Chapter 9
Regional Atlas of Latin America
Section1: Landforms and Resources
• Latin: because the major Languages of the region,
Spanish & Portuguese, are derived from the Latin
• 1. Mountains & Highland: Latin America part of North
America, all of Central and South America, and the
Caribbean Islands.
• A. Mexico is often called a country of Mountains. Two
major mts. Ranges that shapes Northern Mexico.
• Sierra Madre Oriental on the east.
• Sierra Madre Occidental: west
• Sierra Madre del Sur: both mts. Connect in the south.
• The Andes Mts. Of the South America
• 2. Other ranges in Latin America include the Guiana
Highlands and Brazilian Highlands. Highlands are make
up of the mountainous or hilly sections of a country. The
include parts of Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French
Guiana, and Brazil.
II. Plains for Grain and Livestock: South America
has wide plains that offer rich soil for growing crops
and grasses for grazing Livestock.
• 3. Colombia and Venezuela contain vast plains called
llanos, which are grassy, treeless areas used for
livestock grazing and farming.
• 4. Brazil also contains expansive plains in the interior
of the country. These are the cerrado, savannas with flat
terrain and moderate rainfall that make them suitable for
• 5. In parts of South America, the plains are known as
pampas, area of grasslands and rich soil. Pampas are
found in northern Argentina and Uruguay. The main
products are cattle and wheat grain.
III. The countries of Central America & the Caribbean do not
have the extensive river systems that are found in South
America. South America has three major river systems.
• 6. Farther south, the Amazon River flows about 4,000
miles from west to east, emptying into the Atlantic
• 7. The Orinoco River winds though the northern part of
the continent, mainly in Venezuela. It flows more than
1,500 miles, partly along the Colombia-Venezuela
border, to the Atlantic.
• The Parana River has its origins in the highlands of
southern Brazil. It travels about 3,000 miles south
and west through Paraguay and Argentina, where it is
fed by several rivers, and then turns eastward.
IV. The Caribbean Island consist of three major groups:
the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, & the Lesser
Antilles. Together they sometimes called the West
• 8. The Greater Antilles are made up of the larger
islands in the Caribbean. These include Cuba,
Jamaica, Hispaniola, & Puerto Rico.
• The Lesser Antilles are the smaller islands in the
region southeast of Puerto Rico. They are divided into
the Windward islands and the Leeward islands. Located
between the Gulf Mexico & the Atlantic Ocean which
were created by volcanic activity or rocklike skeletons of
tiny sea animals.
V. Latin America is a treasure house of natural
resources. They include gold, silver, oil, natural gas,
agricultural & forest resources.
• 1. Gold, silver, iron, copper, bauxite (aluminum),
tin, lead, and nickel—all these minerals are
abundant in Latin America. Many of these minerals
are mined and then exported to other parts of the
world, where they are made into valuable goods.
• 2. Oil, coal, natural gas , uranium, and
hydroelectric power are all plentiful in Latin
America. Mexico and Venezuela have major oil
reserves. Brazil is rich in hydroelectric. Trinidad
has discovered vast reserves of natural gas.
1. How have the Andes Mountains affected the settlement
of South America?
• The Andes are a barrier to movement
between the Pacific coast in the interior
of the continent. Countries on the
eastern and northern coasts are easier to
reach and to travel in. These countries are
more heavily settled.
Section 2
Climate and Vegetation
I. A Varied Climate and Vegetation
• The Climate of Latin America ranges from
the hot and humid Amazon River basin to
the dry and desert-like conditions of
northern Mexico and southern Chile. Rain
Forest, desert, and savanna are all found
in the region.
Chapter 9 Section 2
The tropical zones of the region produce both rain
forests and the tree-dotted grasslands known as
• 1. Tropical wet
• 2. Central
America, the
• 3. Hot & rainy
• 4. Tropical wet &
• 5.Brazil, Colombia,
• 6. Hot with
seasonal rain
• 7. Semiarid
• 8. Mexico, Brazil,
Dry climate zones: Dry climate are found in Mexico &
different countries of South America, but neither Central
America or the Caribbean have dry climate.
• 9. Dry with some
• 10. Desert
• 11. Parts of
northern Mexico,
the coast of Peru,
northern Chile,
• 12. Dry
• 13. Humid
• 14. Parts of
Paraguay, Uruguay,
southern Brazil,
southern Bolivia,
and Northern
• 15. Rainy winters &
hot, humid summers
• 16Mediterranean
The mid-latitude, moderate climate zones in the region
are located south of the equator.
• 17. Part of Chile
along the west coast
• 18. Hot, dry
summers & cool,
moist winters.
