Central America - Sayre Geography Class

Central America - Sayre Geography Class

Central America Countries

Guatemala Nicaragua Belize El Salvador Panama Honduras Costa Rica

Landforms and Climates The Mountainous Core Mountains run length of C. America

Highest are over 13,000 ft. Transportation in area is difficult Two climate zones exist here

Between 3,000-6,000 ft. springtime climate year round supports agriculture Over 6,000 ft is cold year round little vegetation Caribbean Lowlands

Tropical Climate is found here Rain forests are common Little agriculture is possible Climates contd. Pacific Coastal Plain

Savanna is common here Region only receives rain in summer Volcanic activity has given fertile soil to area because of ash Nicaragua contains many freshwater lakes that

contain sharks and swordfish Climate Hazards Tropical Storms and Hurricanes are common People and Culture

Mountains have made communication throughout area difficult Indians Half the population of Guatemala are native peoples

Europeans and Mestizos Europeans began settling here in 1500s after the Spanish Conquest Spanish is the official language in most of Central America 90% of Costa Ricans have European descent

Most of El Salvador and Nicaragua are mestizo People and Culture contd. African Descent Many Central Americans descend from African slaves brought to the area in the 1500s

Many people of African descent migrated from the Caribbean islands in the 1900s to work on plantations Wealth and Poverty

Most people are very poor Most rich are plantation owners of European or mestizo descent Most people of native or African descent are farmers with no land or low-wage laborers

Middle class is made up of small land owners and urban industry and service employees Economic Activities Most Central Americans earn living by farming

Most live by subsistence farming Small farms grow corn, beans, and squash Plantations grow cash crops Coffee, Bananas, Cotton

These crops account for over half of Central Americas exports Political Conflict

Lack of farmland to feed the growing population and the unequal distribution of land have led to conflicts Many redistribution of land have favored rich People opposing these plans have

started guerilla groups Political Conflict contd. Nicaragua Somoza family controlled government from 1936-1979 through tyranny Sandinistas overthrew the government in 1979

and tried to set up a socialist government Contras began to fight against Sandinistas because they were afraid of a communist government Fighting between two groups lasted until 1990 when a cease-fire was announced A peaceful election took place in 1996 Hurricane Mitch stopped reconstruction efforts

Political Conflict contd. El Salvador Rich landowners feared an uprising by the landless poor They hired death squads to kill political opponents A civil war erupted from 1979 to 1992

Nearly 70,000 people died A UN peace agreement was signed in 1992 to end the fighting Hurricane Mitch also hurt reconstruction efforts here

Political Conflict contd. Guatemala Country was ruled by military dictators after gaining independence in 1821 A liberal government was elected after World War II led by Jorge Ubico A civil war erupted in the 1960s

Death Squads were used to control the people Over 150,000 people died with 40,000 missing A civilian government under Jorge Elias was overthrown by the military in 1993 Congress elected Ramiro Carpio who tried to restore

peace The civil war ended in 1996 and the first free elections took place in 1999

Recently Viewed Presentations