CCOG for GEO 215 Summer 2024

Course Number:
GEO 215
Course Title:
Geography of Latin America
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Explores the physical and human processes that create present day Latin America as a distinctive region. Analyzes the impact of colonialism, development, and globalization on the changing physical and cultural landscapes of the region. Covers topics such as social inequality and poverty, Indigenous peoples, population and migration, urbanization, political conflict, climate change, and environmental justice. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Define geographic features related to the physical and human geography of Latin America.
  • Analyze the distribution of regional features using maps, graphs, and visuals. 
  • Describe the historical and present day sociocultural, political, and economic characteristics of Latin American countries.
  • Examine changing political and economic relationships on a regional and global scale. 

Social Inquiry and Analysis

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to apply methods of inquiry and analysis to examine social contexts and the diversity of human thought and experience.

General education philosophy statement

Regional geography courses examine the relationships of cultural and environmental phenomena within different areas of the world. Students study characteristics of the region including ethnic groups, religions, languages, physical landscapes, politics, and economies. Students are asked to examine their own place in the global community and their relationships with other regions of the world, providing a foundation to recognize and appreciate cultural differences as they appear on the landscape. This includes considering connections between resource use and human rights issues, to increase awareness of the condition of women, minorities, and foreign workers in other parts of the world. This will lead students to become more informed and engaged consumers and global citizens.

Aspirational Goals

Use knowledge of historical and current issues in Latin America to be an informed global citizen.

Course Activities and Design

Class will include lectures, article reviews, student-led discussions, films, quizzes, guest speakers, and research projects including presentations.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will be expected to demonstrate mastery of themes, concepts, issues, competencies and skills by any combination of the following:

  • In-class discussions

  • Exams and quizzes

  • Mapping activities

  • Class assignments and exercises

  • Conducting research

  • Field observation exercises and projects

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts, Issues:

  • Maps and geographic concepts

  •  Human-environment interaction

  •  Historical geography

  •  Political ecology and economies

  • Geopolitics 

  •  Regional geography concepts

  •  Physical and cultural landscapes

  •  Pre-colonial Latin America

  •  Colonialism

  • Independence and dictatorships 

  • Political resistance and massacres

  • Dependency theory

  • Development  

  •  Globalization

  • US foreign policy towards Latin America

  • Indigenous peoples’ rights

  • Race and ethnicity 

  • Gender and Sexuality

  • Neoliberalism 

  • Poverty and Inequality

  • Commodification of natural resources 

  • Land use and degradation

  • Human trafficking and modern day slavery

  • Population and migration

  • Urbanization and slum formation

  • Global Warming

  •  Environmental Justice

Competencies and Skills:

  • Develop critical thinking skills and broaden perspectives of diversity issues.

  • Improve interpersonal skills and multicultural understanding.

  • Develop a sense of civic responsibility and leadership.

  • Facilitate co-learning and empowerment process