Geography of Latin America

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Geography of Latin America

  • Host University

    Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

  • Location

    Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, Chile

  • Area of Study

    Geography, Latin American Studies

  • Language Level

    Advanced

    Hours & Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    5
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    7
  • Overview

    I. Description
    a. The subject is comprised of four units.
    i. In the first unit, the geographic evolution of the great structural units of America is explained.
    ii. In the second unit, a division is made between natural, independent regions and the administrative division.
    iii. The third unit addresses population.
    iv. In the fourth unit, different American countries are analyzed, especially in the economic, demographic, and cultural aspects.

    II. Objectives
    a. To teach specific knowledge about the geography of Latin America.
    b. To develop and apply a methodology of investigation of the current reality of America.
    c. To teach the understanding of the particular geographic realities of the diverse countries.
    d. To capture the possibilities of regional and continental integration
    e. To understand the problems with development and analyze the possibilities for solution.
    f. Exercise the critical analysis pf current documentation relative to the social problems, politics, and economics.

    III. Contents
    a. Unit I : Paleography of South America
    i. Tectonic plates in America
    ii. The shields: Brazilian and Patagonian Guyana.
    iii. The Andes mountain range
    iv. Island regions
    b. Unit 2: Natural regions of America
    i. South plains: Patagonia, Pampas, Chaco
    ii. The extra Andean basin of the Amazon - Orinoco.
    iii. The Andes mountain range
    iv. Central America and the Antilles
    v. Mexico
    c. Unit 3: Occupation and organization of the territories.
    i. The Spanish expansion in America.
    ii. The Portuguese expansion in America
    iii. The Andean countries.
    iv. Central America and Mexico
    d. Unit 4: The Countries of Latin America
    i. Political division and characteristics of the territory.
    ii. Current state of the economy and society.
    iii. Problems with development and solution attempts.
    iv. Economic integration projects.

    IV. Evaluation
    a. Four integral quizzes: one for each unit.
    b. Two exams from the reading: counted as a partial quiz.

Course Disclaimer

Please note that there are no beginning level Spanish courses offered in this program.

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.