• 19. Marine west
• 20. Parts of
southern Chile &
• 21. Cool, rainy
winters and mild,
rainy summers
• 22. Highlands
• 23. Mts. Of
Mexico and South
• 24. Varies with
altitude, from
moderate to cold
Region of Mexico
Central Mexico: Mexican
Plateau, valley of
Mexico, tectonic
Activity, dry rain
Shadow; cool high land
East Coast:Coastal
Plain east of Sierra
Madre Oriental, much
rainfall near mts., in
S.E., Occasional
Hurricanes, oil & gas
Fields in Gulf
of Mexico
Southern Mexico: small mts.,
Ranges, narrow valley,
Volcanoes pleasant
Climates in coastal
West Coast: Coastal Plain
West of sierra madre
Occidental, arid,& semiarid
Climates, desert &
Chapter 9: Section 3
Human-Environment interaction
I. Native people were the first to change environment to grow
food. The burn the forest to clear land, diverted streams to
irrigate crops, & they raised field in swampy areas plus carved
terraces on hillsides.
1. Slash-and-Burn: Method of clearing a field
by cutting & burning trees, grasses, &
• 2. Effects: creates fertile soil it will
exhausted, and farmers have to move on.
• 3. Terraced Farming: The cutting of step-like
horizontal fields into hillsides.
• 4. Effects: great for farming in hills & reduces
soil erosion.
• Argentina, Chile, & Uruguay are the most
highly urbanized countries in South America.
Here more then 85% of the people live in cities.
People move to the cities in the hope of
improving their lives. Many struggle to feed
their families by subsistence farming. Both push
and pull factors are at work in moving
peasants & farmers off the land & drawing
them to the cities.
II. Throughout Latin America, people are moving from rural areas
into the cities. They leave farms and villages in search of jobs
and a better life.
5. Push Factors: Factors that push people to
leave rural areas.( poor medical care, poor
education, low-paying jobs, no ownership of
• 6. Effects: That cities are growing rapidly
causing pollution, overcrowding, etc.
• 5. Pull Factors: factors that pull people toward
• 6. Effects: reasons are higher-paying jobs,
better schools, & better medical care
7. Rapidly Growing Cities:
Mexico City, Sao Paolo, Rio De
Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Lima,
Bogota, Santiago.
• 8. Effects: Slums, unemployment,
crime, high levels of air pollution,
shortages of drinkable water, & poor
III. Tourism is a growing industry throughout Latin
America. But despite the money, tourism is a mixed
• Tourist spends money and helps to create jobs. New
hotels, restaurants, boutiques, and other
businesses. Luxurious cruise ships anchor in the port of
a region and travelers spend money on souvenirs and
trips around the islands. Local people profit from the
• Jobs for local resident: local guides, rafting, sailing,
snorkeling expeditions. Informal economy.
• Tourism play a part in reducing the income gap.
• Jobs in hotels, restaurants, and resorts.
1. Describe the advantage and the disadvantage
of the growing tourist industry in Latin America?
• 1. Advantages of tourism: Creates businesses and
jobs; brings money into the economy; can help
reduce income gap.
• Resources would help the economy by bringing in more
industry. A better standard of living.
• 2. Disadvantages of tourism: cars congestion &
pollution; resentment among locals; local govt. get
into debt because of infrastructure, & profits will
sometimes not stay in the country.
• Rain forest development might cause some natural
resources to be lost. Cutting of large number of trees
could change the climate. Erosion would be a problem
during the rainy seasons.
• Infrastructure.
1. How might landforms affect the way people in Latin America live?
They protect & isolated communities
2. Where are the Sierra Madre & Andes mountains locates?
Mexico & South America
3. What are llanos & where are they located?
Grassy & treeless plains & are located in Colombia & Venezuela
4. Name the two other plains of South America?
Cerrado & Pampas
5. What are the three major river system in South America?
Orinoco, Amazon, & Parana
• 6. What are the three major island groups in the
Caribbean Island?
• The Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, & the Lesser
• 7.What country generates the most hydroelectric
power & why?
• Brazil, because of its many rivers
• 8. To grow food in the mountains, what technique is
• Terraced farming
• 9. Where is the slash-and-burn technique of farming
used today?
• Amazon River Basin
• 10. Name 3 of most urbanized countries in Latin
• Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Bogata, Mexico city, Lima
11. Why do people move to cities?
Better jobs, schools, medical care
12. What are two advantages of tourism?
Increased in employment & more money to
local economy
• 13. Why is there resentment between the local
population and tourists?
• The gap between rich tourists & less well-off
residents causes resentment.

Chapter 9 Regional Atlas of Latin America