the power evenly to avoid future disrupt between the parties.<br />Economy<br />The warring in the country has caused the production to slow and for unemployment to skyrocket to 40%. 25% of the population lives below the poverty line. The main exports are metals, clothing, and wood products. Their export countries are Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Hungary. The main imports are machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, and foodstuffs. Their main importing partners are Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Turkey, and Austria. It is a full member of the Central European Free Trade Agreement. Its economy was also hit by the global downturn. <br />Daily Life <br />The standard of living in Bosnia and Herzegovina is very low right now due to the ethnic turmoil. The literacy rate is 96.7% of the people over 15 can read and write. There are many people starting to use cell phones and landlines are becoming more popular. There are 1.308 million internet users and 69,370 internet hosts in the country. There are 25 airports in the country. Military Branches include the Bosnia and Herzegovina Armed Forces: Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Air and Air Defense Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are about 7,269 refugees and 131,600 displaced people living in the country right now. The law enforcement is very low so drug use is common. <br />Cultural<br />The languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina include Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian. The major religions include Muslim, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and other religions. No money is given to fund the arts so there has been a decrease in that area. Tradition for the people of this country includes the passing of oral traditions, the people tell stories that are passed down for centuries. Many current books that have been produced are non-fiction accounts of the war. Many Bosnians are friendly and will greet each other with three kisses. The food of this area is a mixture of Turkish and Eastern European Cuisine. Drinking of alcohol has been banned in some parts of the country. Music is mainly mainstream and traditional folk songs. <br />2010 Winter Olympics<br />Bosnia and Herzegovina had five athletes compete in the games. Their events were alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, and biathlon. Unfortunately none of the athletes received medals, although they did make it to the amazing games. <br />Bosnia and Herzegovina<br />After finishing my project I have a whole new respect for the people of this country. They have to live everyday knowing that an underlying turmoil is waiting to overtake the moment. I realize how lucky I am to be living in a peaceful country and it makes me proud to be an American. <br />Flag<br />The flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of a blue background with a yellow triangle and white stars. The three points of the triangle stand for the Bosnians, the Croats, and the Serbs. The stars represent Europe. The colors represent peace and are often associated with Bosnia. <br />Map<br />^ - indicates mountain<br />
    • - indicates major city
    Star- Indicates capital city<br />Sava- indicates rivers<br />Puerto Rico<br /> Description<br />Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island set between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. It does not border land but is east of the Dominican Republic. The total area is 13,790 sq km. which is about slightly less than three times the size of Rhode Island. The climate is tropical marine, mild, with little season climate change. The population is 3,966,213 people and is the 128th largest in the world.<br />Geographic Features<br />Puerto Rico is a mainly mountainous with coastal plains in the north. The mountains include La Cordillera Central, La Sierra Bermeja, La Sierra de Cayey and La Sierra de Luquillo. From the west coast to the center of the island there are many karst regions. The flatlands are surrounded by valleys. Rain forest covers part of the island contained in the National park El Yunque. Puerto Rico is also made up of islands right off the coast of the main island. There are 1,200 bodies of water in Puerto Rico. The longest rivers of Puerto Rico include Grande de Añasco, Rio Culebrinas, Grande de Arecibo, Rio de La Plata, Rio de Bayamón and Grande de Loíza. These rivers mainly drain to the north coast. The lakes of Puerto Rico are mainly man made. The largest lake in Puerto Rico is Lake Loíza. Coconut palms and banana trees are found all over the island. Mangroves, hibiscus, Wild Orchids, Spanish Elms, Satinwood, and mahogany are also found, along with many others, on the island. Iguanas, mongooses, Coqui frogs, Puerto Rican Parrots, and leatherback turtles are just some examples of the diverse wildlife found in Puerto Rico. <br />History<br /> Tainos were the inhabitants of Puerto Rico when Christopher Columbus first arrived. The tribe was filled of friendly farmers and fishermen. They had a written language of carving symbols on rocks, known as petroglyphs. The Tainos spoke Arawakan, which was described as sweetly beautiful. After Columbus discovered the island in 1493, Juan Ponce de Leon colonized it and became the first governor in 1508. They were looking for gold and worked many of the natives to death so they had to have African slaves brought over to help with the labor. People from Europe began to move to the island and married the natives. In 1898, the United States invaded Puerto Rico. This happened because the U.S. was given the land after the Spanish-American War. A civil government was established consisting of appointed governors, all of whom were Americans. In 1917 La Ley Jones granted all Puerto Ricans American citizenship, this meant they could be drafted for the armed forces. After many Puerto Ricans aided American troops in both world wars, the country became a Commonwealth, in 1952. This meant they had ‘limited self-rule’ Puerto Rico was just like an American state. They cannot vote in presidential elections while on the island. A petition has just been made asking the government to consider the 65th Infantry Regiment, the Borinqueneers, for a commemorative U.S. stamp. They want this to honor all the Puerto Rican troops that have fought next to American soldiers throughout history and into today.