Language and Religion in Latin America

As with any small country, Cuba has
fewer natural resources than
countries such as Brazil. This affects
their trade in that Cuba
A. Exports only manufactured goods
B. Should import fewer products
C. Needs to import more products
D. Does not import or export
Spanish & Portuguese Influence
on Latin America
Unit 6 Notes
Discovery of the Americas
• Christopher Columbus was
sponsored by Spain.
– His mission: find a quick and safe route
to Asia
• Columbus never reached Asia; he
landed in the Americas in 1492 and
claimed the surrounding land for
Columbus’ First Landing
Spanish Colonization
• Spanish explored, conquered, and
settled areas of Florida, Mexico, and
parts of Central and South America.
– also claimed many islands in the
• Today, most people in these
areas speak Spanish.
Portuguese Colonization
• Portugal claimed the land from the
Atlantic Ocean across South America
to the Andes Mountains.
– It covered most of the vast Amazon
River region, in what is now present-day
• Today, most people in this
area (Brazil) speak
Cultural Diffusion
• The Spanish and Portuguese spread
their culture and religion across the
– developed colonies that were similar to
the ones in Europe
– conquered the natives and forced them
to learn Spanish and Portuguese and
convert to Roman Catholicism
Languages in Latin
Latin America Today
• The term “Latin America” started in the
• It refers to the group of countries that
spoke mostly languages based on the
ancient Latin language.
– Spanish and Portuguese are both
derivatives of Latin.
• The shared religion (Catholic), culture,
& languages (Spanish & Portuguese)
have united the region.
What does this image tell you
about Latin America’s culture?
Diversity in Latin America
• Latin America’s cultures are diverse.
– Each region has its own history, languages,
customs, beliefs, foods, music, etc.
• Latin America also has diversity in its
– Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans are
the largest groups.
– Members of these groups have intermarried
and developed unique cultures over time.
Native Americans
• Europeans began colonizing the Americas in
the 1500s.
– They forced the natives to work on plantations & in
– Many native populations were completely wiped
out by European weapons and diseases.
• Some natives were able to preserve their
cultures by moving to remote regions.
• Many people in Venezuela are mestizos
(ancestors were both European and Native
• Europeans brought Africans to the
New World and forced them to work
as slaves.
• Descendants of these people still live
in Latin America today.
– Many live in Brazil, Panama, and islands
in the Caribbean.
• The main religion in Latin America is
Roman Catholic.
• However, practices of Native
Dia de los Muertos
Americans &ElAfricans
have blended
with Christian beliefs.
– Example: “Day of the Dead” in Mexico—
blends Native American beliefs about
the afterlife with Christian beliefs.
El Dia de los Muertos
Cultural Controversy…
• People with European ancestors
often have better paying jobs, better
education and health care, and more
money than people of Native
American or African descent.
• Other culture groups have begun to
demand equality in their countries.
– Example: In Bolivia in 2005, a Native
American was elected president for the
first time.
Cultural Collage!
• You are going to create a class collage of cultural
information regarding Latin America.
• You may include words, but the majority of space
must be filled with interesting and vivid pictures.
It is important that all aspects of culture are
represented in your collage, so you must include
pictures for each of the following examples of
Cultural Collage
You can use your class notes, library books, as well as The World
and Its People textbook to find information for your collage. The
following pages can be used to find information about the diverse
culture in Latin America:
Mexican Culture pages 203-204
Cultures of the Caribbean pages 219-223
Brazil's Culture and History pages 235-237
Argentina's People page 241
Venezuela's People page 244
Columbia's Culture page 257
Peru's Culture page 267-268
Ecuador's People page 269
Bolivia's People pages 272-273
Chile's Culture page 274

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