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Latin America - Essay Example

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The region is basically a continent that constitutes the southern area of the landmass of America. For a land mass the size of a continent, the structure of geography of Latin…
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Geography of Latin America Number Question and 2 The geography of Latin America is one characterized with a myriad of different climates and regions. The region is basically a continent that constitutes the southern area of the landmass of America. For a land mass the size of a continent, the structure of geography of Latin America is relatively simple. The geography of the region is normally likened to a bowl of some sorts because of its interior that is flat and surrounded by mountains (Carlson, 1952). Apart from the plains at the coasts that are narrow, the Latin America is basically composed of three main features of topography. One of the features is the central lowlands. The others are the eastern region’s extensive highlands of Guiana and Brazil and the third is the Andes. The Andes for instance comprise ranges of mountains that are Cenozoic that resulted from the active convergence of the Pacific tectonic plates and the American tectonic plates (Gritzner, 2006).
The Latin America is widely reputed for its extensive tracks of fertile lands all across the continent and also with sites rich in rare minerals and stones. There are in addition to these, a plethora of water bodies all across the Latin America in the form of rivers, lakes, streams, and so coupled with beautiful sceneries. The nature of the geography of Latin America has been more beneficial to the people living in the region than it has been detrimental. For one, the geography is one that attracts habitable/ suitable climates where populations and crops can thrive. There is a lot of rainfall experienced in the region throughout the year and with the fertile soils of the lands, agriculture in the region continues to boom. The region therefore because of its geography is food sufficient with the surplus exported to other areas for foreign exchange. Furthermore, as already stated, the geography of the lands boasts rocks that contain a number of minerals such as copper, tin and mercury from the Altiplano, that are mined for monetary value (Webb, 1972).
Because of this good geography too, the Latin America has provided a suitable habitat for wildlife species such as in the Amazon that continue to elicit great tourism revenues. Other natural beauties of this geography such as the Iguazu falls in Argentina and the Perito Moreno glacier also bring in millions of tourists to the region annually. Because of all these activities that have been facilitated by the generous geography of the area, the region continues to experience great economic growth and the improvement of standards of living of the people. Trade in the region has also grown due to increased power of purchase and great economic activities, services and products (Gritzner, 2006).
However, mankind has also played some role in the geography of Latin America over time and more often than not these human interventions whether deliberate or not only serve to degrade the geography and the environment of the area with consequences patiently massing up with time. With increases in population, mankind has encroached into previously uninhabited lands such as forests and cleared them. This clearing has also been to facilitate for more room for agriculture (livestock or crop). The result is reduced quality and productivity of the ecosystem. Mining has also resulted in valleys and derelict topographies that have been rendered useless for both man and animals. But perhaps the most prominent of these human interventions is poor agricultural practices that have left lands open to soil erosion and so on. A good example of this is eastern Peru at the area where the Amazon lowland meets the eastern flank where land has been cultivated for agricultural gains leaving the area susceptible to massive soil erosions especially after harvests (Webb, 1972).
Question 3: Opinion and Conclusion
Basically, the most notable feature in Latin America is the Andes (comprising mountain ranges) which extends from south to north of the western region of the continent. In the Eastern region of Latin America are other older highlands – the Guiana Highlands and the Brazilian highlands. And in between these two highland ranges of the west and the east are lowlands that are drained by major river systems. The lowlands are the most productive, fertile and populated hence (Carlson, 1952). The region’s activities such as agriculture and tourism are greatly boosted by this suitable geography and its resulting climate. However, it is my opinion, as has been clearly evident over time, that prudent measures of managing mankind and wildlife activities are necessary in order to protect the region and its good climate/ geography.
References
Carlson, F. A. (1952). Geography of Latin America (3d ed.). New York: Prentice-Hall.
Gritzner, C. F. (2006). Latin America. New York: Chelsea House Publishers.
Webb, K. E. (1972). Geography of Latin America; a regional analysis. Englewood Cliffs., N.J.: Prentice-Hall. Read More
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