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Central America

Central America

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Central America

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  1. Central America Caribbean and Central Countries

  2. Geography • Central America is an Isthmus • Isthmus – thin strip of land with two large bodies of water on each side • Connects Atlantic and Pacific Ocean with the Panama Canal • Most Central American countries are identified as part of North America

  3. Countries

  4. Climate • Much of Central America is located along the Equator • This results in a hot and humid climate. • There is not a winter season • There are heavy rain seasons which contribute to the dense vegetation and rainforests of Central America • Major rainforest exist due to tropical climate. • Hold a wide variety of animal and vegetation located only in Central America • In recent years there as been an increase in lumber industry, this has created a serious worry of deforestation

  5. Natural Disasters • Volcanoes run from Guatemala to Panama • Hurricanes cause massive flooding and Earth quakes are often severe in nature • Honduras – thousands were killed, and tens of thousands without homes, water or electricity • Climate of Central America is significantly harmed by climate change • Effects rain forests • Coral reefs • Agriculture

  6. Resources • Nickel, oil, fish, iron ore • The over logging of timber has led to rates of deforestation in six countries • Panama Canal – Built by the US in the early 1900’s it served as a connection for ships between the two oceans • It was given to Panama in 2000

  7. Problems • Large disparity of economic income • - very wealthy and very poor classes • The richest 10% controls over 40% of the income, while the bottom 50% receive only about 20% of the income in may countries (also applies to island nations) • Sex trade/tourism (child sex) is very prevalent • Large quantities of gun ownership and violent crimes • Sense of vigilantism • Significant drug trade leads to the issues list above

  8. Island Nations • Anguilla (British overseas territory) • Antigua and Barbuda • Aruba (Kingdom of the Netherlands) • Bahamas • Barbados • Bonaire (special municipality of the Netherlands) • British Virgin Islands (British overseas territory) • Cayman Islands (British overseas territory) • Cuba • Curaçaoconstituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands) • Dominica • Dominican Republic • Grenada • Guadeloupe (overseas department of France) • Haiti • Jamaica • Martinique (overseas department of France) • Montserrat (British overseas territory) • Puerto Rico (commonwealth of the United States)</small • Saba (special municipality of the Netherlands) • Saint Barthélemy (overseas collectivity of France) • Saint Kitts and Nevis • Saint Lucia • Saint Martin (overseas collectivity of France) • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines • Sint Eustatius (special municipality of the Netherlands) • Sint Maarten (constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands) • Trinidad and Tobago • Turks and Caicos Islands (British overseas territory) • United States Virgin Islands (territory of the United States)

  9. Location • The Caribbean is located between Florida and South America • These Islands connect to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea

  10. Climate • Varies by Island • Many are volcanic and mountainous (Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican) while others are relatively flat (Bahamas, Aruba) • Islands are Warm/humid and tropical • These nation generally receive rainfall which changes based on the elevation

  11. Diversity • The Caribbean is one of the International Conservation org. Hot spots • Incredibly diverse fauna (plants) • Multiple endangered species – Solenodon and Cuban Crocodile • Some have already become extinct (giant owls)

  12. These islands contain significant coral reefs • Sea turtles and migratory fish • The Puerto Rico Trench is located on the outset of the Caribbean sea and is the deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean (28,300 ft) • This creates an Ideal tourist attraction • This area is also known as the Hurricane Belt due to significant tropical storms and hurricanes throughout the year.

  13. History • The Caribbean was one of the first areas in North America to be occupied (discovered kind of) by Europeans • These Islands were controlled mostly by Spain, but, Portuguese, French, Dutch, English an d Swedish colonies were also created • The Caribbean was also dramatically effected by slavery. • This also explains the significant amount of African influence in the Caribbean

  14. Population - 36 million • Largest city is Havana, Cuba (2,142,000) • There are 13 sovereign (independent) countries, while many nations are controlled by other governments (ex. Puerto Rica is a US territory) • Demographics – consist of European, Asian, African and Native American ethnicities • Language – Spanish, French, English, Dutch Creole. • Religion – Very Diverse, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, local and traditional religions (Rastafari, Voodoo)

  15. Political • Regionalism - Because many nations are small, they joined to create an organization to create on a global level • CARICOM – Caribbean Common Market and Community • 15 Caribbean Islands Nations to work together politically and economically • United nations can control economic issues like tariffs • Organized regarding banana exportation

  16. Economy • Many Caribbean nation rely heavily on tourism each year (Accounts for over 70% of the economy in some islands) • Millions of visitors travel to Caribbean islands each year which creates a major service industry • Creates an issue by requiring a growth of infrastructure (roads, sewage, hotels) • Requires barrowing money from larger nations and raising taxes • Create low level, low income jobs

  17. Natural Resources • Very few actual resources • Fishing, timber, petroleum, nickel • Mainly Tourism creates jobs and economic growth • Agriculture – Plantation systems used for Bananas Coffee, tobacco and sugar cane