Travel Journal

A journey through Central and South America

A Visit to Mexico City

Dear Journal,

Today I went to Mexico City and met a man named Juan Rodriguez, a geologist who discussed with me the geography that partook in Mexico City. Juan had told me that geography wasn't a very popular subject dealing with Mexico City and that when people often heard about this city the first thing that came to their mind was culture, not geography. This didn't mean that Mexico City didn't have an interesting geography as Juan would soon show me. As soon as we met, Juan pulled out a map to show me the certain geographical features in Mexico City. While looking at the map, the first thing Juan had stumbled upon and told me about was the valley Mexico City was located in, the valley of Mexico. The Valley of Mexico had been known for being surrounded with mountains and volcanoes and for surround the metropolitan area of Mexico City. Just south of the valley of Mexico are a range of active volcanoes, the tallest one being Orizaba climbing to 18,885 ft. As well as being surrounded by mountains, Mexico City is also located on top of a giant lake bed. Juan had told me that this causes problems, as it caused many of Mexico City's buildings to sink in the ground. According to the estimates, Juan had told me that buildings in Mexico City sink about one inch every year. The lake bed can also be a cause of massive flooding after heavy rainfall potentially harming more than 20 million residents who live in the lake bed. Although Mexico City isn't necessarily famous for its geography I learned about the unique landscape that differed from other areas in the world which is something that I will carry on forever.

Signing off,


A Day in Havana

Dear Journal,

Today I visited Havana, Cuba and hung out with the country's current leader, Fidel Castro. While there I asked Cuba's dictator about how the government in Cuba functioned which was the topic me and Castro talked about the rest of the day. Castro first told me that the government was a communist state with one political party. He then told me how he was voted for unanimously and that he wasn't planning for a reelection any time soon. Fidel then told me about the three branches in Cuba's government, the executive, legislative, and judiciary. Like the U.S. the three branches in Cuba's government sort of act similar in how they balance out power. To keep the executive branch balanced, the legislative branch holds an assembly to ratify decisions and laws made by the executive branch. The Judicial branch , on the other hand, get to make the final decision about a law in court. The highest form of the judiciary branch is the supreme court like the U.S. However, when making any decisions or laws, not at any point is the constitution able to be questioned at any point. "To do so would cause consequences, "Castro said.

Because of it's type of government, Cuba has faced a problem dealing with the U.S. dealing with the embargo. Fidel had told me he had no intention of ever giving in to the U.S' s demands being that they stop being a communist state. He said that the type of government they have right now which many including myself strongly disagree to.

Although Cuba's government branches are fairly similar to those found in the US, the idea of democracy is clearly not employed by the Cuban government. Many people are unhappy with their loves because of them not being able to make any choices. People who are looking for jobs don't get the freedom of what they get to do and this causes an unsatisfied population.

At the end of the day I said bye to Fidel Castro and left Havana. After looking at Cuba, it's amazing just how other governments and countries in the world are so close to us yet they differ in many ways.

Till next time,


Columbia; An economy to look into

Dear journal,

Today I plunged into and learned about the economy in Columbia. In Columbia's capitol, Bogota I met the president of Columbia Juan Manuel Santos. Santos told me about how Columbia was very rich in a variety of resources which leads the columbian government to be successful and how it was a marker economy. The first major export Santos had told me about was minerals. According to Santos, Columbia is the number one export in emeralds in the entire world. As well as emeralds Columbia is also known for exporting a lot of gold. Power is another industry that Columbia is also known for according to Santos. In fact, he told me that Columbia was the largest exporter of coal in south America. As well as coal, he said that Columbia had the second highest hydro power potential in south America just behind Brazil.

As well as power, Columbia has also been successful in agriculture growing cash crops such as bananas, sugarcane, and cotton. According to Santos however, Columbia had been most famous for its coffee, the main cash crop in Columbia. However, there is still one big problem dealing with agriculture. Due to the fact that farmers may not get enough revenue, many farmers have relied on growing the coca plant which is used to make the illegal drug cocaine. Growing cocaine and selling it has made farmers a bigger revenue then what they could imagine. Many people use the money earned to build up power and small armies. Some have even threatened to kill politicians while some have succeeded. Looking at Columbia's economy it has potential to be a very successful country.

See you later,


Brazil and its culture

Dear Journal,

Today I visited the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. When I first arrived in Rio de Janeiro I noticed that many people speak Portuguese. This is due to the fact that Brazil used to be owned by Portugal a long time ago. Many people in Rio de Janeiro also enjoy playing soccer their country sport and watching games at the Maracana stadium which houses over 220, 000 fans. After visiting the stadium, I went to go see the large Jesus statue looking over the city. It was then that I learned that 80 percent of the population is Roman catholic and is their main religion. While at the statue I also learned about Brazil's very diverse culture. Back in the 1700s, many slaves were brought to Brazil as well as others Asia and Europe coming to Brazil causing a very mixed and interesting culture.

Later that night I headed back to a celebration taking place on the streets called carnival. The purpose of this holiday was to celebrate the the coming of another Christian holiday, Lent. More than 500 thousand different visitors from other countries have come to celebrate this holiday making it the biggest carnival celebration in the whole world. Carnival also provides entertainment and a rich cultural background for you to discover.

See you in the next journal