UNIT 1: Latin America: Myth and Reality
Latin America Map
Chapter 1: Mexico (A Country Challenged)
UNIT 2: Central America: Lands in Turmoil
Central America Map
Chapter 2: Belize
Chapter 3: Costa Rica (Republic of Costa Rica)
Chapter 4: El Salvador (Republic of El Salvador)
Chapter 5: Guatemala (Republic of Guatemala)
Chapter 6: Honduras (Republic of Honduras)
Chapter 7: Nicaragua (Republic of Nicaragua)
Chapter 8: Panama (Republic of Panama)
UNIT 3: South America: An Imperfect Prism
South America Map
Chapter 9: Argentina (Argentine Republic)
Chapter 10: Bolivia (Republic of Bolivia)
Chapter 11: Brazil (Federative Republic of Brazil)
Chapter 12: Chile (Republic of Chile)
Chapter 13: Colombia (Republic of Colombia)
Chapter 14: Ecuador (Republic of Ecuador)
Chapter 15: Guyana (Cooperative Republic of Guyana)
Chapter 16: Paraguay (Republic of Paraguay)
Chapter 17: Peru (Republic of Peru)
Chapter 18: Suriname (Republic of Suriname)
Chapter 19: Uruguay (Oriental Republic of Uruguay)
Chapter 20: Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela)
UNIT 4: The Caribbean: Sea of Diversity
The Caribbean Map
Chapter 21: Antigua and Barbuda
Chapter 22: The Bahamas (Commonwealth of the Bahamas)
Chapter 23: Barbados
Chapter 24: Cuba (Republic of Cuba)
Chapter 25: Dominica (Commonwealth of Dominica)
Chapter 26: Dominican Republic
Chapter 27: Grenada
Chapter 28: Haiti (Republic of Haiti)
Chapter 29: Jamaica
Chapter 30: St. Kitts–Nevis (Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis)
Chapter 31: St. Lucia
Chapter 32: St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Chapter 33: Trinidad and Tobago (Republic of Trinidad and Tobago)
UNIT 5: Articles from the World Press
1. The Paradoxes of Latin America, Mario Vargas Llosa, The American Interest, February 2008
"Latin America's wealth lies in its being many things simultaneously—so many . . . that it is a microcosm in which all the races and cultures of the world exist."
2. Violence against Women, Dr. César Chelala, Américas, May/June 2009
"In Latin America and the Caribbean . . . it is estimated that approximately 40 percent of the women in the region have experienced domestic violence."
3. The Return of Continuismo? Shelley A. McConnell, Current History, February 2010
"Latin America is witnessing an all-too-familiar pattern of presidents' manipulating the constitutional framework to seek additional terms in office."
4. Hemispheric Echoes, Larry Birns and Nicholas Birns, Harvard International Review, August 2007
The authors examine the phenomenon of Latin American populism, its roots and goals, and how these have shaped U.S. policy toward the region.
5. Dollarization Declines in Latin America, José M. Cartas, Finance & Development, March 2010
Over the past decade some Latin American countries have moved away from dependence on the dollar and have put more trust in their own currencies.
6. The New Mercantilism: China's Emerging Role in the Americas, Eric Farnsworth, Current History, February 2011
China's search for raw materials and export markets has both positive and negative impacts on Latin American economic growth and development.
7. The Real War in Mexico, Shannon O'Neil, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2009
"Hysteria over bloodshed in Mexico clouds the real challenge: the rising violence is a product of democratization—and the only real solution is to continue strengthening Mexican democracy."
8. Central America's Security Predicament, Michael Shifter, Current History, February 2011
Regional instability is the result of "deteriorating internal security conditions," economic stagnation, and high levels of violence. Much of the violence is attributable to drug gangs.
9. In Honduras, Land Struggles Highlight Post-Coup Polarization, Elisabeth Malkin, New York Times, September 2011
In the absence of meaningful land reform, farm workers have "laid claim to land which is owned by one of the richest men in Honduras."
10. Argentina's Troubled Transition, Hector E. Schamis, Current History, February 2008
Argentina "faces multiple difficulties in trying to build durable and robust democratic institutions." Inordinate executive power coupled with the vagaries of the economic cycle spell trouble for the country's democratic system.
11. Machisma, Cynthia Gorney, National Geographic, September 2011
"How a mix of female empowerment and steamy soap operas helped bring down Brazil's fertility rate and stoke its vibrant economy."
12. Go Before You Die, Patrick Graham, Harper's Magazine, February 2008
Although traveling through Colombia has become less dangerous, that security has come at a high human cost. A fitful peace is the result of deals struck with killers on the left and right, guerrillas and paramilitaries. Both sides profited from an ugly drug trade that still persists in this geographically diverse and beautiful country.
13. Wolf Sheds Fleece: Venezuela's Drift to Authoritarianism, The Economist, January 2010
President Hugo Chavez, through referenda, won constitutional changes that abolished term limits for the president and other senior elected officials. Discontent over "crime, inflation, and power and water shortages" have resulted in large antigovernment protests.
14. Chavez Struggles to Fix Venezuela's Housing Crisis, Christopher Toothaker, Associated Press, December 2011
Rural-to-urban migration in combination with recent natural disasters have left over 30,000 people in Caracas without adequate housing. The government has not been able to meet its promises to provide adequate accommodations.
15. In Cuba Property Thaw, New Hope for a Decayed Icon, Peter Orsi and Andrea Rodriguez, Associated Press, December 2011
The redevelopment of the fabled Malecon on Havana's waterfront is symptomatic of the emergence of a new economic model in Cuba.
16. The Stomachs of Strongmen, Ann Louise Bardach, New York Times, August 2011
The relationship of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez is examined in the context of their serious abdominal health problems. Cuba's close economic, political, and ideological ties to Venezuela are explored, as are the significant changes underway in Cuba.
17. Planting Hope on Hispaniola, Tommy Ventre, World Watch, January/February 2008
"Haiti and the Dominican Republic are both grappling with ravaged forests, each in its own way."
18. Aftershocks, David Heymann, The World Today, February 2010
The horrific Haitian earthquake killed hundreds of thousands, left a million without homes, and an infrastructure incapable of a meaningful response. "Could it have been different in Haiti? Would good planning have eased the pain of the shocks?"
Appendix A: United States Map and Statistics
Appendix B: Canada Map and Statistics
Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations