Social Studies - 2018-19

WG.6 d - Cultural Influences and Landscapes of Latin America and Caribbean

The student will analyze the characteristics of the Latin American and Caribbean regions by 

d) recognizing cultural influences and landscapes. 

Adopted: 2015


Theme: Cultural Diffusion & Conflict (Location, Place, Human-Environment Interaction, Movement, Region)

What factors have helped shape this region’s culture?

Which cultures have influenced Latin America?

Native and Spanish influences have shaped Mexico. 

Mexico's economy may expand because of democracy and trade. 


The major cultural influences on the Latin American and Caribbean regions were from indigenous (native) peoples’ influences. 

Europeans exerted major cultural influences on the Latin American and Caribbean regions. 

Mexico and most of Central and South America were initially settled primarily by the Spanish. There was some settlement by Britain and France. Brazil was primarily settled by Portugal. 

Africans who were brought to the area had a strong cultural impact on the regions. 

Every country has cultural landscapes that help define its national identity. 


Cultural influences 

  • Indigenous civilizations 
  • African traditions 
  • Influence of European colonization 
  • Predominance of Roman Catholic religion 
  • Rigid social structure 
  • Location of settlements: coastal in South America 
  • Megacities, squatter settlements 
  • Rapid population growth 
  • Out-migration 

Cultural heritage 

  • Music: African influences, calypso, steel drum bands, reggae 
  • Spanish, Portuguese languages 

Cultural landscape 

  • Pyramids 
  • Cathedrals 
  • Machu Picchu 
  • Tikal 
  • Christ the Redeemer statue 
  • Itaipu Dam


Updated: Jun 13, 2018