My Travel Journal

By: Ethan W

My trip to Monterrey!

During my first stop on my trip through Latin America I had the pleasure of visiting the economic center of Northern Mexico Monterrey.Monterrey has an excellent economy. The have a GDP of 78.5 billion and is the 3rd best economic city in Latin America according to a magazine I picked up called America Economia. Part of this success is the sheer amount of industries Monterrey is home to. Some of these include steel, cement, glass, auto parts, and brewing.The industry I am interested in is brewing so I got at it learning more about what companies call Monterrey home. I ended up discovering something I never knew. FEMSA or as we know it Coca-Cola has its headquarters located in Monterrey. I hopped on my bike and made it to one of their bottling plants to see how it's done. Their coke is amazing and is much better than ours so I bought a package and will be bringing it back soon!FEMSA also has another impact on the local economy. The conglomerate is the owner of the soccer team CF Monterrey. Even their stadium is sponsored by Coca-Cola. I helped the local economy by attending one of their games. They even won!Monterrey is also home to many other Conglomerates. These include CEMEX, ALFA, AXTEL, SELTHER, GRUMA, and BANORTE. Monterrey is also a very sought after place to live. Monterrey is 5th in Latin America for quality of life. Monterrey is also very modern and includes many shopping malls which I enjoyed exploring.Steel is also very important to Monterrey's modern economy. Monterrey is known as the "Pittsburgh of Mexico". They were given this name because they almost supply all the steel in Mexico! Also, being so close to the U.S. they sell steel for people to use in car manufacturing.Overall my trip to Monterrey was exceptional. I went to the headquarters of FEMSA, got to attend a CF Monterrey game, and see the modern part of Monterrey while visiting their shopping malls. I hope my next stops in Latin America will be just as good as this one.

Yours Truly,

Ethan

Next Stop Puerto Rico!

On my second stop on my journey through Latin America I visited the U.S.A. territory of Puerto Rico. They are not an independent country but they have their own form of republican government and is protected by the U.S.A. Their rights and powers were given to them by U.S. congress. Their president is our president but they have a elected governor. The people of Puerto Rico cannot vote for the president in real elections, only in primaries. Their current governor is Alejandro Garcia Padilla. I had a chance to sit down with him and talk about their situation. He said " It's up in the air. It's now up to congress to make the decision for us," The people had just recently voted to become a state and congress has to now decide. I hope this has a good ending and I have another good time on my journey through Latin America.


Yours Truly,

Ethan

Hello from the Galapagos Islands!

On my 3rd stop in Latin America I got to visit the Ecuador owned Galapagos Islands or as the locals call it the "Archipelago of Colon". The Galapagos are known for their distinct wildlife diversity found nowhere else in the world. One of the coolest things I got to do there was going scuba diving off the coast. I saw some aquatic lizards and got a close up look at a Blue Whale. This place is so different because it has penguins but is located on the equator. The reason for the penguins and Blue Whale is because hot water coming from undersea vents mixes with cold water coming from the peruvian current to create perfect temperature water. Now let's get to some real geography. The Galapagos are made up of 19 main islands and more than 48 smaller ones. The closest mainland is 600 miles away which means the islands are completely isolated in the middle of the ocean. The oldest of these islands is estimated to be no more than 5 million years old ( which is really young). The youngest of these islands could be even as young as 100,000 years old CRAZY!!!! Most of these islands except for the largest are shield volcanoes. This makes the Galapagos one of the most volcanically active places in the world. All of the islands cover 36,000 square miles over the equator. The total area of all the islands is 3,028 square miles with the largest being Isabella covering 1,700 square miles. The Galapagos Islands are a joy and the wildlife is just wonderfull. I hope to come back and do all the things I didn't get to do on this trip.


Yours Truly,

Ethan

Last Stop Brazil!

Wow here I am the FIFA 2014 World Cup championship. The two teams playing are amazing but the crowd is ecstatic about getting to see their country team play against the always good Spain team. The stadium is rocking and is covered in a sea of green and yellow. Through all this commotion I finally realize why I took this journey through Latin America. It was to learn about learning about the different countries in this region so I decided to do some researching on Brazil and it's diverse ethnic groups. After a few searches I found some interesting information. There are 5 major ethnic groups in Brazil. These 5 are the Whites, Browns or (Pardo), Black, Asian, and Amerindian. The Whites and the Browns make up most of the population with Whites being 47.13% of the population and Browns being 43.13% of the population. Blacks make up 7.61% of the population, Asians 1.09%, and Amerindian being 0.43%. As you see Brazil is pretty diverse. The only percentage that surprised me was the Blacks. Brazil was once owned by the Dutch and the Dutch brought many Black African slaves to all of the colonies the owned. They brought these slaves to replace the Native Americans that had died off or been killed. Though in all this barely crossed my mind as the game was about to start and the roar from 190 million people around the country when the first kick was made. The facts I had found earlier slipped away and I was just enjoying the great game of soccer. Well, my journey through Latin America has been great and I hope to have another great journey in another part of the world soon.


Yours Truly,

Ethan