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CENTRAL AMERICA PowerPoint Presentation
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CENTRAL AMERICA

CENTRAL AMERICA

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CENTRAL AMERICA

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  1. CENTRAL AMERICA Ch. 11 – Section 1

  2. I. Background • A. Central America is an isthmus – narrow strip of land, with water on both sides, that connects two larger bodies of land • B. 7 countries occupy Central America • 1. Belize • 2. Guatemala • 3. Honduras • 4. El Salvador • 5. Nicaragua • 6. Costa Rica • 7. Panama

  3. II. Landforms & Climates • A. 3 major landforms regions make up Central America: • 1. mountainous core • 2. Caribbean lowlands • 3. Pacific coastal plain

  4. 1. Mountainous Core • A. Mountains run the length of Central America • B. Many of the mountains are active volcanoes • C. 2 climates zones in this area: • 1. elevations of 3,000-6,000 ft. have year-round, springlike climate • 2. above 6,000 ft. is cold with frost

  5. 2. Caribbean Lowlands • A. Eastern side of Central America along the Caribbean Sea • B. Tropical wet climate that is hot and humid all year • C. Heavy rainfall in this area • D. Rainforest soil is not very fertile, limiting the crops that can be grown here

  6. 3. Pacific Coastal Plain • A. Western side of Central America • B. Has tropical wet and dry climate with savanna, or grassland, vegetation • C. Depends on rain only in the summer • D. Volcanoes in the mountains affect the land because of the lava flows and volcanic ash (makes the land extremely fertile)

  7. III. People and Cultures • A. Indians • 1. people who have lived here the longest • 2. each group of Indians have their own history, culture, & language • 3. largest amount live in Guatemala (1/2 of the population) • B. Europeans & Mestizos • 1. arrived in 1500s, mostly from Spain • 2. Spanish is the official language in almost all of C.A. • 3. Mestizos are those people who have ancestors of both Indian and European descent • C. African Descent • 1. some are descendants of slaves (1500s) • 2. most are descended from people who moved here from the Caribbean Islands in the 1900s

  8. IV. Wealth and Poverty • A. Rich • 1. plantation owners/Europeans/Mestizos • 2. dominate government and politics • B. Poor • 1. 2/3 of all Central Americans are poor • 2. most are of Indian and African descent • 3. farmers or laborers • C. Middle Class • 1. farmers who own small, noncommercial farms • 2. some employees in urban industries

  9. V. Economic Activities • A. Majority of Central Americans earn a living through farming • B. Most of the rural population live by subsistence farming • C. On the large plantations, the crops are mostly shipped to the US or Europe & account for over half of their income

  10. VI. Political Conflict • A. Many of Central America’s issues become intense fights • B. Each region has specific problems, but the largest one is the shortage of available farmland to meet the needs of the population • C. Land is not distributed properly – most of the land is given to the wealthy • D. Recent governments favor the wealthy, so many guerrilla movements (armed forces not in the military) have organized to revolt