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Andes Mountains

the world's longest mountain chain, stretching along the west coast of South America


plains region of eastern Colombia and western Venezuela


large, flat area in the interior of Brazil; used for farming; the government is encouraging its development


the vast grassy plains of northern Argentina


a South American river 1,500 miles long

Amazon River

a major South American river


a South American river

mineral resources

inorganic substances that were formed by earth's geological processes; oil, natural gas, salt, sulphur and lignite

slash and burn

a farming method involving the cutting of trees, then burning them to provide ash-enriched soil for the planting of crops

terraced farming

a technique of growing crops in step-like fields cut into hillsides or mountain slopes


Capital of the Aztec Empire, located on an island in Lake Texcoco. Its population was about 150,000 on the eve of Spanish conquest. Mexico City was constructed on its ruins. (p. 305)


a person of mixed racial ancestry (especially mixed European and Native American ancestry)


North American Free Trade Agreement

Panama Canal

a ship canal 40 miles long across the Isthmus of Panama built by the United States (1904-1914)


popular music originating in the West Indies


a political system governed by a few people

Treaty of Tordesillas

Set the Line of Demarcation which was a boundary established in 1493 to define Spanish and Portuguese possessions in the Americas.


the most colorful feast day in brazil


the removal of trees


a group of military officers who rule a country after seizing power


a district of a city marked by poverty and inferior living conditions

Rain forest

a forest with heavy annual rainfall

Push factor

factor, such as unemployment or the lack of freedom of speech, that makes people want to leave their country and move to another one

Pull factor

factor such as freedom or employment opportunities that attract a person to a country

Spanish Conquest

the conquering of the Native Americans by the Spanish


Factories built by US companies in Mexico near the US border to take advantage of much lower labor costs in Mexico.

Cultural hearth

A center where cultures developed and from which ideas and traditions spread outward.


(Greek mythology) the sea nymph who detained Odysseus for seven years

Informal economy

Economic activity that is neither taxed nor monitored by a government; and is not included in that government's Gross National Product; as opposed to a formal economy


Largest and most powerful Andean empire. Controlled the Pacific coast of South America from Ecuador to Chile from its capital of Cuzco.


a member of a South American Indian people in Peru who were formerly the ruling class of the Inca empire

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