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Haiti: Legacy of Disaster

"Even before the earthquake Haiti's environment teetered on the brink of disaster. Brent and Craig Renaud report on the country's deforestation problems."

 

What about a disaster is 'natural' and what about the disaster is attributable to how people live on the land?  This video highlights the poverty, architectural and environmental factors that exacerbated the problems in the Haitian Earthquake of 2010.  This is a merging of both the physical geography and human geography.  


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James Hobson's curator insight, September 25, 2014 10:26 AM

(Central America topic 2)

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or in this case:

Which came first, the deforestation or the disparity?

I believe the answer can be both.

At first such a country's inhabitants might not know what devastating impacts manmade environmental changes such as deforestation can have - or, they might just have no other choice. Here disparity comes first. But unfortunately such effects can be far reaching. Deforestation can 'come back around' and be the cause (not only the result) of disparity: erosion, flooding, landslides, lack of natural resources. These all contribute to further disasters and crises, which continue the repeating trend.

Dr. Bonin has held classes pertaining to this same issue of deforestation, among the other issues which Haitians face. IN addition, the company I work for has been sponsoring a campaign to help humanitarian efforts in the country, and I have worked with people who have lived there.

Lastly, I can't help but notice an uncanny similarity between the deforestation of Haiti and that of Easter Island. I hope Easter Is. will be used as a warning message.

 

Alex Vielman's curator insight, September 29, 2015 3:13 PM

Conditions in Haiti were bad in Haiti even before the disaster of the 2010 Haitian Earthquake occurred. The video shows images of the clear deforestation Haiti is suffering as a country. A lot of the mountain tops and hills are seen white without those bright green colors. It is said that the country is already 97% deforested. The reason so is because charcoal is basically the only way Haitians can cook and even make money off of if possible. Sometimes people do not like to accept that the countries own people, are affecting their living environment. Haitians live in a country where nights are spent in the dark in rural areas. The charcoal is the light Haitians depend on as well.

Haiti is a country of extreme poverty that don't offer an alternative to charcoal, which is the reason for its deforestation. A lot of Haitians blame the governed for the lack of infrastructure in the country but its all the mudslides fault. It is something that physically humans can not contain unless alternative methods are used to prevent deforestation. 

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 6, 2015 8:05 PM

Conditions in Haiti are just terrible. This place is 90% deforested and people use charcoal and such to cook. Haiti was hit by an earthquake in 2010, but even before the earthquake, deforestation was a major problem. Most of the people that live here live in darkness with no electricity. To get light, people use charcoal, charcoal has very many great uses in Haiti. Individual survival means cutting down as many trees as possible to get charcoal so you can provide for family. Problems with this country is that technologically and natural disaster survivalness is poor. Floods and mudslides will continue to happen and people will die, also the infrastructure will not improve. A lot of problem would come from the government too, lack of help from a government creates a failing nation. 

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The changing origins of U.S. immigrants

The changing origins of U.S. immigrants | RIC Geography | Scoop.it
Back in 1992, most legal immigrants came from Latin America and Europe. Nowadays, they tend to come from Asia and Africa.

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Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 3:17 PM

From these statistics i dont think the biggest change is the latin american immigrant population but the european population. The european went from 13% to 8 % of the total make up of immigrant population. Thats a 60% decline, and that tells me that the attraction of living in America has diwendled while the EU market is on the rise. I think this is from the growing economies of the EU market and also the fact that the US has been improving in many of the leading statistics such as education, child care, and quality of life. 

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 10:58 AM

Is not a surprise that illegal immigrants have been decreasing since 2007, because the economy crisis and the borders.   

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 16, 2014 9:34 PM

Immigration has been an ongoing issue and the problem of border hopping doesn't make it any better. Of course numbers are going to vary from year to year. This article discusses where US immigrants come from and how the immigration changes over time. In 1992, most legal immigrants came from Latin America and Europe. Nowadays, they mostly come from Asia and Africa. Also, these statistics are only based off of legal immigrations. We cant forget the ones that just hop the border in their free time. As stated in the article, it has been estimated that there are about 11.1 million illegal immigrants in the United States. A majority of them come from Latin America and the Caribbean. With that being said, legal immigrants still make up the biggest chunk of the foreign population in the United States and the population only continues to grow.