<br />Political <br />The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States. The capital is San Juan. The chief of state is the President of the U.S. Barack Obama with the Vice President Joe Biden. The head of government is Governor Luis Fortuno. Residents of Puerto Rico cannot vote in presidential elections but they can if they are in the United States. Residents vote on a commissioner to be the representative in the House of Representatives on a four year term, he cannot, however; vote on the house floor. <br />Economy<br />Puerto Rico has a very diverse dynamic economy. The United States invest heavily into the country. Exports include chemicals, electronics, apparel, canned tuna, rum, beverage concentrates, and medical equipment. Imports include chemicals, machinery and equipment, clothing, food, fish, and petroleum products. In 1992, Puerto Rico signed the North American Free Trade Agreement and in 1994 the Free Trade Board was established. Puerto Rico remains a commonwealth, because of this the state cannot pick their trade partners; everything is overseen by the United States. Major trading partners include the United Sates, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, Ireland, and Japan. <br />Daily Life<br />The standard of living in Puerto Rico is good right now. The literacy rate is 94.1% of 15 and older Puerto Ricans can read and write. One million people use the internet and there are 700 internet hosts. The phone system is modern with the United States phone system and the use of mobile cell phones is higher than landlines. There are 29 airports in the country. The military forces are paramilitary National Guard and a Police Force. The defense of the country is the responsibility of the United States. Many Dominican immigrants have recently been illegally crossing the border in search of better work. The clothing of Puerto Rico consists of traditional and modern styles mainly made by lightweight natural fibers, to suit the weather conditions. The men wear Guayaberas which are lightweight shirts worn over an undershirt.<br />Cultural <br />Puerto Rican people represent a mix of many cultures. The languages spoken here are Spanish and English. The religions include Roman Catholic and Protestant. Puerto Ricans use indigenous ingredients to blend the cultural cuisines of Spanish, African, Taino, and American influences. Today’s music in Puerto Rico consists of salsa, folk music, modern singers like Ricky Martin, and classical Puerto Rican music. Dominoes are played in almost every bar in Puerto Rico. When young Puerto Rican girls turn fifteen they have a special coming out party known as a Quinceañero. This is very similar to the American sweet sixteen parties. The party always has a traditional dance performed by the lady and the members of her court. <br />Puerto Rico<br />Puerto Rico remains one of the places I must see during my lifetime. This project just enhanced my want to go visit the enchanting island. I think that the people are colorful and friendly, the food sounds delicious, and the traditions sound interesting and rooted in a deep history. <br />Flag<br />The Puerto Rican flag consist of horizontal red and white stripes and a blue triangle with a white star in the center. The flag was influenced by the American and the Cuban flag.<br /> <br />Map<br />^ - indicates mountain<br />
    • - indicates major city
    Star- Indicates capital city<br />All surrounding islands, on map, are part of Puerto Rico. <br />Montenegro<br />Description<br /> Montenegro is located in southeastern Europe between the Adriatic Sea and Serbia. The country borders Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, and Serbia. It has 293.5 km of coastline against the Adriatic Sea. Montenegro has an area of 13,812 sq km. this is slightly smaller than Connecticut. The climate is that of a Mediterranean climate; hot dry summers and autumns and cold winters with heavy inland snowfalls. The population is 672,180 people and is the 165th largest in the world.<br />Geographic Features<br />Montenegro is almost entirely mountainous. In the west there is the Montenegrin karst. In the north is the Brda region which is home to many plains. The east contains forests and pastures. The country is located at the southern end of the Dinaric Alps. The Zeta River separates the west from the east. The country’s largest lake, Lake Scutari, forms the border with Albania in the southern end. The country contains fifteen mountains. Fauna and flora indigenous to the area includes hare, pheasant, deer, stag, wild boar, fox, chamois, mouflon, crane, duck, and goose. The lakes and rivers are home to the Softmouth fish which are the ancient noble trout of Montenegro. The lakes include Lake Plav, Ljucha River, and the Tara River, just to name a few. These bodies of water are homes to many fish and sea animals which produce food and a source of fish sport for the local Montenegrins. An interesting tourist location is the Mrtvica canyon which was an ancient formation in the beautiful country.