What does Iberian mean?

What cultural traits does this region share with South America?

Why is this an individual realm and not simply included in a large Latin American region?



Memorize the “Major Qualities of Middle America.”

Island Chains

p. 139 Learn the italicized terms and find them on the map on the preceding pages.

What makes the archipelago a  hazardous region?


 What is a culture hearth?   Why is it important for this realm?  Which cultures inhabited this culture hearth?

The Lowland Maya

What environmental characteristics make the Maya special?

What’s a lingua franca and a theocracy?  What were the Maya achievements?



What were Aztec achievements? 


What allowed Cortés to succeed?

Effects of the Conquest

What was the impact of Spanish conquest on Amerindians?

 Why are colonial towns easy to navigate?

How did the Spanish change the distribution of Amerindians?

You are a conquistador.  How do you get rich in Middle America?


Where were the foci of Spanish activities and settlement?

Learn the Mainland-Rimland Framework.  Find it on the map.  Memorize it.

Which of the two -lands is most interesting to you?  Which would you most want to visit?  Why?

The Hacienda

What’s a hacienda?  Where were they?  If you were an Indian on one, what was your life like?  What  did you do?

The Plantation

What were the 5 characteristics of a plantation?  How was it different  from a hacienda?


Characterize the variety in Caribbean Middle America.

 Trace the political development of the region.

THE CARIBBEAN BASIN (starts p. 157)

What is the general human condition in Caribbean Middle America?
Characterize the past and present influences of the plantation (sugar) economy on the region.

What  motivated Castro?  Think about the region as a whole.

Problems of Widespread Poverty

Why does the region remain so poor?  Think about markets and dependency.

What are urban areas like in the region?  Why?

Why does reggae music and Bob Marley seem appropriate for this region?


Ethnicity and Advantage

Learn the color ranking of the region.  What is a plural society? 

Tourism: Promising alternative?

Explain the title of this section?


MEXICO (Starts at p. 145)

Compare Mexico’s population to the rest of the realm.

Where are the Mexicans?  Why?  Mexico City ?

Why is transculturation used to characterize Mexico’s population?

Revolution and its Aftermath

 What was the purpose of the 1910 revolution?  What was the land ownership pattern?

 What factors caused the recent unrest in Chiapas?

The Changing Geography of Economic Activity

 What  recent agreement furthered the transformation?  Why?

 What shocks followed?  Why?


Characterize Mexican agriculture.

Energy resources

 What is the record of PEMEX?


What and where are maquiladoras?  Why are they there? Fig. 4-11

Uneven Regional Development

Write 2-3 sentences that explain the title of this section

NAFTA and Continuing Challenges

Why did we bail them out?  What about Mexican exports?

What are the challenges?


How large?  Where are the people?   What do those italicized terms mean)?

What are the problems?

Emergence from a Turbulent Era

What was the root of the turbulence?


Learn Guatemala, one of the most beautiful places on Earth.


How is Belize different?  How is that changing?  What are recent developments in the economy?

Honduras (my second home)

Why was/is it strategic?  What is its economy?

El Salvador

 How is it exceptional?  What is its export crop?  Why the civil war?


What’s the history of turmoil?  What are the economic prospects?

Costa Rica

 Why exceptional?  What’s its physical geography?  What’s the basis of its economy and political stability?



 Why strategic?  US interests?  US history?