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The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy | RIC Geography | Scoop.it
After cutting a destructive path through the Caribbean, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive damage along the East Coast this week.

 

While the damage wasn't as bad as many feared it could have been, place and spatial context are especially important in assessing the impacts of a natural disaster.  This is a excellent collection of the many devastating images as a result of Hurricane Sandy.  To see some more local images, Rhode Island Department of Transportation put this collection together.   


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Lisa Fonseca's comment, November 6, 2012 10:18 PM
I am speechless, these images have just torn my heart. Here in Providence, Rhode Island listened to multiple people say "oh this storm was nothing" they apparently need to view these photos, to understand Sandy was a monster of a storm. Mother nature is powerful and she can do just about anything. I am so mind boggled by the images, roads completely torn apart I never knew this could happen from a hurricane. It really made me appreciate how safe I was but now seeing these images really makes me want to get out there and tell more people to look at what happened in NJ,CT,NYC, and other places around the coast. My next step now is to get a donation bin started to send over to those states in major need. This is sure another natural disaster to go down in history.
Jordan Zemanek's comment, October 3, 2013 11:11 PM
Just with the information given, I can see how much damage the storm actually caused. Flooding and high winds obviously don't go together well. Although some communities weren't hit as bad as previously anticipated, some areas were largely damaged and the money needed to rebuild will be tremendous.
Alaina Rahn's comment, October 4, 2013 10:14 AM
I think it is very sad. I didn't know it was that bad. Now that I see those pictures it makes me feel very bad for those people.
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A quieter drug war in Mexico, but no less deadly

A quieter drug war in Mexico, but no less deadly | RIC Geography | Scoop.it
Months have gone by since the last of the grisly mass killings that have marked the conflict’s darkest moments.

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Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 28, 2015 2:45 PM

Looks like President Enrique Nieto has shifted tactics in Mexico's fight against the drug trade. When he won election from Felipe Calderon he changed the way he portrayed his country. No more would he parade alleged drug dealers and overlords before they went to trial. This would only infuriate the drug lords and they sought revenge by seeking out police to either kill, or bribe, further deteriorating the uneasy truce between the government and the drug trade. By keeping this off the news and promoting Mexico's other needs such as trade, education reform, and reduction of poverty.

The mass killings have been kept mostly out of the spotlight and the body count is still the same, but Nieto can now fight this fight largely out of the public's eye. The drug related killings have moved to the northern territories away from cameras and the public. This should afford him opportunity to focus on this problem and keep the public from thinking Armageddon is around the corner.

Alex Vielman's curator insight, September 29, 2015 2:38 PM

Mexico is a country that is still dealing with gangs and violence throughout the entire country. Gangs from Los Zetas to Los Sinaloas are constantly search of more power and reign over territories in Mexico. This article simply describes that the efforts against violence and drugs have not been resolved in the country, but it has got "quieter" in regards of violence against military or police officials. Between 2007 to 2012 attacks on military officials increased but recently they have been diminishing. The gangs have realized that having a war against military officials only brings more attention to them. The gangs are still fighting each other, but are not bombing or having urban gun battles in the middle of 'loud' cities. 

Big boarder cities like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez murder rate has dropped 80% since 2010. The question is, where are is the violence and attacks of cartel vs. cartel taking place? The area of battle is now in Torreon. This city of manufacturing, mining, and farming, is now one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico due to gang violence. It makes sense to draw attention to a city where industries are important. Another reason for the battles is because its the area between Los Zetas and Los Sinoloas territory. 

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, October 7, 2015 1:34 PM

It is interesting to know that the drug cartel violent s has slowly been decreasing from public views. Violence from the war on drugs on the Mexico border with the United States has been a huge issue for a while post 9/11. They are finally trying to avoid conflicts with the government, specifically the military and police  because it will only bring more pressure to them. It is a smart thing to keep violence of the streets but out in places where there the cartels can draw less attention, murders and trafficking still exist. It is important to understand that a huge problem like this does not just vanished completely, but changes overtime and shift to other quiet places.  

