Unit 3- Latin America Vocabulary Definitions

cordillera
parallel chains or ranges of mountains
altiplano
spanish for “high plain,” a region in Peru and encircled by the Andes peaks
escarpment
steep cliff or slope between a higher and lower land surface
Llano
fertile plains in inland areas of Colombia and Venezuela
Pampa
grassy, treeless plains of southern South America
Estuary
an area where the tide meets a river current
canopy
top layer of a rain forest, where the top of tall trees form a continuous layer of leaves
Tierra Helada
the highest places found within the Andes mountains
Tierra caliente
Spanish term for “hot land”; the lowest altitude zone of Latin American highlands climates
Tierra Templada
Spanish term for “temperate land”; the middle altitude zone of Latin American highlands climates
Tierra Fria
Spanish term for “cold land”; the highest altitude zone of Latin American highlands climates
indigenous people
people native to a place
dialect
local form a language used in a particular place or by a certain group
patois
dialects that blend elements of indigenous, European, African, and Asian languages
urbanization
the movement of people from rural areas into cities
mega-city
cities with more than 10 million people
primate city
a city that dominates a countries economy, culture, and government and which population is concentrated; usually the capital
glyph
picture writing carved in stone
chinamapas
floating forming islands made by the Aztec
Quipu
Knotted cords of various lengths and colors used by the Inca to keep financial records
conquistador
spanish term for “conquerer,” referring to soldiers who conquered Native Americans in Latin America
viceroy
representatives of the spanish monarch appointed to enforce laws in colonial Latin America
caudillo
a Latin American political leader from the late 1800s on, often a military director
syncretism
a blending of beliefs and practices from different religions into one faith
murals
wall painting
mosaic
picture of design made with small pieces of colored stone, glass, shell, or tile
extended family
household made up of several generations of family members
malnutrition
faculty or inadequate nutrition
Futbol
spanish term for soccer
Jai Alai
traditional handball- type game popular with Mexicans and Cubans
export
commodities sent from one country to another for purposes of trade
campesino
farm workers; generally, people who live and work in rural areas
latifundia
in Latin America, large agricultural estates owned by families or corporations
minifundia
in Latin America, small farms that produce food chiefly for family use
cash crop
farm crop grown to be sold or traded rather than used by the farm family
developing country
country in the process of becoming industrialized
service industry
business that provides a service instead of making goods
maquiladora
in Mexico, manufacturing plants set up by foreign firms
NAFTA
trade agreement made in 1994 by Canada, the US, and Mexico
sustainable development
technological and economic growth that does not deplete the human and natural resources of a given area
deforestation
the loss or destruction of forests, mainly for logging or farming
slash-and-burn
traditional farming method in which all trees and plants in an area are cut and burned to add nutrients to the soil
reforestation
replanting young trees or seeds on lands where trees have been cut or destroyed
shantytowns
makeshift communities on the edges of cities
terracing
something formed as a terrace
hurricane
violent, tropical, cyclone storm of the western North Atlantic
El nino
a warm ocean current of variable intensity that develops after late December along the coast of Ecuador and Peru and sometimes causes catastrophic weather conditions
ecotourism
tourism to places having unspoiled natural resources, with minimal impact on the environmental being a primary concern
gaucho hydroelectric power
a form of energy generated by the conversion of free-falling water to electricity; the generation of electricity by using the motive power of water; also called hydroelectricity
Categories: Latin