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  1. 1. Chapter 8<br />Central America & the Caribbean<br />
  2. 2.
  3. 3. Section 1<br />Physical Geography<br />
  4. 4. Physical Features<br />Sandy beaches, volcanic mts., rain forests, & clear blue water<br />
  5. 5. Central America<br />Actually the southern part of North America<br />7 countries<br />Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, & Panama<br />Is an isthmus<br />Narrow strip of land that connects two larger land areas<br />Not more than 125 miles from Pacific Ocean to Caribbean Sea<br />Chain of mts. & volcanoes separate Pacific & Caribbean coastal plains<br />Has a few short rivers<br />Rugged land & lack of water routes makes travel difficult<br />
  6. 6. Caribbean Islands<br />Comprised of hundreds of islands<br />Make up an archipelago or large group of islands<br />Divide Caribbean Sea from Atlantic Ocean<br />Two main island groups<br />Greater Antilles (4 large islands): Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, & Puerto Rico<br />Lesser Antilles: other smaller islands; stretch from Virgin Islands to Trinidad and Tobago<br />Bahamas: 3rd group of islands; includes 700 islands & thousands of reefs<br />
  7. 7. Many islands are the tops of underwater mts. & volcanoes<br />Some began as coral reefs that gradually pushed up<br />Tectonic plates have also created some of the islands<br />Earthquakes & volcanic eruptions occur frequently<br />
  8. 8. Climate & Vegetation<br />Both areas are generally sunny & warm<br />Humid tropical & tropical savanna climates are common<br />Along Pacific coast original savanna vegetation has been cleared & replaced w/ plantations & ranches<br />Caribbean coast has areas of tropical rain forest<br />Inland mt. areas contain cool, humid climates<br />Cloud forests: a moist, high elevation tropical forest where low clouds are common<br />Temps generally do not change much from day to night or from summer to winter<br />Change is marked by rainfall<br />winters = dry<br />summers = rains daily<br />summer to fall = hurricane season<br />
  9. 9. Resources<br />Land & climate are best resources<br />Tourism<br />Agriculture<br />Profitable where volcanic ash has enriched the soil<br />Coffee, bananas, sugarcane, & cotton<br />Timber exported form rain forests<br />Few mineral resources<br />Energy resources also limited<br />Rely on energy imports<br />Limits devlopment<br />
  10. 10. Section 2<br />Central America<br />
  11. 11. Early History<br />A.D. 250<br />Maya were building large cities w/ pyramids & temples<br />Abandoned cities around A.D. 900, but ruins remain today<br />People of Maya descent still live in Guatemala & Belize & customs still influence modern life<br />1500s<br />Europeans control<br />Claimed mostly by Spain<br />Est. plantations & grew tobacco & sugarcane<br />Made Indians work on plantations & gold mines<br />Enslaved Africans also brought to region<br />Britain claimed Belize & part of Nicaragua<br />
  12. 12. Central America Since Independence<br />1821<br />Colonies declared independence<br />Region remained together as United Provinces of Central America<br />Separated in 1838-1839<br />Panama remained part of Colombia until 1903<br />Belize remained part of Britain 1981<br />Independence brought little change<br />Wealthy landowners continued to run the countries & the economies<br />Bananas & coffee supported economy<br />
  13. 13. Mid-1900s<br />U.S. based United Fruit Company developed railroads & port facilities to help its business in Central America<br />This helped w/ transportation & communication in region<br />Many people resented foreign companies for owning so much while others struggled to make a living<br />Led to armed struggles in many countries<br />
  14. 14. Culture<br />Influenced by colonial history<br />Reflect Spanish and native practices<br />People and Languages<br />Most people are mestizos (of mixed European and Indian ancestry)<br />Mostly live in places like the Guatemalan Highlands<br />African ancestry<br />Live mostly along Caribbean coast<br />In some countries native Indian languages are still spoken<br />English & Spanish are main languages spoken<br />
  15. 15. Religion, Festivals, & Food<br />Many practice a religion brought by Europeans<br />Roman Catholic & Protestant Christians<br />Religion has influenced celebrations in towns<br />Celebrate special saints’ feast days; Easter<br />During festivals people eat traditional foods <br />Corn, tomatoes, hot peppers, and cacao<br />
  16. 16. Central America Today<br />Have similar histories and cultures<br />Have own economic & political challenges<br />2005 Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, el Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, & Nicaragua signed Central American Free Trade Agreement with U.S.<br />Goal is to increase trade among countries<br />
  17. 17. Guatemala<br />Most populous (12 million people)<br />Although most are mestizos, half are Central American Indians & speak Maya languages<br />Most live in small villages in the highlands<br />1960-1996<br />Fighting between rebels and gov’t forces (200,000 people were killed)<br />Still recovering from conflict<br />Coffee grown in highlands<br />Major producer of cardamom (spice used in Asian foods)<br />
  18. 18. Belize<br />Smallest population<br />Not much land for agriculture<br />Ecotourism has become popular<br />Practice of using an area’s natural environment to attract tourists<br />Come to see coral reefs, Maya ruins, & coastal resorts<br />
