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Latin America

Latin America-Middle America & South America

TermDefinition
indigenous People that are descendants from an area's 1st inhabitants [example is most Mexicans are descendants of Native Americans because ancestors of Native Americans were 1st to settle Mexico]
mestizo ethnic group of people from Native American and European descent-make up largest part of Mexican population today
dialect a form of language unique to a particular place or group-in Latin America, each country has its own dialect
conquistadors Spanish conquerors who first arrived on the Yucatan Peninsula in 1519 [example is Cortez who defeated Aztecs and claimed Mexico for Spain in 1521]
primate city a city that dominates a country's culture, political affairs, and economy [example is Mexico City because of its size and influence it dominates Mexico]
syncretism the results of people blending beliefs and practices from different religions [example is indigenous people blending Roman Catholic and Mayan religious beliefs]
canopy dense, continuous layer of leaves formed by close growing trees of the rain forest that keeps sunlight from reaching forest floor [example is Amazon rainforest-has more species of plants & animals that anywhere on Earth]
cordilleras mountain ranges that run parallel to each other [example is Andes Mountains-world's longest mountain chain, runs along western edge of South America]
escarpment a long, wall-like cliff [example is Brazilian Highlands]
llanos large grasslands in the interior of Columbia & Venezuela where ranchers raise cattle herds and grow wheat & grains ["breadbasket" of S. America]
pampas large grasslands in the interior of Argentina & Uruguay where ranchers raise cattle herds and grow wheat & grains ["breadbasket" of S. America]
tierra caliente means "hot land" in Spanish-the climate zone from sea level up to 2,500 feet
tierra fria means "cold land" in Spanish-the climate zone high up in the mountains
tierra helada permanent snow & ice climate zone high above the tree line/timberline [example is peaks of Andes Mountains]
tierra templada moderate climate zone between 2,500 & 6,500 feet [temperate means moderate]
free trade zones areas of a country where trade restrictions/barriers do not apply
shantytowns makeshift/slum communities that result when cities/urban populations outgrow/exceed their resources-ex. when rural people move to cities in Latin America in large numbers (rapid urbanization)
gross domestic product (GDP) the total (gross) value of goods and services produced by a country (domestic) in a year
export when a country sells (sends out) its goods or crops to another country
import when a country buys (brings in) goods or crops from another country
sustainable development economic/technological growth that does NOT deplete (use up) the human and natural resources of an area and sustains (saves) resources for future use-ex. is wind/solar energy, rotating crops
A harmful effect of free trade on the environment of Latin America? Pollution because inefficient (poorly designed) factories spring up in areas of free trade and no laws punish the owners
World's largest rainforest Amazon-20% has been destroyed by deforestation (slash & burn clear cutting of trees)
Deforestation Clearing of rain forest done by slash & burn-slashing & cutting down trees [de=do away with]
What has increased deforestation in the Amazon? Pressure from latifundia (large agricultural estates owned by wealthy families & corporations)
Reforestation Regenerating the rain forest by planting trees [re=restore or bring back]
How does the rain forest prevent global warming? Rain forest trees & plants absorb (take in) carbon dioxide so it doesn't go into the atmosphere
territorial conflicts Disputes between Latin American territories/regions over natural resources, trade, and political boundaries created by British decolonization (when Britain allowed their Latin American colonies to become independent countries)
Created by: poffmoore