South America Project

By: Alayna Maxfield

Cancun Mexico Geography

May 15, 2011

Dear Leah,
Cancun Mexico is one of the most exciting places I have ever visited and also one of the prettiest places I have ever visited too. The weather there is fantastic! During the day it was around 80 degrees and at night it was around 70 degrees. Their dry season is from November to April and their rainy season is from May to October. When I was there I learned that there are over 240 days in Cancun and around 150 days of cool weather. Also when I was there, there was a minor hurricane. Since Cancun is tropical, it makes it vulnerable to hurricanes. Cancun gets hit by a hurricane approximately every 12 years and is brushed by a hurricane approximately every 25 years. The hurricane season runs from July through November. As I was visiting Cancun, one of the tourists told me about Cancun's wildlife. She said that their most admired was the jaguar. She also told me that there are over 1062 species of birds there. 14 species can be seen in their bird watching tours. Because Cancun is located off of the Yucatan peninsula, it is one of the ones on the top of the list for unique bird watching. Cancun has very diverse land and there are no hills or elevation. They also have many mountains and forests. Cancun is also famous for their beaches. I went to the Mamitias beach there and it was amazing! There is 14 miles of white sand beaches all across Cancun and 1.3 million gallons of sand were used to make beaches. Their sand is made crushed coral and all of their beaches are public. It has one the world biggest underwater cave systems. I also went scuba diving at the Great Maya Barrier Reef and it was really fun! I saw stingrays, fish and so much more. Cancun is one of Mexico's most popular tourist sites. It has more visits than any other city in Mexico and has a lot of tourist spots. Cancun appeared on maps in the 18th century. 1/3 of Mexico's tourist revenues is generated by Cancun. I liked the visit and I hope you go on vacation there one day too!

Sincerely, Alayna

Jamacia Culture

July 24, 2012

Dear Mike,
When I was in Jamaica, I had such a wonderful time! There food was amazing! The cooking and cuisine was extremely tasty. I went to one of the restaurants and tried the Island Hamburger (which by the way is the favorite lunch snack in Jamaica) and it was really good... you should try it! Some popular dishes there are Ackee and Salt fish, beans, rice and chicken. Potatoes and Yams are very common there and are often used during celebrations. But the food was delicious! I hope you get to try it someday too!

Sincerely, Alayna

July 25, 2012

Dear Carleigh,
The religion in Jamaica was so different than ours here in America! Lot of people there classify themselves as Christians and other classify themselves as Roman Catholic or Judaism. The Anglican Church and the Church of God are the two most prominent domination's. It has been estimated that 75% of Jamaica population secretly adhere to traditional African practices such as religious healers. Prominent religious movements include Bahai, the famous Rastafarian, and also Judaism. Also when I was there, I saw synagogues scattered throughout the island. It was really cool to see all of the different shapes and sizes of of the synagogues. You should visit one and go see what it's like!

Sincerely, Alayna

July 26, 2012

Dear Charlie,
When I went to Jamaica, I could actually almost understand their language! In Jamaica, I learned that English is their national language. They also speak in a variation of english called Patois. Patois is an english- African creole language. As a guy named Leo told me, "It is not an accent, it is just a very distinct language." While I was there, I learned a couple of phrases: the first one is wagwan which means whats going on?, the second one is ju a du which means what are you doing and the last one is dem which means them. You should really look up some more phrases and learn more about their language... it's really cool!

Sincerely, Alayna

July 27, 2012

Dear Jessie,
You would love what you get to do during leisure time in Jamaica! For leisure time there, the families watch movies or filmed plays. The plays and movies usually have something to do with their religion or their culture. I watched a play with a person that I met there named Jimena and in the play, everyone spoke Patios... I mean it's kind of hard to understand, but other than that it was really cool! Soccer and cricket are the two most popular pastimes in Jamaica. Out of soccer and cricket, I like soccer better because it is more of an American sport... but also because cricket was a little tricky and complicated. You should really go to Jamaica and try all of their leisure time activity's!

