Home >> Human Geography >> The Countries Of Eastern to The Southern Countries Of >> The Low Plains and_P1

The Low Plains and Uplands of Mexico and Central America 361

people, land, lands, northeast, wind and winds

Page: 1 2 3 4

THE LOW PLAINS AND UPLANDS OF MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA 361. Lands without winter.—Let us now travel from the lands of ice and snow to the lands where these things are unknown. In imagination we can do this in an instant, but it takes many days to make the actual journey. Can you tell how we might travel from the land of reindeer to the land of bananas on the shores of the Caribbean? What changes need we make in our clothing? In the lands south of the Gulf of Mexico there is no winter, as we know winter, and no frost, except on high mountains. There the weather is much less changeable than our own. People can often tell for several weeks ahead what the weather will be, because the winds are not like the irregular cyclones that cross our country. Their winds blow almost always from one direction only, and for that reason are called constant winds.

362. Winds.—The lands between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn (Fig. 10) have three wind regions: (1) the north east trade, (2) the doldrums, and (3) the southeast trade. We shall study about all of these winds- later. Now we are inter ested in only the northeast trades, because they make the climate of this region.

363. The northeast trade winds.—In southern Mexico and Central America the wind blows from the northeast nearly all the time, and is called the northeast trade wind. For thousands of miles this northeast wind sweeps across the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Indian oceans in this latitude.

364. Trade-wind rains and forests.— When winds from the ocean blow against mountains, they cause rain. (Sec. 158.) Which side of Central America, of Mexico, and of the big islands in the trade-wind belts will have the most rain? (Figs. 144, 641.) What can you tell about the plants that grow on the northeast or windward side of Jamaica? of Hawaii? on the southwest or leeward side? The climate on a coast against which the trade wind blows has rain fall at all seasons. (Fig. 303.) Frequent rain and steady heat make thick, tangled forests along the eastern side of Central America and Mexico. On the Pacific side there is

less rainfall than on the Atlantic side, and the forests there are not so dense.

365. The people of Central America and Mexico.—Before the English and French settled the frosty lands of the United States and Canada, people from Spain had made settlements on the hot shores of Mexico and Central America. This land is so hot that the white man does not thrive there as he does farther north, so white people do not outnumber the Indians as they do in the parts of North America having frosty winters and warm summers. In some of the Central American countries there are only a few hundred or a few thousand people of pure white race. A somewhat larger number are part Indian and part white, but most of the people are the native, dark-skinned Indians.

366. Many countries.—If the people of Central America wish to go from one country to the next, the journey over land is up and down, up and down, from valley to ridge, from ridge to valley. Roads are few, travel is difficult. This difficulty of travel separates the people more than they would be separated if they lived on different islands in the sea. Several times they have tried to form a union. In 1920, Guatemala, Honduras, and Salvador united to form one govern ment. It is called the Cen tral American. Federation and its capital is Teguci galpa. The governments of the Central American coun tries are much like that of Mexico (Sec. 149), and peonage is common.

367. The three regions.

—The people of Central America and Mexico speak of their land as having three parts: (1) the cool land of the high plateau; (2) the hot land of the low plains, and (3) the temperate land which is on the slope between the other two.

We need not study the cold or cool land now, as we have already become acquainted with it (Sec. 143), and we know that much of Mexico is high enough to be a cool plateau. It is there that most of the Mexican people live and enjoy a pleasant climate with warm days and cool nights.

Page: 1 2 3 4