The Latin American Post
By Timothy Kim
Mexico Physical Features
This is Lake Chapala. It is the the largest freshwater lake in Mexico. In the southern highlands, it is located south of the Central Plateau. It has an area of 431 square miles! No wonder there are people driving boats. It has a surface elevation of about 5,000 feet. There are three islands in this lake. They are called Isla de los Alacrane(the largest island), Isla Mezcala, and La Isla Menor.
The Sierra Madre Mountains
The Sierra Madre Mountains. They are the key mountain ranges in Mexico. They are made up of the Sierra Madre Oriental, Sierra Madre Occidental, and the Sierra Madre del Sur. These mountains are up to 12,000 feet tall and as low as 6,000 feet! Wonder what would happen if you fell? Actually, let's not go there. They are used for many purposes including mining valuable minerals, collecting lumber, and agricultural uses. It also has potential to have hydroelectric-power stations.
This is, well was, the capital city of the Aztec empire. It is an island located in Lake Texcoco. Now it is Mexico City. This place was founded in 1325. The Aztec built huge stone pyramids as temples to sacrifice to their gods. They would sacrifice humans by ripping out their hearts....and offering it to their gods. By 1519 when Hernan Cortes arrived, the population was around 200,000 people. Unfortunately, most of the famous buildings and monuments were destroyed when the Spaniards raided the Aztec. Still, the ruins of Tenochtitlan are very popular around Mexico and are still visited today.
These Native Americans were one of the first to settle in Venezuela. They were all adequate in farming, but the Venezuelan land was already filled with resources. It was easy to hunt and fish, and gather herbs and berries. They lived in big villages some which were populated with as many as 3,000 people! The villages must have been packed. They grew mostly maize(corn) and cassava. In their villages, they recognized social rank and greatly honored religion. They mainly sacrificed to their nature spirits and honored their ancestors. Despite their tribal makeup, they were not into warfare. As a result, they were driven out of the Antilles by the Carib tribes.
The Carib were fearsome warriors who had previously driven out the Arawak from the Lesser Antilles. These Natives settled around western islands in the Caribbean. In the 15th century when the Spanish arrived, the Spanish attempted to seize Carib lands for the gold and plantation purposes. After the Spanish met the Carib, they started a rumor that the Carib were hostile, blood-thirsty cannibals! While this may not be true, the Carib were certainly war-like. When the Spanish invaded, the Carib sought to preserve their land and freedom, but their weapons and technology were no match against the conquistadors. Many died due to diseases like smallpox. As a result, the Carib were enslaved and the tribe died out.
Argentina Environmental Issue
In Argentina, deforestation is a major problem. Not only because it reduces the oxygen levels and increases the carbon dioxide in the air, but because it destroys ecosystems. Back in the late 1900's, research showed that Argentina had lost about 40 million acres due to soybean plantations and cattle breeding. In order for soybeans to thrive, they need good soil that rain forests can provide. Cattle ranches need lots of space for cattle to move around. This is a problem because soybeans are one of Argentina's best cash crop. Cattle ranching is also very popular among the rural citizens. One solution is for the government to restrict or limit the amount of land that can be cultivated. Another is to reduce cash crop farming around woodland areas. This way, there will be less acres of land used to farm, thus keeping forest use, limited.
Cuba's government. An interesting political system. In Cuba, the government is in charge of basically everything and anything. This is because Cuba has a communist government. They have an autocracy type of government. The current leader or the head of state is Raul Castro. The previous head of state was Raul's older brother, Fidel Castro. Raul Castro has been the head of state since 2008. Since, Cuba has a communist government, the leader can decide if or when he wants to resign his post. Before he became the head of state, he was the defense minister from 1959-2006. While Cuba sounds alright, there are many things that the Cuban government has not been telling publicly. For example, Cuba's food problem. In America, most people have food on their table everyday. In Cuba, the government oversees the food handling. An average Cuban meal is a bowl of rice with some beef or chicken. Even now, the government raises food prices. People in Cuba have to buy from the black market in order to survive.
Brazil has a huge and vast economic system in which they are ranked 22nd for exports. One main export that Brazil exports is iron ore which in 2013, reeled in about $33.3 billion! One main import of Brazil is refined petroleum. Their trading partners are usually the U.S, China, and Argentina. Brazil makes an approximation of $1.6 trillion due to the GDP and makes approximately $15,000 because of GDP per Capita! Wish I had that kind of money. The literacy rate is around 90% for those who are 15 and older, which I think is pretty good for the 2nd largest country in the Western hemisphere.