"Find worksheets about Geography of Mexico. Hundreds of worksheets--millions of combinations."
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
"Find worksheets about Geography of Mexico. Hundreds of worksheets--millions of combinations."
One of the problems with so many outline maps for classroom use is that, depending on your lesson plan, you might want it labeled, showing surrounding countries or in color...but maybe not. This site lets you customize these simple maps that are perfect for the K-12 classroom (and yes, they have maps for all regions of the world).
This animation is made from a time series of maps reconstructing the movements of continental crust or blocks, as South America pulled away from North America, starting 170 million years ago. Note that South America is still clinging to Africa at the beginning of the series.
"In 2013, China replaced Mexico as the top sending country for immigrants to the United States. This followed a decade where immigration from China and India increased while immigration from Mexico decreased."
While the Wall Street Journal is declaring this news, it is nothing new to the Census Bureau and those that look at the data rather than listen to the news media. Some in the media would have you imagine that there is a flood of Mexican migrants entering the United States when the recent history shows that narrative simply doesn't line up with data. Would you have guessed that both India and China were sending more migrants to the U.S. than Mexico? This is one of those examples where our preconceived notions interfere with actually 'getting it right.' This is why Hans Rosling started the Ignorance Project. So on this Cinco de Mayo, I wanted to put some Mexico-U.S. statistics in the the right light.
Sixty of Mexico's native languages are at risk of being silenced forever—but many people are working to keep them alive, experts say.
If a language dies, an entire culture dies. Every year more and more languages and threatened and it gets worse as more people try to keep up with the demand of globalization. "Mexico isn't the only country losing its voices: If nothing is done, about half of the 6,000-plus languages spoken today will disappear by the end of this century." Endangered Languages are going to be all the more common.
Amid the celebrations this St Patrick's Day, there are also more somber commemorations taking place. In Mexico and in a small town in Galway, Ireland, they are remembering the hundreds of Irishmen who died fighting for Mexico against the United States: the San Patricio Battalion.
On St. Patrick's Day and afterward, many people shared happy pictures of Ireland, and that's lovely but I wanted this story. This is not a well-known story in the United States because it reveals the cultural prejudice against the Irish that was prevalent in the United States in the 1840s. I first learned about them in Mexico City, walking by a monument, that memorialized St. Patrick's Battalion. They were a group of soldiers that deserted from the U.S. army and chose to fight with their Catholic brethren on the Mexican side.
Questions to Ponder: Why are these historical events not usually mentioned in the U.S. national narrative? Why is this seen as very significant for Mexican national identity? What were the 'axes of identity' that mattered most to the those in St. Patrick's Battalion?
"In 2001 the world began talking about the Bric countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - as potential powerhouses of the world economy. The term was coined by economist Jim O'Neill, who has now identified the 'MINT' countries - Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey - as emerging economic giants. Here he explains why."
"This program, Boundaries and Borderlands, introduces the case study approach of the course. Here we examine the borderland region between the regions of North America and Latin America. The first case study, Twin Cities, Divided Lives, follows the story of Concha Martinez as she crosses between the U.S. and Mexico in order to make a life for herself and her children. The second case study, Operation Hold the Line, follows up the question of cross-border migration raised in the first program. It takes a look at how U.S. border policy is shaping the lives of not only the people living in this borderland region, but in more distant U.S. and Mexican locations as well."
This is a not a new resource and I know that many of you are familiar with it, but this is worth repeating for those not familiar with the Annenberg Media's "Power of Place" video series. With 26 videos (roughly 30 minutes each) that are regionally organized, this be a great resource for geography teachers that need either a regional of thematic case-study video clip.
"Mass killings have become increasingly common across Mexico due to the country's ongoing war on drugs. Cartels and gangs, often working with help from local police, are murdering innocent victims by the dozens and leaving them in unmarked graves. So just how bad is the violence in Mexico, and what is the Mexican President doing to stop it?"
"The Mexican tradition celebrates the dead and welcomes their return to the land of the living once a year. Enticing them to make the trip is where the food, drink and musical offerings come in."
Like many things in Mexico, the celebrations around the Day of the Dead are a combination of indigenous and Spanish traditions that collide to make something that is uniquely Mexican. This podcast goes through the symbolism in the cultural artifacts that are such a vibrant part of the festivities as does this Smithsonian interactive.
|Suggested by Thomas Schmeling|
Since Texas became a state, the Rio Grande has marked the border between the U.S. and Mexico. But, like rivers do, it moved. In 1964, the U.S. finally gave back 437 acres of land.