Sincerely, Alayna

July 28, 2012

Dear Alyssa,
Religion is fundamental to Jamaican life. Most of their religion can be seen in Biblical events. For example, in bibles and other holy books. Also, the island has a great number of churches per capita in the world. when I was there I think I went to about three or four churches... they were pretty cool because each church talks about different biblical events from the bible. They all have different christian style type religions. Lastly, Christmas is typically observed by various dominations. While I was there around December, I went to a Christmas celebration and it was really fun! There was wonderful food, and a great ceremony, it was really fun! You should go to one in the winter!

Sincerely, Alayna

Colombia- Economy

September 6, 2013

Dear Diary,
When I was visiting Colombia, I learned a lot about their economy. Colombia has a free-market economy. That means that prices of goods and products are determined in a free-price system. They have many jobs in government and other services, like agriculture and manufacturing.

Also while I was there, I learned that Colombia has a lot of natural resources. Such as gold, silver, coal oil (petroleum) and copper. Mountains hold lots of precious stones and resources. Like when I was visiting one of the mountains, I saw a lot of jewels and stones like diamonds and ruby's. I went to an exporting company there and there was a guy named Micheal who told me what all of their exports are, their export partner, what their imports are and their import partners. There exports are oil, coal, coffee, clothing, chemicals, base metals, cacao, bananas, sugarcane, rice and cotton. the major illicit export there is cocaine. Their imports are industrial equipment, chemicals, paper products, fuels, consumer goods, and electricity. Their export partners are the United States, the Netherlands and China. Their import partners are the United States, China, Mexico and Brazil. Micheal also told me that Colombia's #1 export & import partner is the United States.

Like I said, Colombia is very rich in natural resources. They also have 95% of all of the emeralds in the world! Isn't that awesome! They also have gold, silver and copper. One of Colombia's most common natural resources is coal. Colombia has more coal than any other South American country. When I was in Colombia, I got to see coal mining... it was really cool! They also have a lot of manufacturing products. They manufacture: clothes, leather goods, food products, paper, chemicals, iron, and steel. Highlands have good soil which are used for planting commercial crops. Commercial Crops are crops that are not grown to eat , but are grown to sell. also, agriculture is a chief economic activity.

Colombia's currency is called peso. When I visited one of their banks, I learned that one United States dollar = 2,700 Colombian dollars. In Colombia, only 20% are in unemployment... that's pretty good! Also, inflation has been kept incredibly low there are 34.1% below the poverty line. There is 13% industry, 63% services, and 18% agriculture.

Once, raw materials were grown in Peru or Bolivia, but cultivation increased incredibly in Colombia. Did you know that Colombia is part of the Andean committee which is an economic organization of South American Countries?!? That's awesome! At first, I did not know that either.

Well... Gotta go!

From, Alayna

Argintina Government

Dear Carl,
this week, i am spending my time in Argentina... isn't that awesome! While I have been here i have learned a lot about Argentina's government. Here is what i have learned. Argentina is known as the Argentine Republic. It is operated by a representative and is a democratic republic today. That means that their government is lead by a president that serves for a 4 year term, so their government is like ours almost. But their were brief intervals of constitutional government. Their capital is Buenos Aires which is also their largest city. Argentina's economy suffered when the military took over. Juan Peron became their dictator in the 1940's. Good thing military dictatorship ended in 1983. In 1810, the citizens kicked out the Spanish Viceroy and established a government. The legislature is formed with two laws which makes up the government. It is formed form executive and bicameral. Judicial is the supreme court, legislative is the bicamercial national congress, and the executive carry's out the laws. This girl named Maya told me all about Argentina's important dates and all of their national symbols. Their constitution was on May 1, 1853 and independence day is on July 9, 1816. Argentina's National anthem is called Himmo Nacional Argentino. Their National symbol is the sun of may, the state birl is the Rufous Hornero, the state flower is the ceibo, and the state animal is the cougar. Well, that's all I have learned so far... hope you've enjoyed the info!

Sincerely, Alayna