nearly 650 million people live H u m a n i t i e s

nearly 650 million people live H u m a n i t i e s

Module 1 Overview: Welcome to Latin America

Latin America is a place, understood geographically, historically, and culturally, in which nearly 650 million people live. The predominant languages are Spanish and Portuguese, as well as thousands of indigenous languages. The concept of Latin America was coined by the Chilean Francisco Bilbao in 1856, in the “Federal Congress of the Republics”.

The Latin American population is the product of the mixing of native peoples and survivors of the genocide of colonization, European migrants since the fifteenth century, in multiple waves, and slavery and exploitation of black people from Africa. Also, during the nineteenth century the migration of people from East Asia in search of opportunities (through the Pacific) and the mobilization of Indian workers (in the case of former British colonies in South America and the Caribbean), make Latin America a region of multiple ethnic, religious, musical and technological influences.

Including territories where French is the main language, Latin America is considered to be composed of 20 countries from the Rio Grande to Cape Horn, 20 nation-states, and 14 dependent territories. With a surface of 19,197,000 km2 (7,412,000 sq mi)

The concept of Latin America is commonly confused with Ibero America, which includes the nations of the Iberian Peninsula, Spain, and Portugal, epicenters of the kingdoms that colonized the region for more than 3 centuries; and in turn, excludes other territories colonized by Great Britain, France or the Netherlands.

The Learning Objective of this week is to Characterize the main elements of the Latin American region in geographical terms of territory, resources, and populations, to identify fundamental concepts and places that allow us to understand the economic, human and cultural development of the region.

In this week we will explore the geographies of the region, which include aspects such as

– Orography and hydrography of the region

– Distribution of natural resources, especially forest land, agricultural land, and metallic and non-metallic mineral resources

– An overview of the populations of Latin America. (Links to an external site.)

– Economic geography in the present

– Other striking aspects (crops, climates, among others)

The topics for this week are:

Geographies of Latam: Place and Time

The development of Latin America: An overview

What does it mean to be Latin American?

After reading, watching and exploring the materials for this week, please do not forget to complete the activities for the week this week:

– Country Selection ( – Country Project: Geographies of Latin America (Discussion) –

– Development of Latin America (Discussion) – Latin American Peoples (Discussion)

Module 1: Country Selections – Due January 15

As you look at the maps of the region, choose the country you would like to focus on. This focus will include the first paper (policy paper), some class discussions; and if you wish the final paper.

When you are ready, hit reply and let us know what country you will study – feel free to add a few words on why you have chosen this one…..

Belize, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti

Module 1: Physical Geography of Latam

As an option, the Youtube Channel Geography Now (Links to an external site.), led by the Californian Paul Barby, had a series of videos of each country of the world (currently on countries starting with S). Sometimes he does regional videos, which I also recommend if you prefer an informal conversation and curiosities for part of the region (The channel hasn´t done a vídeo about Central America). Also, if the channel already did the video from your country project, I highly recommended watching it, because is a really fun and synthetic account of a nation). His style is very accessible and quite informal.

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