Ever since Texas became a state, the river has been the border between the two countries. But rivers can move — and that's exactly what happened in 1864, when torrential rains caused it to jump its banks and go south. Suddenly the border was in a different place, and Texas had gained 700 acres of land called the Chamizal (pronounced chah-mee-ZAHL), so named for a type of plant that grew there.
"Henry Monterroso is a foreigner in his own country. Raised in California from the age of 5, he was deported to Mexico in 2011 and found himself in a land he barely knew. But the 34-year-old now supervises five employees amid rows of small cubicles who spend eight hours a day dialing numbers across the United States. He is among thousands of deported Mexicans who are finding refuge in call centers in Tijuana and other border cities. In perfect English — some hardly speak Spanish — they converse with American consumers who buy gadgets, have questions about warrantees or complain about overdue deliveries."
I have family on both sides of the line; sometimes the border can feel like and artificial an inconsequential separation, at other times it feels like to biggest reality in the region. This article provides just one intriguing example of how the border both unites and divides economies, peoples, and places.
"When the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada went into effect in 1994, it removed nearly all trade barriers between the countries. Among the industries affected was agriculture, forcing small Mexican farmers into direct competition with big American agribusiness. Cheap American corn – heavily subsidized, mechanized and genetically modified – soon flooded the Mexican market to the detriment of local farmers. As U.S. farmers exported their subsidized corn to Mexico, local producer prices plummeted and small farmers could no longer earn enough to live on."
International trade agreements are usually discussed at the national level. "NAFTA benefits Mexico" is a commonly heard saying because trade with the United States and Canada strengthens the manufacturing sector in Mexico. Even if there is an overall benefit to a country, there are always winners and losers for different regions, economic sectors and many other demographic groups. Farmers in southern Mexico were certainly a sector that struggled mightily under NAFTA.
A new advertising campaign is seeking to draw attention to the gap between the wealthy and the poverty-stricken in Mexico by showing how they co-exist in disturbingly close proximity.
There is a wide economic gap between the rich and the poor and in the spatial layout of urban settlements. Often an accompanying tangible separation exists between the communities where these groups live. These images (captured by a helicopter pilot with a keen eye for iconic and cultural landscapes in Mexico City) show neighborhoods in Mexico where this separation does not exist. Collectively they are reminiscent of this famous photograph in Brazil that shows the uneasy juxtaposition of favelas and luxurious housing.
Questions to Ponder: What are these neighborhoods like? How are these two communities linked and separated? Compare and contrast life on both sides of the fence.
They've driven prices so low that Mexican growers are giving up.
For the first time ever, many of the farmers who supply Mexican drug cartels have stopped planting marijuana, reports the Washington Post. "It's not worth it anymore," said Rodrigo Silla, a lifelong cannabis farmer from central Mexico. "I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization." Facing stiff competition from pot grown legally and illegally north of the border, the price for a kilogram of Mexican schwag has plummeted by 75 percent, from $100 to $25.
Events that we think of as local (Washington and Colorado legalizing marijuana use) have national and global implications, especially in a globalized economy. This article is but one example of why geographers try to approach every issue at a variety of scales to more fully comprehend the ramifications and ripple effects of any given phenomenon.
"Mexico City is a giant laboratory of urban morphology. Its 20 million residents live in neighborhoods based on a wide spectrum of plans. The colonial center (above) was built on the foundations of Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec empire. The old city was on an island in Lake Texcoco. The lake was drained to prevent flooding as the city expanded.
I've conducted research in Mexico City, and am endlessly fascinated but this urban amalgamation. The city is so extensive that there are numerous morphological patterns that can be seen in the city, including the 12 listed in the article.
|Suggested by Thomas Schmeling|
"Many good things are happening along a sliver of land that cuts through a crowded corner of Aguascalientes, a city of 1.3 million people. Fields strewn with garbage and a haven for criminals, followed the narrow path of an underground oil pipeline that traverses one impoverished neighborhood after another. In the past three years, the city has reclaimed almost all of this passage for the 300,000 people who live near it. The result is a 7.5 mile linear park that is one of Latin America’s most extraordinary urban green spaces: La Línea Verde — The Green Line."
The term "LULU" for city planners stands for local unwanted land use. LULUs are necessary (prisons, landfills etc.) to the society at large but nobody wants to be close to the negative and undesirable aspects they bring to a community ("NIMBY"-not in my backyard). Consequently, LULUs are usually concentrated in poorer neighborhoods with limited political capital and disproportionately bear the localized burdens of these sites. Inspired by the urban transformations in Curitiba Brazil (see this TED talk from Jaime Lerner of Curitiba discussing sustainable urbanism), this is a great example of how an urban renewal project that was able to mitigate the negatives and even make a LULU a positive for a community.