<br />History<br /> From 500-700 A.D. Montenegrins began to move into the lands called Slavia. The tribes were originally Pagans who soon adopted Roman Christianity. In 1809, Napoleon annexed Montenegro and other Slavic states onto his vast empire. In 1876, Montenegro declared a war on Turkey in order to gain its own monarchy, this was established in 1878 when the country was given its freedom. In 1910, Montenegro was recognized as a kingdom and soon declared war on Turkey, which started the First Balkan War. After the war the country gained a lot of land from the annexation of Northern Macedonia. After another start and finish of the Second Balkan War, which ended in more land gain for the country, they got rid of their king and joined the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes .During WWI, Montenegro was sided with the Allied Powers and was occupied by Austria Hungary. In 1917 the Corfu declaration joined Serbia and Montenegro. During WWII, parts of Montenegro were annexed by fascist Italy. In 1929, the kingdom changed its name to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In 1991, parts of Yugoslavia left the kingdom leaving Montenegro and Serbia. In 1998, the president of the country called for the full autonomy of the Kosovo region. Starting in 1999, NATO forces began to bomb the country due to its support of the Bosnian Serb war effort. Also in 1999, the country proposed dissolving Yugoslavia and replacing it with a loose relationship between the countries. In 2002, Yugoslavia was ended and was replaced as Serbia and Montenegro. In 2006, Montenegro was seceded from Serbia and Yugoslavia was completely dead. Recently, Malta and Montenegro have signed a agreement stating that the countries will allow readmission of refugees into their home countries.<br />Politics<br />Montenegro, with the capital city Podgorica, is a republic. The chief of state is the President, currently President Filip Vujanoic. The head of government is the Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic. Ministries act as the cabinet. President serves five year term, and he nominates the Prime Minister who is accepted by the council. The Legislative Branch has 81 seats with members on a four year term and the Judicial Branch consists of five judges with nine year terms and Supreme Court judges with life tenure. <br />Economy<br />Montenegro is a member of the World Bank. Its industries include steelmaking, aluminum, agricultural processing, consumer goods, and tourism. The exports include grains, tobacco, citrus, potatoes, olives, grapes, and aluminum. Its main trade partners are Switzerland, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Greece. The country is still waiting to become part of the European Union. <br />Daily Life<br />The standard of living in Montenegro has recently been low due to unemployment rates. The current unemployment rate is 14.7%. Currently Montenegro is a transit country for the trafficking of women and girls to the rest of Western Europe. The internet is used by 294,000 people and there are 3,245 internet hosts. The telephone system is modern and has access to European satellites; mobile phones are becoming more popular. There are five airports in the country. The military branches include Armed Forces of the Republic of Montenegro; Army, Navy, and Air Force. The country plans to establish a fully professional armed force. <br />Cultural <br />The languages of Montenegro include Serbian, Montenegrin, Bosnian, and Albanian. The religions include Orthodox, Muslim, and Catholic. Traditional gender roles are still present in Montenegro and prevent women from showing full social status. A high level of domestic abuse is said to go on throughout the country. A diet of a Montenegrin includes breads, meats, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Peppers are found in many dishes, and the national dish is a meat patty. It is very traditional for the children to continue in the line of work of their parents. Professional troupes go from town to town performing traditional dances and playing the folk music.<br />2010 Winter Olympics <br />Montenegro had one participant in the 2010 winter Olympics. Bojan Kosic is an alpine skier who ranked 40th in the Slalom and 61st in the Giant Slalom. I think that Montenegro is very proud of this fine achievement. <br />Montenegro<br />After completing this project I realized that this country had a lot of things to worry about. First of all the government is barely stable, the president was accused of killing off enemies, and one of the main incomes is from smuggling. I also strongly dislike the treatment of women both at home and in the human trafficking. I think that Montenegro has a long way to go but if they want to succeed then they will. <br />Flag<br />The flag of Montenegro is a yellow outline of a red background with the coat of arms in the center. The flag really represents the colors and the emblem of Montenegro.<br />Map<br />^ - indicates mountain<br />
    • - indicates major city