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Central America Map - Map of Central America Countries, Landforms, Rivers, and Information Pages

Central America Map - Map of Central America Countries, Landforms, Rivers, and Information Pages | RIC Geography | Scoop.it
Central America maps, facts, and flags. Free maps of Central American countries including Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama maps. Great geography information for students.

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Puerto Rico's Battered Economy: The Greece Of The Caribbean?

Puerto Rico's Battered Economy: The Greece Of The Caribbean? | RIC Geography | Scoop.it
With the highest unemployment rate in the U.S. and a mountain of debt, the island is facing a declining population. But those who stay insist they're there for the long haul.

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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, March 1, 2015 10:18 PM

If this is the Greece of the Caribbean I wonder how long the US will hold on to PR?  I don't know many who want to hold onto a sinking ship.  I can remember when the unemployment rate in RI was about 13%.  That was scary and PR is up to 14%.  They need to find a way to manufacture or produce something they can sell instead of buying items to sell from the Mainland.  They need a self sustaining economy.  

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 28, 2015 9:52 AM

It's clear from the transcript and even more so from the comments that the root of economic woes in Puerto Rico is corruption. Corruption of the economy through the black market, kindly referred to as the "informal economy", pet projects such as the rail system that cost 2.2B dollars and serves only 12 miles, and the lack of education. Citizens of this island pseudo nation are leaving to pursue other opportunities not available to them in their native country. The US may want to infuse dollars into their economy to build a university and foster reading academies that teach young children to read. If they don't turn around the brain drain soon, this island paradise will not have a happy ending.Also, additional dollars could be allocated to the tourism industry to increase revenue for the island.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 27, 2015 6:23 PM

I chose this article with the Somalia Refugee BBC pod cast on my mind. The pull factors for leaving a country are always obvious to me. Once again, there is a poor economy that isn't able to provide enough economic opportunity for its citizens. Also, there is an increase in crime that worries the population. Both of these reasons harm the future of citizens and as I mentioned in the Somalia article, leaving an area that provides little hope for a good future just makes sense.    

 

What I don't understand is why someone stays in an area when the pulls to leave are so strong. As I said in the Somalia article, I thought staying was because of a sense of duty. Yet, I am finding from the grandmother mentioned in this piece that pride is another factor. It seems like her pride isn't causing her to fix the problems rather the pride just makes her stay. It is almost like in gentrification where the new project will probably be better for the economy of the area (at least that is often the intent), but people are just too emotionally attached to want change. They really should given the cost benefits, but they don't. So I think I have issues grasping both of these reasons to stay because I have always analyzed a situation from a logical lens rather than an emotional one. 

 

Another aspect of the article that caught my attention was the comparison to Greece. As we learned about during the section on the EU, Greece's economy. The United States isn't entangled in PR's economy in quite the same manner as the EU is with Greece. However, the article did mention how their are American citizens with investments in this area. So if Puerto Rico's economy does fail, just how much of an impact would this have on the United States and the rest of the global economy? 

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New Organic Certification and Product Labeling Program for 2013 in Mexico | BioEmarket - Global Organic E-Marketplace B2B News

New Organic Certification and Product Labeling Program for 2013 in Mexico | BioEmarket - Global Organic E-Marketplace B2B News | RIC Geography | Scoop.it
On our website you will find information and news about organic food like organic milk,organic sugar products,organic drinks and more products.

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BioEmarket The Global Organic E-Marketplace's curator insight, November 15, 2013 8:11 AM

On October 29, 2013, the Government of Mexico unveiled a new program of rules and requirements for organic agriculture certification. Published in the Federal Register (Oficial Diario de la Federación), the program attempts to improve efficiency and simplify the  procedures for both transition and maintaining yearly organic certification. As the organic industry continues to grow, including a ten-fold increase of producers since 2008, an improved regulatory framework for all segments of the industry was needed.


The program utilizes many requirements and policies contained in the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) guidelines, and emulate internationally accepted rules. In addition, new designs, specifications, and coloring schemes of the official label are published that will apply to Mexican companies selling organic products. As consumer demand continues to grow, both U.S. and Mexico organic agriculture will continue to see many favorable opportunities for investment and trade.


