Chapter 4 is a survey of Middle America (Mexico, Central America, and the Greater and Lesser Antilles that constitute the islands of the Caribbean Basin). Following an introduction, the sequential influences of the Amerindian (Mesoamerican) civilizations and the Hispanic colonizers are reviewed, and their various cultural collisions are evaluated in the shaping of contemporary society. The regional structure of the realm is initially presented within the useful “Mainland-Rimland” framework (set against the complex European colonial legacy). Each major region is then treated: the Caribbean—underscor-ing cultural and economic geography and the impact of tourism; Mexico—highlighting social and economic geography as well as plans for continuing development; and Central America—profiling each of its 7 republics, and emphasizing spatial dimensions of the instabilities that continue to plague this region.
Literally, a large estate in a Spanish-speaking country. Sometimes equated with plantation
, but there are important differences between these two types of agricultural enterprise and rural land tenure. Many have now been divided into smaller holdings or reorganized as cooperatives.
A large estate owned by an individual, family, or corporation and organized to produce a cash crop. Almost all plantations were established within the tropics.
Communally-owned cooperative farmlands in central and southern Mexico; former hacienda
A person of mixed African (black) and European (white) ancestry.
A person of mixed white and Amerindian ancestry.
Plural(istic) society (216)
A society in which two or more population groups, each practicing its own culture
, live adjacent to one another without mixing inside a single state.
Cultural modification resulting from intercultural borrowing. In cultural geography, the term refers to the change that occurs in the culture of indigenous peoples when contact is made with a society that is technologically superior.
Two-way cultural borrowing that occurs when different cultures of approximately equal complexity and technological level come into close contact. In acculturation
, by contrast, an indigenous society's culture is modified by contact with a technologically more advanced society.
The term given to modern industrial plants in Mexico's northern (U.S.) border zone. These foreign-owned factories assemble imported components and/or raw materials, and then export finished manufactures
, mainly to the United States. Most import duties are minimized (and will be phased out under NAFTA by 2002), bringing jobs to Mexico and the advantages of low wage rates to the foreign entrepreneurs.