    Star- Indicates capital city<br />Tara- indicates rivers<br />Madagascar <br />Description<br />Madagascar is located in southern Africa. It is an island in the Indian Ocean east of Mozambique. It has 4,828 km of coastline against the Indian Ocean. The area is 587,041 sq km. which is slightly less than twice the size of Arizona. It has a tropical climate along the coastline, with a temperate inland climate, and an arid climate in the south. The population is 20,653,556 people and is the 56th largest in the world. <br />Geographic Features<br />Madagascar is the fifth largest island in the world. The east coast of the island is made up of a band of narrow lowlands. It is also home to the natural made lagoon, Canal des Pangalanes, which is used for transportation and for fishing. In the north is the Tsaratanana Massif, the highest point on the island. The central highlands contain hills, granite outcrops, extinct volcanoes, and plains and marshes. The west coast is home to many harbors formed by age old sedimentary formations. It is also home to oil fields and swamps. The southwest contains the Mahafaly Plateau and the desert region of the island. The major rivers include the Mananara and Mongoro Rivers, and the Maningory, which flows from Lake Alaotra. Other major rivers include the Mangoky, the Ikopa, and the Betsiboka Rivers; these rivers can sometimes run dry in the hot summer months. Important lakes include Lake Kinkony and Lake Ihotry. Madagascar is home to the traveler’s tree, raffia trees, and baobabs trees. Many native African safari animals do not exist on Madagascar nor do the venomous snakes. Madagascar is home to sixty six indigenous animals including bamboo lemur, the Indri, the flying fox, and the Fossa. <br />History<br />2000 years ago, the island of Madagascar began to be settled by Indonesian and African people. In the 1700’s the Sakalava people of the western coast establish the first kingdom. In the 1800s the country was open to European missionaries and a mini Industrial Revolution occurred. In 1883, the Franco- Malagasy war ends in a treaty that gives France more influence on the island. In 1896, after France invades and takes over the island, they annex it as a colony. In 1947, a uprising against the French is crushed and more than 80,000 Malagasy are killed. In 1960, Madagascar gains its independence. A dictatorship was overthrown into a democracy, which failed and the dictator, Ratsiraka, is voted back into power. In 2001, the presidential elections elected Marc Ravalomanana. Ratsiraka refused to accept the result and set up his own government in his town. The government army and many supporters continued to hold Ravalomanana as the true president and Ratsiraka fled to France in 2002. In 2004, terrible cyclones hit the island leaving thousands homeless and the country in a need to reform. President Ravalomanana dissolved Parliament after they voted for the autonomy of provinces; he elects his own staff into the house seats. In 2009, a town mayor, Andry Rajoelina asks Ravalomanana to resign. After Ravalomanana resigns, Rajoelina declares himself the president with the backing of government and people. He then gets rid of Parliament and sets up two transitional bodies to run the island. A few months later, Rajoelina announces that he is abandoning the power sharing deal. <br />Political<br />The Republic of Madagascar is a republic. With the capital city Antananarivo, the president is Andry Rajoelina and the head of government is Prime Minister Albert Camille Vital. The legislative branch of the government is filled with 100 seats of the Senate. The Judicial Branch consists of the Supreme Court and the High Constitutional Court. <br />Economy<br />With the power sharing agreement still in the process of finalization, the country is in a bit of an economic stop. The islands failure to comply with the African Growth and Opportunity Act terminated the country’s duty free access. The industries include meat processing, seafood, soap, breweries, tanneries, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembling plant, paper, petroleum, and tourism. The exports include coffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar, cotton, cloth, chromite, and petroleum products. Exporting partners include France, the United States, and Germany. The country imports capital goods, petroleum, consumer goods, and food. Madagascar’s import partners include China, Bahrain, France, South Africa, the United States, and India. Madagascar is a member of the World Bank System. <br />Daily Life<br />The standard of living in Madagascar has recently gone down due to the inner government turmoil. The literacy rate is 68.9% of people over 15 can read and write. This low number shows the lack of attending school but instead working. The country has 316,100 internet users and 27,807 internet hosts. Madagascar’s phone system is above average for the region in which it is placed, mobile cell phones are extremely popular. The island has 89 airports. Military branches include the People’s Armed Forces: Intervention Force, Development Force, and the Aeronaval Force and the National Gendarmerie force. Only men can sign up for the Armed forces. The island also is said to be a transporter of heroin and other illicit drugs. <br />Cultural <br />The official languages of Madagascar are English, French, and Malagasy. The religions are many indigenous beliefs, Christian, and Muslim. Rice is the main staple in the Madagascar diet. Most times it is accompanied by a fish or meat, and another side dish to add flavor to the meal. Many houses are made of local natural material, made sort of like shacks. New laws were recently made to improve the treatment of women, trying to make them equal to men. One tradition of the people of Madagascar is to have arranged marriages. The families pick the spouses from a family they have known for three centuries. Not everyone partakes in this cultural experience but some do. The music of Madagascar is always a jumpy dance rhythmic sound.<br />Madagascar<br />After finishing my report I realized that Madagascar is a nature lover’s paradise. I think that I would like to visit this country because it has many interesting resources and places to go. I think that the government will clear itself up with the help of a stronger nation. Overall, I think that Madagascar is filled with ethnic people and a diverse wildlife. <br />Flag<br />The flag of Madagascar contains a vertical white rectangle and horizontal green and red stripes. Red stands for sovereignty, green stands for hope, and white stands for purity.<br />Map <br />^ - indicates mountain<br />