"One of the people I regard most highly here at Esri has created an online atlas of Mexico. The maps can be accessed in many different ways, such as an ArcGIS Online presentation with a description here, as an iPad iBook, but I think most importantly, as a series of story maps. Each of these separate story maps contains 1 to 6 thematically related maps on the following topics:
|Suggested by Kara Charboneau|
"A 50-year-old export industry that provides millions of jobs has to reinvent itself quickly to stay competitive."
A maquiladora is a term that often used to describe a factory in Northern Mexico that enjoys special tax breaks for eport-driven production. Northern Mexico is an ideal location for this type of industry because 1) access to American markets is high and 2) labor costs are relatively low. The Mexican Maquiladoras can no longer compete in a ‘race to the bottom’ for the lowest skill jobs, but they can produce higher-end goods and compete with China to supply more innovative consumer goods. Labor costs in China are on the rise, making Mexico able to compete more effectively with them on the open market. The total value of Mexican maquiladoras exports has grown by more than 50% in the last 5 years; more foreign corporations are investing money into Mexico. Some of the more innovative and aggressive maquiladoras are attempting to become more involved in the research and development end of production; essentially they want to start competing with European and American companies on the lucrative high-end of the commodity chain instead of fighting for the scraps at the bottom.
We chart the routes of, and reasons for, the barriers which are once again dividing populations
This is an in-depth, multi-media interactive that explores the political, economic and cultural implications of borders that are heavily fortified or militarized (I found this too late to be included in the "best posts of 2013" list, but this will be the first to include for 2014). Not all of these borders are political; in Brazil it explores the walls that separate different socioeconomic groups and in Northern Ireland they look at walls dividing religious groups. The interactive examines various borders including U.S./Mexico, Morocco, Syria, India/Bangladesh, Brazil, Israel, Greece/Turkey, Northern Ireland, North/South Korea and Spain. The overarching questions are these: why are we building new walls to divide us? What are the impacts of these barriers?
"Landsat has seen a lot in its day. In one spot of desert, where the Rio Grande marks the border between the United States and Mexico, the satellite program captured hundreds of images of fields turning green with the season, new developments expanding from El Paso, Texas, and clouds moving over the neighboring mountains."
Since I have family on both sides of this line, I've always be fascinated by the U.S.-Mexico border as a cultural, political and economic phenomenon. Ciudad Juárez/El Paso are examples of 'twin cities' that form along the border and in many ways are one metropolitan area that has been brought together by the interactions available at the border; at the same time this regions is highly divided by spatial governance policies. Click here to download high resolution images El Paso/Ciudad Juárez.
|Suggested by Alex Northrup|
"With Europe sputtering and China costly, the 'stars are aligning' for Mexico as broad changes in the global economy create new dynamics of migration."
I’ve posted earlier about the end of cheap China; the rising cost of doing business in China coupled with the higher transportation costs to get goods to North American and European markets have made manufacturing in Mexican much more competitive on the global market. Many investors are turning to Mexico as an emerging land of opportunity and Mexico is now a destination for migrants. This is still a new pattern: only 1 percent of the country is foreign-born compared to the 13 percent that you would see in the United States. Mexican migration to the United States has stabilized; about as many Mexicans have moved to the U.S. (2005-2010) as those that have moved south of the border.
This image is from June 11, 2013, but if you click on the link you will see an image of Popocatépetl that is refreshed every minute. This massive volcano looms over Mexico City and plays a key role in the mythology of the city. The images are taken from a relatively new station in Tochimilco (clouds or intense weather might occasionally limit the visibility of the volcano).
Months have gone by since the last of the grisly mass killings that have marked the conflict’s darkest moments.
Cartels are still fighting each other, but they are no longer taunting the military and the police by doing it in such a blatantly public manner. Drug-related homicides are stable (and alarmingly high) at 12,000 per year but less in the border cities and more in the northern interior. The cartels are trying to avoid engaging the military, seeing that "spectacular acts of violence only bring more pressure to bear on them."
"A basic truth about the cultural geography of the California border [is this]—two very different city-building traditions come crashing into each other at one of the most contentious international boundary lines on the planet. In this collision, in the shocking contrast of landscapes, lies one critical ingredient of the border’s place identity."
As a geographer native to the San Diego region (with family on both sides of the border), I found this article very compelling. Relations across the border are economic, cultural and political in nature, and the merger of those varied interests have led to an uneven history of both cooperation and separation. Herzog analyses three distinct factors that have shape the landscape of the California-Mexico border zone: urbanization, NAFTA, and global interruptions (9/11).