Carter Cole's Travel Journal

For the eyes of Carter only.....

Mexico City Trip-February 2013

Dear Travel Journal,

Today I went to Mexico City to meet Enrique Peña Nieto, the current president of Mexico. When people think of Mexico, they think of it as a place where crazy people with weapons run around. To top it all off, they think the ruler is also deranged. But when I talked with president Nieto, he was very kind, and told me all about the Mexican government. Their government is a lot like the U.S.A.

Here is my attempt at translating the words of President Nieto into English... "The Mexican government is very much like the American government. They are both federal republics, they both have states, and they each have a president. The two countries also have an executive branch, a legislative branch, and a judicial branch of government. Both Mexico and the U.S.A. have a constitution. Most people don't realize how much Mexico and the U.S.A. are alike."

President Nieto also said many other things about the Mexican government. He explained to me how Mexico has thirty-one states and one federal district. Each state has local laws governing its cities. The Mexican parliament is interesting to me, especially. There are two houses, the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. The upper house, the Senate, are elected to serve a term of six years. The lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, are elected to serve a term of three years. There is a total of four hundred representatives in the Chamber of Deputies. In the thirty-one states and the federal district, there are two representatives for each.

In order run for president in Mexico, you must follow the following: You must be born in Mexican territory and be living there for at least twenty years; you must be over the age of thirty-five; and you can't be engaged with armed forces six months prior to the election for president.

I have learned so much about the Mexican government on my trip to Mexico City. I now know how much the Mexican and U.S. governments are alike and how much they are different. I can't wait to learn more!

Sincerely,
Carter Cole

Panama City Trip-March 2013

Dear Travel Journal,

Oh, how I love it here in Panama City! I have come here to learn about Panama's economy, and of course, to have a good time. Today, I met with the "guy in charge" of the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal is one of the main parts of the economy of Panama. Here are the main parts of the economy.

Panama depends on its economic center, Panama City, for their economy. Panama City is full of business with banking, commerce, and tourism. Panama City is responsible for 55% of Panama's Gross Domestic Product. You now see how important Panama City is!

Another major thing to the economy of Panama is the famous Panama Canal. It is so important that two countries tried to build it, France and the U.S.A. I talked with one of the people who helps operate the Panama Canal. He told me that the canal has helped make Panama's economy strong. In his opinion, the canal is the greatest thing Panama's ever had!

I have enjoyed my time here in Panama City, and I have learned so much about the economy of Panama! Farewell!

Sincerely,
Carter Cole

Bolivia Trip-April 2013

Dear Travel Journal,


Bolivia is awesome, man! There is just so much to see! You could visit the famous port city, Ilo, or the Andes Mountains! You could also see low plains and tropical forests! But what really stands out to me is the people here in Bolivia!


There are 8.5 million people who live here in Bolivia. Most of the people live on the Alti Plano, a high, vast plateau in central South America. The main religion in Bolivia is Roman Catholic. About half of Bolivians have Native American background. About 30% of the people have Mestizo background.


The capital city is....well, there are two! There are two capitals in Bolivia--Sucre, the official capital, and La Paz, the administrative capital and largest city. Both capitals are located on the Alti Plano. Most cities are modern, but in the country, the villages are more traditional.


I have enjoyed learning about Bolivia's people, and I can't wait to return to this wonderful country!


Sincerely,

Carter Cole

Brazil Trip-May 2013

Dear Travel Journal,


Brazil is so beautiful! There are so many places to see. But if you ask anybody, they'll say, "Don't miss the Rainforest!"


Today, I went to the Amazon Rainforest, and what a wonderful place it was! I had time to see the Amazon River, the second longest river in the world! The Amazon River is also is also the largest river by volume! An interesting fact I learned about the Amazon Rainforest was that it takes up 1/3 of Brazil!


Another famous tourist spot in Brazil is the Brazilian Highlands. The highlands take up half of the country....even larger than the Amazon Rainforest! The Brazilian Highlands are, like they are called, high. They drop suddenly into a rocky area near the Atlantic Ocean. This area is called the "Great Escarpment," or steep cliff. It is a fascinating area; jagged rocks jut out into the sea, while ocean tides ferociously attack the cliff.


The Amazon Basin, where the Amazon River drains its water, has a very tropical climate. The rainfall can be up to 120 inches per year.


My time here in Brazil has been amazing, and I can't wait to return! I have seen so many sites; the Amazon Rainforest, the Amazon River, the Amazon Basin, the Brazilian Highlands, and the Great Escarpment! I loved it!


Sincerely,

Carter Cole