    • - indicates major city
    Star- Indicates capital city<br />Algeria<br />Description<br />Algeria is a country in Northern Africa bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Algeria borders Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Tunisia, and the Western Sahara. The area of Algeria is 2,381,741 sq km. which is slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas. The climate is arid to semiarid with mild wet winters and hot dry summers along the Mediterranean coast. On the high plateau it is drier with cold winters and hot summers. The sirocco wind is dry dust and sand laden wind that is very common in the summer. The population is 34,178,188 people and is the 35th largest in the world. <br />Geographic Features<br />Algeria is the second largest country in Africa and the tenth largest country in the world. The Tell region, in the north, is along the coast and is made up of hilly sub-coastal zones and is home to 90% of the population. South of this is the Tell Atlas mountain range with peaks and valleys. The High Plateaus is a massive area composed of barren plains. The next area is the Sahara Atlas mountain range. South of this lies the Sahara desert, which covers 80% of Algeria’s land. Many of the country’s rivers are short run around the mountain ranges. The Shellif River is the country’s most important river used for fishing. Algeria’s most prominent lakes include Lake Fezara, Lake Sebkha, and Lake ElMelah. Olive and Cork oak trees are in the north of the country. The mountains contain Aleppo pine, juniper, and evergreen oak trees. The grape vine is indigenous to the country. Indigenous animals include camels, jackals, jerboas, rabbits, poisonous and non-poisonous snakes, scorpions, and many insects. <br />History<br />In the B.C. era and the early A.D. centuries, Algeria was part of Mauretania, a client of Rome. The United States declared war on Algeria in 1815, to stop the robberies by Barbary pirates. In 1830, the French occupied Algiers. During WWI, a new sense of Muslim leadership grew profoundly in the country. Many groups formed in opposition to French rule. From 1954-1962, Algerians fought in the Algerian War of Independence. This long eight year war was a vicious attempt to free a long kept colony. In 1962, France granted Algeria its independence. In 1963, they elected their first President Ahmed Ben Bella. The government was corrupt and Col. Houari Boumedienne overthrew Ben Bella and pledged to end corruption. In 1976 a new constitution confirmed the commitment to socialism and made Islam the state religion. 1986 was a time of economic inflation and high unemployment. In 1991, the government began to make a parliament which ended in the Islamic Salvation Front winning 188 seats. In 1992, the president resigned and a five member Higher State Council under the leadership of Mohamed Boudiaf takes control. He is assassinated a few months later after the Islamic Salvation Front is dissolved. Several presidents later the country was still experiencing turmoil from groups opposed to the civil concord. An estimated 100,000 lives have been lost to violence since 1992. Algiers has been the sight of bombs and violence since 1992. In 2007, one such bombs kills 33 and injures over 100 people in the capital city, Al-Qaeda took responsibility for the bomb. In 2009, parliament changed the constitution in order for President Bouteflika to run for a third term, which he won. The capital city and the country is still experiencing inner turmoil.<br />Political<br />The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria is a republic. The capital city is Algiers. The President is Abdelaziz Bouteflika; he is the chief of state and the head of government. The cabinets of ministers are elected by the president. The Legislative branch consists of the Council of the Nation and the National People’s Assembly. The Judicial Branch is the Supreme Court. <br />Economy<br />Recent government actions have imposed stricter controls on foreign investment. Industries include petroleum, natural gas, light industries, mining, electrical, petrochemical, and food processing. Exports include petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products. Export partners include the United States, Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands, and Canada. Imports include capital goods, foodstuffs, and consumer goods. Importing partners include France, Italy, China, Germany, Spain, and the United States. The country has an unemployment rate of 12.4%. Trade has recently been put on a stricter schedule. <br />Daily Life<br />The government is currently trying to improve the standard of living. The literacy rate is 69.9% of people over the age of 15 can read and write. The internet is used by 4.1 million people and there are 510 internet hosts. The country’s telephone system is weak and needs to be improved but the use of phones, cellular and main line is very high. The country has 143 airports. The military branches include the People’s National Army, Land Forces, Navy of the Republic of Algeria, and the Territorial Air Defense Force. The country of Algeria has government run camps for the refugees from the war torn country of Western Sahara. Algeria is known as a Tier 2 country because it does not stop the trafficking of humans.