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MEXICO

What was the first major city in the Western Hemisphere?

From the first through the seventh centuries, the city of Teotihuacan flourished. Located northeast of modern Mexico City, Teotihuacan had a maximum population of approximately 200,000 and was the first major city in the Western Hemisphere. The city was graced with the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. Teotihuacan should not be confused with the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, which was built nearly six centuries later in the area that is now known as Mexico City.

Where are Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra Madre Oriental?

Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra Madre Oriental are two mountain ranges in Mexico. The ranges' names stem from the meanings of "occidental" (western) and "oriental" (eastern); thus the Sierra Madre Occidental lies along Mexico's west coast and the Sierra Madre Oriental lies along the east coast.

How many states are in Mexico?

Mexico is divided into 31 states plus the federal district of Mexico City. The largest state is Chihuahua, located in northern Mexico, with 95,400 square miles (247,086 square kilometers). The most populous state is the state of Mexico, located west of Mexico City, with 14 million people.

Where is the Yucatan?

The Yucatan is a large peninsula in southern Mexico. The Yucatan Peninsula "points" toward Florida and separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea.

How much of Mexico's population lives in Mexico City?

Approximately one-fourth of Mexico's population lives in Mexico City's metropolitan area. Mexico City, Mexico's capital, is the largest metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere, with a population of 19 million.

How do maquiladoras help clothe the United States?

Maquiladoras are Mexican factories owned by foreign (usually U.S.) corporations. Most often located along the Mexican-U.S. border, maquiladoras receive raw materials from the United States and produce finished goods for export. Maquiladoras commonly produce clothing and automobiles.

How much does an employee of a maquiladora earn?

Border factories prefer to employ women, who tend not to challenge poor working conditions and can be paid as little as one-sixth of what workers can make north of the border in the United States. This is approximately $1.00/hour, with most workers forced to work on average 48 hours per week.

CENTRAL AMERICA

What is the difference between Central and Latin America?

Central America includes the countries that connect North and South America and are located between Mexico and Colombia. The seven countries of Central America are Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Latin America is a much broader term, and includes Central America as well as Mexico and all of the countries of South America.

What was the last Central American country to obtain its independence?

In 1981, Belize, formerly known as British Honduras, became the last North American country to obtain independence.

Are there lots of mosquitoes on the Mosquito Coast?

The Mosquito Coast is an area 64 miles (103 kilometers) wide and approximately 250 miles (400 kilometers) long along Nicaragua's eastern shore. Though the Mosquito Coast receives an average of 250 inches (635 centimeters) of rain annually, making it a perfect breeding place for mosquitoes, the Mosquito Coast was named after the indigenous people of the area, the Mosquito Indians.

Off the coast of Belize are beautiful shallow reefs.

Off the coast of Belize are beautiful shallow reefs.

What is the difference between the Greater and Lesser Antilles?

The Greater Antilles refers to the four largest Caribbean islands: Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica. All smaller Caribbean islands make up the Lesser Antilles.

Who owns the Panama Canal?

In 1903, the U.S.-backed revolutionaries in western Colombia revolted and created the independent country of Panama, which was immediately recognized by the United States. The newly independent Panama gave the United States use of a 10-mile (16-kilometer)-wide strip of land across the Isthmus of Panama, where the United States built the Panama Canal. The United States maintained control of the Panama Canal and its surrounding land, called the Canal Zone, until 1999, when a 1977 agreement between the United States and Panama officially took effect and turned the canal over to the Central American nation.

Who is a peon?

A peon is a farm laborer in Central America who works on large farms known as haciendas.

What is the world's second-longest barrier reef?

The second-longest barrier reef in the world lies just off the Atlantic coast of Belize, on the northeastern corner of Central America, and consists of Lighthouse Reef and Glovers Reef. Belize's reefs are only a few dozen miles long while the Great Barrier, the longest reef in the world, is hundreds.

 
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