The National Development Plan of Mexico 2013-2018 aims for a more prosperous nation by achieving its “Mexico Prospero” goal, which strives to promote economic growth with adequate infrastructure and healthy competition for all producers. In addition, strategic deregulation and a simplification of the agricultural framework are prioritized in hopes of better realizing the large potential of the agricultural industry.


Therefore, in October 2013, the Government of Mexico (GOM) published an organic labeling program and a new regulatory framework for the entire organic industry that affects producers, retailers, and processors. In an effort to improve exports and assist in consumer needs, the GOM presented a new framework and guidelines for certification of the organic production system.


Read more: http://www.bioemarket.ro/news/new-organic-certification-and-product-labeling-program-in--mexico-143

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What we can learn from Mexico

What we can learn from Mexico | RIC Geography | Scoop.it

Earlier this month, the president told a newspaper the solution to partisanship is politics and more politics.


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Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 2015 8:37 PM

The title of this article was what enticed me as I was hoping to find an actual answer. However, based on this article alone, I don’t actually think there is much the United States can learn from Mexico about politics or economics.

 

This author failed to mention that a difference in political systems could also attribute to the new Mexican leader’s ability to obtain “endorsements from across the spectrum.”  Mexico recently had an election. The new President this article is praising is part of a party that controlled the land for 70+ years until Nieto's predecessor. His predecessor messed up with the cartels so badly that Nieto was elected back into office. Given the amount of support Nieto had going into office, it doesn't seem so challenging to negotiate with opposing parties. Plus, I doubt the opposing parts are as unreasonable as some of the United States members of congress, like the Tea Party.   

 

I also see little to glean from the manufacturing route that Mexico is on at the moment. I will admit that the projected GDP growth of 4% mentioned in the article is impressive. However, thinking that the key to economic growth in the United States is through a similar “manufacturing boom” is just out of touch with the times. As stated in class our wages can’t keep up with the cheaper wages of developing countries (a point the author eluded to in the section discussing “the three main factors at play,” factor number three). Thus, doing what Mexico is doing doesn’t fit the American economy. What the United States might try doing is finding a manufacturing niche that no one has a market on in order to obtain more jobs. Maybe something higher end or medically related would be of benefit to the United States. Even these jobs would end up comprising a small part of the United States economy because the United States is more of a white collar economy. As such, more should be done to protect that sector of our economy from things like outsourcing given its relevance to our modern economy.

 

 Overall, I think the media’s quick comparisons of other countries falls under the bad category of globalization. A fair amount of people would just use this article to say things like, if Mexico’s leader can do X Y & Z then so should Obama. Yet, many of those people wouldn’t actually think about all the differences or reasons why Obama can’t compromise or revert the economy backwards. Am I saying Obama shouldn’t try more or that I am happy with the lack of compromise by all, no. However, I think it is dangerous for journalist to gloss over the situation since many people will take them as a credible source to cite. Mind you not all journalism is bad though. The Scoop.It article I read this week regarding Walmart is a great example of how investigative journalism can have positive consequences. The major difference being one actually did their homework that cited concrete specifics, while the other made a flimsy analogy.  

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 22, 2015 7:44 AM

While our government is perpetually mired in gridlock, the Mexican government is making lasting reforms to their nation. News attention on Mexico is almost always negative. While the violence and the drug trade are serious issues,  not enough attention is being devoted to the rapid growth of the Mexican economy. Politicians in Mexico are coming together to create an environment for positive economic growth. The article describes three factors that are leading to the growth of the Mexican economy. The first factor is Mexico's geographic location. Being located right next door to the United States is an enormous advantage for Mexico. Industrial goods are easily and cheaply being transported across the border. The second factor is the ever controversial NAFTA. The agreement ratified during the Clinton Administration allows for Mexican goods to be sold at lower rates than their Asian counterparts. The final factor is wages. The cheap labor environment has made the nation a manufacturing hub. So what can the United States learn from Mexico? Many of their economic advantages are not applicable to our country. However, we can look to Mexico for an example of functioning government. It well past time that our political parties come together and actually try to govern our nation.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, October 7, 2015 1:47 PM

Wow, what an interesting article about the direction Mexico is taking off on. Their GDP is increasing and the worker's wages are surprising better than Chinese workers. Both are huge exports of good and as a younger country than China, Mexico is on it's way to manufacture and economic boom. As neighbor country to Mexico, I am curious to see the actions U.S will take to learn and mirror Mexico's growth.