<br />Cultural <br />The religions of Algeria include Sunni Muslim, 99% and 1% Christian and Jewish. Languages spoken in the country are Arabic, French, and Berber dialects. Algeria has a thriving handcraft industry. The country has a wide variety of workers who are specialized in making carpets, ceramics, leather and pottery. The musical genre is known as Rai. It is a pop-flavored opinionated form of folk music. Andalusi music is a more classical genre. Algerian cuisine consists of a mix of French, Berber, Turkish, and Arab flavors. It is either extremely mild or packed with flavor. Traditions include the following of Muslim holidays and prayer services. <br />Algeria<br />After completing my research I think that Algeria would be an interesting place to visit for a day or two. I think that the country is very violence ridden and that there are many groups of extremists. I do not like that the country does not do enough to stop the trafficking of humans, but I do think that the nature of the country is very beautiful. <br />Flag<br />The flag of Algeria consists of two rectangles of white and green with a crescent and a star in the center. The green color represents Islam, the white represents purity and peace and the red represents liberty. The crescent and star is a symbol of Islam which is means happiness. <br />Map<br />^ - indicates mountain<br />
    • - indicates major city
    Star- Indicates capital city<br />Gabon<br />Description<br />Gabon is located in Western Africa bordering the Atlantic Ocean at the equator. The country borders Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, and Equilateral Guinea. Gabon has 885 km of coastline against the Atlantic Ocean. The area is 267,667 sq km. which is slightly smaller than Colorado. The climate is tropical always hot and humid. Gabon’s population is 1,514,993 people and is the 151st largest in the world. <br />Geographic Features <br />The coast is home to wide plains. The rest of the terrain is mainly hills, plateaus, and mountains. The main river is the Ogooue River, which drains most of Gabon of its rainwater. Bouenguidi River and the Ivindo River are also important waterways. About 85% of the country is covered in a heavy rainforest. Wildlife includes elephants, buffalo, antelope, situtungas, lions, panthers, crocodiles, gorillas, and hundreds of species of birds. The trees are a variety and can grow to 200 feet. Papyrus grass is a very common plant in the country.<br />History <br />At about 1000 A.D. Bantu people migrated from the south to Gabon. In 1470, Portuguese traders trade with Gabon. In 1839, Gabon became a sovereignty of France. During WWII, French forces launched attacks on Axis territories in Africa, in the Battle of Gabon. The Free French forces ended in taking Libreville from Vichy French forces. In 1960, Gabon becomes independent. Leon Mba is elected as first president and French forces help quell a military coup. In 1967, Omar Bongo became president and created a dictatorial one-party state. In the 1970s and 80’s rapid economic development made the country one of Africa’s most wealthy nations. In 1990, opposition parties are legalized and Bongo wins reelection for a seven year term. In 2003, an amendment to the constitution allowed Bongo to run for president as many times as he wants to. Bongo’s government faces accusations of fraud in 2006, but still manages to win parliamentary elections. In 2009, Bongo died in a treatment center in Spain. A few months ago the son of Bongo, Ali Ben Bongo won the presidential election. Disputers say that is was fixed to ensure a dynastic succession.<br />Political <br />The Gabonese Republic is a republic and a multiparty presidential regime. The capital of the country is Libreville. The chief of state is President Ali Ben Bongo. The head of government is Prime Minister Paul Biyoghe; he appoints the council of ministers. The president runs for a seven year term, but there is no run limit. The Legislative Branch consists of 102 seats of the Senate and 120 seats of the National Assembly. The Judicial Branch consists of the Supreme Court.<br />Economy<br /> Gabon is one of the wealthier African nations. The country however is home to many poor. Industries include petroleum extraction and refining; manganese, gold; chemicals, ship repair, food and beverages, textiles, lumbering and plywood, and cement. Exports include crude oil, timber, manganese, and uranium. Exporting partners include the United States, China, Japan, France, Spain, and Trinidad and Tobago. Imports include machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, and construction materials. Importing partners include France, China, Belgium, Cameroon, and the Netherlands. Gabon’s unemployment rate is 21%, which is rather low for a country of this income rate. There are many wealthy people and then many poor; there is almost no middle ground. <br />Daily Life<br />The standard of living in Gabon is very low. There is very wealthy upper class but the majority of the people are poor. The literacy rate is 63.2% of people over the age of 15 can read and write. The country has 90,000 internet users and 91 internet hosts. The phone system is adequate for African standards and is currently increasing. Many people use cell phones. Gabon has 44 airports. The military branches include the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the National Gendarmerie, and the National Police. Gabon is on the Tier 2 watch list because many children are trafficked for forced labor and girls and women are sold into sexual exploitation. <br />Cultural <br />The languages of Gabon include French, Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou, Eschira, and Bandjabi. The religions include Roman Catholic, Muslim, and Christian. Meat is hunted from bushes and protein comes from fish. Other food includes vegetables and fruits. The main starch in their diet is Cassava. Children born into married couples belong to the father. Women often try to have children out of wedlock due to the want to have something if their marriage should fail. Few of the marriages are legal in the country due to the fact that the marriages must be done in a mayor’s hall in a city. Men can have more than one wife but it is expensive and costly to keep up with. Hospitals are ill-equipped and the health system is not strong at all. <br />Gabon<br />I think that the country of Gabon is interesting. I do not like the fact that trafficking goes on here or the fact that polygamy is accepted. I do like the climate and terrain. I do not think that the country is well prepared to deal with the AIDS epidemic. Overall, the country is a unique country in Africa.