  19. 19. Honduras<br />Mountainous country<br />Most people live in mt. valleys & along northern coast<br />Rugged land makes transportation difficult<br />Little land to grow crops<br />Bananas & citrus fruits are important exports<br />
  20. 20. El Salvador<br />A few rich families own much of the best land while most people live in poverty<br />1980s<br />Civil war resulted from land disputes<br />Many people were killed & economy suffered<br />People are working to rebuild their country since end of civil war in 1992<br />Country has fertile soil<br />Grow & export coffee and sugarcane<br />
  21. 21. Nicaragua<br />Rebuilding after civil war<br />1979<br />A group called the Sandinistas overthrew a dictator<br />Many supported this group, but rebel forces (aided by U.S.) fought Sandinistas for power<br />1990<br />Civil war ended w/ elections<br />Now a democracy<br />
  22. 22. Costa Rica<br />Has a history of peace<br />Has stable, democratic gov’t<br />Does not have an army<br />Progress made in reducing poverty<br />Coffee & bananas are important to economy<br />Tourism also important<br />
  23. 23. Panama<br />Most people live near Panama Canal<br />Canal fees & local industries make area most prosperous in country<br />1914<br />Panama Canal was built by U.S. as a link from Pacific Ocean to Caribbean Sea<br />U.S. controlled canal until 1999<br />
  24. 24. Section 3<br />The Caribbean Islands<br />
  25. 25. Early History<br />1492<br />Columbus sailed for Spain & was 1st to sail into Caribbean Sea<br />Thought he had reached the Indies<br />Called islands the West Indies & people Indians<br />Spain had little interest in smaller islands<br />English, French, Dutch, & Danish did<br />Est. colonies & built huge sugarcane plantations<br />Most Caribbean Indians had died from disease so African slaves were brought in to work plantations<br />Soon Africans & people of African descent outnumbered Europeans on many islands<br />
  26. 26. Independence<br />Toussaint-L’Ouverture<br />Led a slave revolt<br />Helped Haiti win independence from France in 1804<br />Idea of independence spread<br />Mid-1800s<br />Dominican Republic gained independence<br />U.S. won Cuba from Spain<br />Cuba gained independence in 1902<br />Other countries had to wait about 40 years for independence<br />After WWII; Europeans transferred political power peacefully<br />Some are still not independent<br />Some are provinces or territories of other countries<br />
  27. 27. Culture<br />Signs of past colonialism & slavery<br />People, Languages, & Religion<br />Most people are descended from Europeans or from African slaves<br />Or a mixture<br />Spanish, French, English, or European and African languages<br />Creole: spoken by Haitians; a dialect or a regional variety of a language<br />Catholic, blend of Catholicism and traditional African religions<br />
  28. 28. Festivals and Food<br />Variety of holidays celebrated<br />Carnival: time of feasts & celebration before Lent <br />Often include great music<br />Food & cooking also reflects past<br />Food from Africa like yams & okra<br />Curry<br />
  29. 29. The Caribbean Islands Today<br />Have similar history & culture<br />Economies differ as well as gov’t & cultural landscapes<br />
  30. 30. Puerto Rico<br />Was a Spanish colony<br />Today U.S. commonwealth<br />self-governing territory associated w/ another country<br />Are U.S. citizens, but no voting representation in Congress<br />Debate to remain commonwealth or U.S. state or independent country<br />U.S. aid & investment have helped develop economy<br />Wages are lower & unemployment is higher than in U.S.<br />
  31. 31. Haiti<br />Mountainous western third of island of Hispaniola<br />Has limited industry<br />Agricultural products like coffee and sugarcane are main exports<br />Most farm small plots of land<br />Is the poorest country in the Americas<br />Has had corrupt gov’t<br />Violence, political unrest, & poverty have created many political refugees<br />Someone who flees to another country, usually for political or economic resasons<br />
  32. 32. Dominican Republic<br />Occupies eastern half of Hispaniola<br />Capital of Santo Domingo was the 1st permanent European settlement in the Western Hemisphere<br />Not a rich country<br />Economy, health care, & housing are more developed than Haiti<br />Agriculture is basis of economy<br />Tourism is growing<br />
  33. 33. Cuba<br />Largest & most populous in Caribbean<br />92 miles from Florida<br />Run by Communist since 1959 when Fidel Castro came to power<br />Took over banks, plantations, & other businesses (many owned by U.S. companies)<br />U.S. banned trade with Cuba & restricted travel there by U.S. citizens<br />Today<br />Gov’t still controls economy<br />Farms are organizes as cooperatives or gov’t owned plantations<br />Cooperative: an organization owned by its members and operated for their mutual benefit<br />Gov’t also controls all newspapers, television, and radio stations<br />Some support gov’t policies & other have become refugees in the U.S.<br />
  34. 34. Other Islands<br />Jamaica<br />Largest remaining Caribbean country<br />Saint Kitts and Nevis<br />Smallest country<br />Many are not countries but territories<br />U.S. & British Virgin Islands<br />Netherlands and France also have territories<br />Some islands have enough land to grow coffee, sugarcane, or spices<br />Most economies are based on tourism<br />Good for economy, but sometimes harms environment<br />