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For Migrants, New Land of Opportunity Is Mexico

For Migrants, New Land of Opportunity Is Mexico | RIC Geography | Scoop.it

"With Europe sputtering and China costly, the 'stars are aligning' for Mexico as broad changes in the global economy create new dynamics of migration."


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Aleena Reyes's curator insight, April 8, 2015 9:21 PM

Even though this article is now three years old, it is refreshing to see that Mexico is really making their mark on the global market. The Global North seems to be coming to a stalemate while "up and coming countries" like Mexico are becoming the perfect place for people to begin their businesses and have a fresh start on life. I can understand though, how it was mentioned on the third page of the article, that some locals may feel that foreigners, European especially, may be receiving some type of special treatment due to past colonialism. However, these entrepreneurs are shaping the economy of Mexico. This is Mexico's chance to advance in the world and increase its GDP. Young, aspiring moguls all seems to feel the same way about their homelands, "Europe, dying; Mexico, coming to life. The United States, closed and materialistic; Mexico, open and creative" and Diego Quemada-Diez, a Spanish director, was quoted in the article, "Europe feels spiritually dead and so does the United States...[y]ou end up wanting something else".  And apparently, Mexico has that "something else".

 

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 21, 2015 10:25 AM

Again, I would be interested in seeing how these statistics would change if they were to factor in illegal immigration from Mexico into the United States, but the data remains promising. Mexico has the potential to be an economic powerhouse, and hopefully will utilize this potential sooner rather than later. Although rampant corruption remains in the nation's politics and reinforcement agencies, a strong Mexican economy will ultimately deescalate the violence by stripping the cartels of their strongest allure- well-paying employment for uneducated young men. A stronger Mexican economy will also undoubtedly help the US in terms of trade, as well as reducing the rate of cartel-related violence in the southern regions of the nation. With so many Americans today rallying around Trump's racially-charged rants on Mexican immigration, it brings a smile to my face that we are currently sending more Americans to take Mexican jobs than they are sending our way. The hypocrisy of these politicians and their policies are laughable. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:20 AM

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.


Tags: Mexico, industry, location, place, migration.

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The Real Pirates of the Caribbean

The Real Pirates of the Caribbean | RIC Geography | Scoop.it
Explore the travels and exploits of five real pirates of the Caribbean. Click through the tabs to track the adventures of each pirate overlaid on Spanish ports and pirate strongholds in the area. Zoom into the map to see additional detail.
Via Seth Dixon
Laura Morse's insight:

As a future elementary school teacher, I find this site very interesting to use within my classroom.  This map and interactive website could be incorporated into many different lessons including; geography, trade, or even research on a specific trade routes and/or pirates on that route. My students would be able to use this website to grasp the geography of the Caribbean and Europe and how ships used to bring goods from one place to the next. Many students are visual learners, this site would help those students to understand the geography aspect of a lesson. This site is also very useful while doing a history lesson, students could grasp the concept of trade route easily by using this interactive site. 

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Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 11, 2015 10:00 PM

This pirate excursion map is so cool and gives a great look at the travels of different pirates.  As we get farther away from these time periods, it seems like the idea of these Caribbean pirates are fictional.  To hear true historical events about these individual pirates is very interesting.  I would  love to take a time machine back to Port Royal during these times to experience that madness.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 28, 2015 9:34 AM

Imagine the horror a native of the Caribbean must have felt when white men came into their scenic lands and pillaged their villages and plundered their treasuries? Blackbeard otherwise known as Edward Teach, would light slow burning cannon fuses and place them in his beard to create an aura about him as he fought and raided these port of call. Calico Jack Rackham, a great pirate name if there ever was one, was best known for having  a pair of female pirates aboard. Instantly becomes one of my heroes! Then you have William Parker who was actually an opportunist backed by England who plundered Spanish treasures throughout Central America. Here is my favorite pirate joke; what is a pirate's favorite letter? "R" you say? No, it's the letter "C", pirates love the sea....

Dr. Helen Teague's curator insight, September 14, 2015 9:28 AM

very interesting interactive map