<br />Flag<br />The flag of Gabon is three horizontal stripes one green, one yellow, and one blue. Green represents the country’s forests and natural resources, yellow represents the equator and the sun, and blue represents the sea.<br />Map <br />^ - indicates mountain<br />
    • - indicates major city
    Star- Indicates capital city<br />Ogooue- indicates rivers<br />British Virgin Islands<br />Description<br />The British Virgin Islands are in the Caribbean. They are east of Puerto Rico between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. The area is 151 sq km. about .9 times the size of Washington D.C. It is comprised of 16 inhabited islands and more than 20 uninhabited islands. The climate is subtropical humid with temperatures moderated by trade winds. The population is 24,491 and is the 215th largest in the world. <br />Geographic Features <br />Most of the islands are volcanic in origin and have hilly and rugged terrain. Anegada is the only island with a flatland composed of limestone and coral. The main islands include Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke. Other islands include Beef Island, Copper Island, Ginger Island, Great Camanoe, Great Thatch, Guana Island, Little Thatch Island, Mosquito Island, Necker Island, Norman Island, Peter Island, and Salt Island. Tortola Island holds the highest elevation of all the Virgin Islands, Mount Sage which is 1,710 feet high. Little streams inhabit the places around the forested area of the islands. On the mountain side of the islands prevails the wild tamarind, a hardy tree with deep roots. Tall guinea grass covers the fields. Frangipani trees and turpentine trees, along with the White Cedar also cover the island. Fruit trees are also on the island, along with the Century plant that blooms every eight years. The Anegada Rock Iguana and the Green Iguana are indigenous to the islands. The only mammal is the mongoose. Other reptiles and hundreds of birds call the islands their homes. The Sir Francis Drake Channel separates some of the islands, along with the Anegada Passage. <br />History<br />The British Virgin Islands were first inhabited by the Arawak and then the Carib Indians. In 1648, The Dutch settled the islands. The English then annexed the islands 1672. They were part of the Leeward Islands Federation from 1872-1956. In 1967, the islands were made a British dependent territory, with a locally elected legislature and chief minister, and made the U.S. dollar its official currency. The island maintains a social and economic stability. <br />Political <br />The British Virgin Islands are self governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom. The capital is Road town. The chief of state is Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor David Pearey. The head of government if Premier Ralph T. O’Neal. The Legislative Branch is a unicameral House of Assembly with 13 elected seats. The Judicial Branch is the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.<br />Economy<br />The economy of the British Virgin Islands is one of the most prosperous and stable in the Caribbean. Industries include tourism, light industry, construction, rum, concrete block, and offshore financial center. Exports include rum, fresh fish, fruits, animals, gravel, and sand. Imports include building materials, automobiles, foodstuffs, and machinery. The unemployment rate is 3.6%. Tourism generates about 45% of the income for the islands. <br />Daily Life<br />The standard of living in the islands is very high. The literacy rate is 97.8%of people over the age of 15 can read and write. There are 4,000 internet users on the islands and 581 internet hosts. The islands have the worldwide telephone service and cell phones are not extremely popular. There are four airports to the islands. Defense of the islands is the responsibility of the United Kingdom. The islands are the transshipment point for many South American drugs that are going to Europe and to America. <br />Cultural<br />The language spoken on the island is English. The religions are Protestant and Roman Catholic. The British Virgin Island diet includes johnnycakes, peas and rice, fish and salt fish, mutton and goat; " ground provisions" like Tania, sweet potatoes and plantains, and many types of soups. Buildings are often colorful indicating the Caribbean architecture. The society is divided into “belongers” and “non-belongers” These groups depend on your citizenship on the islands. Belongers are given unrestricted landowning rights and are preferred for hiring. Islanders are very polite and like to be treated in a similar manner. The main music is Caribbean music, which is rhythmic and loud. 90% of the population is of African descent. <br />British Virgin Islands<br />After completing this assignment I realize that these islands are knee deep in culture and life. I think that the islands would be a very interesting place to visit and to even live. The islands have a huge wildlife and the food sounds wonderful. I think that tourism is a great thing because it keeps these islands on the top of the economic status. <br />Flag<br />The flag of the British Virgin Islands is blue with the United Kingdom flag in the corner and the Virgin Islander Coat of Arms in the other corner. The coat of arms is a woman surrounded by six oil lamps on either side with the Latin word ‘vigilate’ meaning ‘be watchful.’<br />Map<br />^ - indicates mountain<br />
