Latin American Road Trip
Stops 3 and 4: Lima and Mexico City
Absolute location: 12.0433° S, 77.0283° W
Relative location: Lima is on the west central coast of Peru on the shores of the Pacific Ocean and south bank of the Rímac River. It is located on mostly flat terrain in the Peruvian coastal plain, within the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers. The valley is surrounded by an extremely arid, coastal desert (with no name) a short distance west of the Andes Mountains.
Area: 1,506 sq. miles
Nevado Siula Chico – the highest mountain in Lima and 7th highest mountain in Peru. Located near Oyon and reaching 20,912 feet.
Port of Callao – chief seaport on the Pacific Ocean for Peru, vital for trade into and out of Peru.
Catedral de Lima (Basilica Cathedral) – built in 1535 by the conquering Spaniards, the Greater Altar is gold-plated and has images of the colonial era. Within the cathedral are Francisco Pizarro’s ashes, the founder of Lima. Every moth, patriotism is celebrated at a mass for the independence of Peru from Spain.
Modification to the Environment
Accommodation to the Environment
How People Depend on the Government
Examples of Movement
Migration after Earthquake in 1940 – rural people from the Andean regions moved to Lima for work and Education, growing the population by 4.2 million.
Main highways – Pan American Highway runs north and south along the coast. Central Highway runs east to west and connects Lima with highlands.
9 Traits of Culture
Relationships - Ethnic groups
Lima ranks as the 27th most populous “agglomeration” in the world.
About 70% Mestizo (mixed European – mostly Spanish and Italians - and indigenous Indians)
About 15% Whites
About 10% Amerindians
About 5% Asians and Blacks
Peruvian residents must choose between costly private national and international schools or government funded public schools.
Public schools drastically lack all sorts of resources
2.3% of Metropolitan Lima's population older than 15 years has no education
11.8% of Metropolitan Lima's population older than 15 years has primary education
42.9% of Metropolitan Lima's population older than 15 years has secondary education
43.0% of Metropolitan Lima's population older than 15 years has higher education
Universities in Lima:
There are numerous recognized public and private universities. Lima is home to the oldest university in the Americas - the National University of San Marcos (1551).
History of Lima
The Incas flourished from 1438 until the Spanish arrived in 1533. The Incas altered and modernized buildings and complexes left by other civilizations and merged them into their own. The Incas were conquered by Francisco Pizarro and left weakened by smallpox.
Lima was founded in 1535 by Spanish conquistadores, including Francisco Pizarro, who named it Cuidad de los Reyes – City of the Kings. Pizarro became viceroy (governor) of the lands he conquered. Lima flourished as the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru and built an extensive trade network along the Pacific Ocean.
In 1746, an earthquake damaged Lima and destroyed the port in Callao, forcing massive rebuilding. During Peru’s war of independence until the 1890s, Lima stagnated economically with little urban development. Beginning in the 19th century, Peru brought in Asian contract laborers mainly to work on Lima’s coastal plantations. From the 1890s to the 1920s, Lima experienced urban renewal and expansion. It was destroyed by another earthquake in 1940, followed by a massive migration of 4.2 million Andean workers into the city. The huge influx of migrants caused slums to crop up in downtown Lima, today called pueblos jovenes.
Today, Lima is a melting pot of cultures from Europe, the Andes, Africa, and Asia, due to colonization, immigration, and indigenous influences. The Historic Centre of Lima was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
Location: Final Destination - Mexico City
Mexico City, Mexico
19° 26´ N, 99° 7´ W
Mexico City lies across the Tropic of Cancer and is located in the Valle de Mexico, a large valley in the high plateaus at the center of Mexico, sometimes called the Basin of Mexico or the Valley of Anáhuac ( Valley of the Damned). This valley is located in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt in the high plateaus of south-central Mexico. It was originally built on a lake called Texcoco.
Area: 1,485 km2 (573 sq mi)Population: 8,851,080
1. Valley of Anahuac – also known as the Valley of the Damned, Valley of Mexico, and Basin of Mexico, this geographic feature has no outlet to the sea, making it a basin and not a valley. It looks like a giant bowl gouged out of the Earth, ringed by mountains and active volcanoes. It covers about 7,000 sq. kilometers and is a closed hydrological system, making it one of the richest, most productive ecological zones in Mesoamerica.
2. Peaks of Iztaccihuatl and Popocatépetl
Iztaccihuatl – elevation 17,160 feet. The name means “white woman” in Nahuatl, referencing four individual snow-capped peaks that depict a sleeping female’s head, chest, knees and feet when seen from the east or west. It is a dormant volcano visible from Mexico City to the northwest.
Popocatépetl – elevation 17,802 feet, the second highest peak in Mexico and an active volcano. It is just southeast of Mexico City and contains a glacier.
In Aztec mythology, a princess, Iztaccíhuatl, fell in love with one of her father's warriors, Popocatépetl. The emperor sent Popocatépetl to war in Oaxaca, promising him Iztaccíhuatl as his wife when he returned. Iztaccíhuatl was falsely told Popocatépetl had died in battle, and believing the news, she died of grief. When Popocatépetl returned to find his love dead, he took her body to a spot outside Tenochtitlan and kneeled by her grave. The gods covered them with snow and changed them into mountains. Popocatépetl became an active volcano, raining fire on Earth in blind rage at the loss of his beloved.
Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan
The Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan rose 197 feet the capital of the Aztec empire and current site of modern day Mexico City. The Great Pyramid, or Temple Mejor as it is also known, was surmounted by dual shrines to the god of war Huitzilopochtli and god of fertility Tlaloc. The temple was enlarged several times during its history, and for the last time in 1487, when between 2,000 and 20,000 people were sacrificed over 4 days during its reconsecration. The Museum is set in the heart of downtown Mexico City in the area known as the Historical Center.
An enormous green area in the middle of the city, covering 2000 acres.
The tallest building in Latin America at 738 feet tall, it is the strongest building on earth able to withstand 8.5 earthquakes.
Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan
Modification to the Environment: Water Control in the Valley of Mexico
Accommodation to the Environment: ProAire, Air Pollution Reduction
How the People Depend on the Government
Examples of Movement
Rural to Urban Migration
Sistema de Transporte Colectivo
90.5% Roman Catholic, but declining over the last few decades
3.6% Protestants and Evangelical
1.3% Other Christian (Eastern Orthodoxy, Mormons, 7th Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses)
0.8% Other (Islam, Buddhists,