Latin American Geographies

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GEO 373

Latin American Geographies
Essay One

There are quite a few imaginative geographies that can be found from many authors completing travel writings relating to Latin America. To fully understand where these writings are coming from, one must first know what is meant by ‘imaginative geographies.’ According to the author, Gareth Jones, imaginative geographies can be categorized by connections of global cultural flows as ethnoscapes, mediascapes, technoscapes, finanscapes and ideoscapes. Ethnoscapes are described as people who shift the world in which we live, also known as tourists, refugees, guestworkers and students. A technoscape for Latin America is the use of technology and information moving around the world about the geographic location. Ideoscapes deal with delivering news about Latin America’s engagement of the world-views of democracy and rights. According to the author, a finanscape deals with the performance of stock markets and finally a mediascape are the images and narratives attached that one receives of the area. With all of these images and information from many different sources, everyone is able to create their own perception of what Latin America is truly like.

The first reliable source of travel writing came from the official expedition of Charles Darwin and then Toby Green and his efforts to follow the same routes as Darwin across South America. Green’s purpose was to reveal the changes of the landscapes that were important to the study of evolution. Unfortunately, Green found this to be impossible to complete showing the truth of how time really does change everything. While Green can be a very reliable source in uncovering the truth about Latin America, some authors can be seen as incredible with their literature. The text offers little information on why the information presented should be considered useful as geographical information.

Finally, imaginative geographies can affect our purchases of consumption. The reason for this comes from our idea of not being fully informed beforehand on different items. Jones uses the example of purchasing bananas at his local farmer’s market. He makes a good argument of whether he is purchasing ‘Caribbean’ as to ‘Latin American’ bananas. Depending on which one he believes he is purchasing distorts his reality of Latin America.

Jones makes a very clear argument in his writing about imaginative geographies. Everyone suffers from them because our population is bombarded with too many images and information that we cannot possibly sort out all the credible authors and liars. Our only hope in finding out the truth is to encounter our own experiences with an open mind. There is nothing wrong in reading what others have to say, but one must remember to search for the truth when it comes to creating the real Latin America. Politics and Society

Essay Two

In Latin America, there were many chaotic political upheavals created during the colonial period. The best way to organize this information is to look at it as a pyramid. At the very top of the pyramid is the Catholic Church. The problem that occurred with the Church is the fact that they had a very ambitious plan to covert the population to Catholicism. Unfortunately, the problem at hand was that the conquistadors in the king’s court were more interested in gaining titles of power that they would participate in misdeeds in the name of the Catholic God.

Under the Catholic Church were the peninsular bureaucrats. These people were sent by the king to administer the colonies in Latin America. The bureaucrats had little interest in the people they were governing for their Latin America inhabitants were seen as an exile. Due to this train of thought, the bureaucrats focused more on their return to Madrid.

Since the bureaucrats were sent to govern the colonies, the colonies were populated by what are known today as criollos. Criollos were direct descendants of the original conquistadors who settled...
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