    • - indicates major city
    Star- Indicates capital city<br />Blue Writing- indicates bodies of water<br />Benin <br />Description<br />Benin is located in Western Africa bordering the Bight of Benin. The country borders Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo. The country has 121 km of coastline against the Bight of Benin. The country has an area of 112,622 sq km. which is slightly smaller than Pennsylvania. The climate is tropical hot with humidity in the south and semiarid in the north. The population is 8,791,832 people and is the 90th largest in the world. <br />Geographic Features<br />The coastal plain is sandy and filled with marshes, lakes, and lagoons. Southern Benin is filled with plateaus split by valleys running north to south along the Couffo, Zou, and Oueme Rivers. This area is part of the World Wildlife Fund. There is then the area of flatlands with rocky hills. Along the northwest border is the Atacora Mountain Range. The savanna of the country is covered in tiny shrubs and huge Baobab trees. Elephants, lions, antelopes, hippos, and monkeys all live in Benin. Benin is also home to the painted hunting dog. About 31%of the land area of Benin is wooded. <br />History<br />Benin was the site of the Dahomey kingdom. In 1892, the kingdom was named a French protectorate. In 1904, Dahomey was formed into French West Africa. French conscripted men to participate in both WWI and WWII. By the end of WWII the economy was low and discontent was steadily rising. In 1946, Dahomey becomes a French overseas territory. 1958 the republic was declared and Dahomey became an independent state, it joined the United Nations in 1960. 1975 marked the renaming of the country to the People’s Republic of Benin. 1989 was the end of the Marxism and Leninism government. In 1990 the country became the Republic of Benin. During the 90’s and the twenty first century the country held presidential elections and began to clamp down on child trafficking. In 2009, the country began a mass immunization of children to protect against the polio virus. <br />Political <br />The Republic of Benin is a republic. The capital city is Porto-Novo. The chief of state and the head of government is President Thomas Yayi Boni. The Legislative branch is a unicameral National Assembly with 83 seats. The Judicial branch is the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, and High Court of Justice. <br />Economy <br />The economy of Benin is still underdeveloped. Industries include textiles, food processing, construction materials, and cement. Exports include cotton, cashews, shea butter, textiles, palm products, and seafood. Exporting partners include China, India, Japan, Niger, the United States, and Nigeria. Imports include foodstuffs, capital goods, and petroleum products. Importing partners include China, the United States, Thailand, France, and Malaysia. The population living below the poverty line is 37.4%. An insufficient electrical supply is greatly hurting the economy. <br />Daily Life<br />The standard of living in Benin is not very high. The literacy rate is 34.7% of people over the age of 15 can read and write. The country has 160,000 users of the internet and has 1,155 internet hosts. The country’s telephone system is inadequate although the use of cell phones is popular. The country has five airports. The military branches include the Benin Armed Forces, the Army, Benin Navy, and the Benin People’s Air force. The country has 9,444 people who are refugees of Togo living in Benin right now. Benin is the transshipment place of cocaine headed for Western Europe. Traditional clothing of tribes is worn in ceremonies and in daily life, in cities modern clothing is worn. <br />Cultural<br />The languages of Benin include French, Fon and Yoruba, and tribal languages. Religions include Christian, Muslim, and Vodoun. Cooking is usually done outside or in a different room than the main house. Many homes do not have refrigeration so families need to go to the marketplace daily. Food is prepared at least twice a day, at midday and in the evening. Women are not treated equally to men in Benin, subsequently; 65% of girls do not attend school. Individual choice of marriage is becoming a more common practice. Over three-quarters of the population do not have access to healthcare. AIDS is a big factor in Benin and is straining the healthcare system. Music is tribal and is used from hand-made instruments. The people of Benin are very polite and do not like to be treated in any other way.<br />Benin<br /> After completing my project I have a great respect for Benin. This country is working to stop surrounding countries from the trafficking of humans. I think that although this is a poor country it is rich in heritage and what it lacks in money it makes up for in geography. I think that if I ever visited Africa I would visit Benin. <br />Flag<br />The flag of Benin consists of a vertical green rectangle and a horizontal yellow and a horizontal red rectangle. Green symbolized hope and revival, red symbolizes courage and yellow symbolizes wealth. <br />Map<br />^ - indicates mountain<br />
    • - indicates major city
    Star- Indicates capital city<br />Blue Writing- indicates bodies of water<br />