Central America, a cultural space. Learn in the third primary home UN1ON

Central America, a cultural space.  Learn in the third primary home  UN1ON

In a matter of date Sixth gradeThe topic will be discussed:Central America, a cultural spaceThrough which you will be able to learn about the importance of the geographical area for the development of Mesoamerican cultures and to identify the characteristics of the periods.

What will we learn?

In this session, you will focus on knowing the characteristics of Central America and the importance of geographical area for the development of the various Mesoamerican civilizations.

Remember that during the past courses you got to know about other civilizations that arose in other continents such as Egypt or ancient China. Now is the time to find out more, but about the civilizations that have occurred in our lands.

It’s important to have a sixth-grade history book on hand, as well as pencils, a notepad, and crayons, this time you’ll need a map of the Mexican Republic.


Remember that in order to study history, you must define your place spatially and temporally. That is why, in this case, you will make a Mesoamerican puzzle, which will allow you to determine the location of this cultural region and its divisions, as well as the civilizations in which they originated.

You will work on this puzzle in this and the following chapters.

What we do

To start, keep in mind that although this category focuses on Central America, it is important to remember that in our country two other regions can be identified: Oasisamerica and Aridoamérica.

Watch the following video that will allow you to get acquainted in general with the characteristics of one and the other.

  • Video entitled “Cultural Areas in Ancient Mexico / Educational TV”.

What differences have you identified between one and the other?

I definitely realized that the most noticeable difference is the weather and, of course, access to water.

at I want America This natural resource was very limited in comparison to Central America.

Do you remember what is one of the common characteristics among the civilizations we studied earlier?


For example, Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and India settled near rivers where they found elements that helped the development of agriculture.

The same thing happened with Central AmericaAmong its characteristics, as the video mentions, is heavy rain.

The area occupied by Central America was a vast area rich in natural resources, in which there were many ecosystems: semi-arid regions, tropical forests, mountains, plains, temperate forests, plateaus, as well as a rich hydrographic system consisting of rivers and lakes. This geographical area was crucial to the development of Mesoamerican civilizations.

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Before proceeding, think about how the settlement process took place, that is, when the residents settled to live somewhere. To do this, watch the following video:

  • Video “Hunting or Sowing / Educational TV”.

As you can see, the transition of the Bedouins to settled societies was a process that took a lot of time and effort: since humans began to practice the domestication of seeds and plants, and gradually, after a long time, this became in what we know today as agriculture.

As you can see, the most important characteristic of the development of these civilizations is the agriculture that led to the settlement.

Remember that civilizations like Mesopotamia s Egypt They used grains such as barley and wheat for their diet.

And the diet of Far Eastern civilizations, such as China, was also based on grains: rice.

In Central America, what are the grains on which farming and settlement is based? To answer this question, watch the video below.

  • The video “Domesticated corn in Central America”.

The Civilizations of Central America It was dependent on corn, although chili peppers, beans and zucchini were also grown.

Between 2500 and 1200 BC, agriculture took hold in Central America, which allowed the establishment of the first settled agricultural villages.

Now it’s time to get back to the map.

The first thing you should think about is that Central America is a concept that philosopher and anthropologist Paul Kirchhoff developed in 1943, when he found similarities between the civilizations that arose in that vast region.

Central America got this name because of the middle position it occupied in the American continent, meaning it means “Central America”.

And so, as you can see on the map, Central America stretched from northwestern Mexico to Central America, in the present-day territories of Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Start combining your map and puzzle!

Playing sports:

Light or point on your map the area that corresponds to Central America and determine if your federal entity is located within it, if not, it may be located in the region of Aridoamérica or Oasisamérica.

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Note that there are also divisions within Central America.

Scholars of ancient Mexico split Central America In five regions, as you can see on the map:

  • In the west, present-day Michoacan, boripicha settled. It also covered the states of Jalisco and Nayarit. This is one piece of the puzzle. Locate it or paste it on the map of Central America.

  • In Oaxaca, Mixtecos and Zapotecs; They have covered Guerrero’s current status. This is another piece of the puzzle. Locate it or paste it on the map of Central America.

  • In the Central Altiplano we find the civilizations of Teotihuacan, Toltec and Mexico. This is another piece of the puzzle. Locate it or paste it on the map of Central America.

  • The Maya region was located in what is now the Yucatan Peninsula, and it was located Campeche, Quintana Roo and the Maya civilization. This is another piece of the puzzle. Locate it or paste it on the map of Central America.

  • On the coast of the Gulf, we find Olmecs, Tutunakos and Huastikos. These civilizations occupied the lands of the present entities of Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Tabasco. This is another piece of the puzzle. Locate it or paste it on the map of Central America.

Don’t forget to mark the divisions of Central America on your map.

You have already studied that these civilizations had a common food base in corn, now ask yourself what other items did they share?

As you can see on the map, Central America was made up of different regions with certain characteristics, for example, each one with different languages, but they also shared a large number of similarities.

There was a clear social differentiation, on top of the scale were the rulers, who were at the same time priests or warrior chiefs, then craftsmen and peasants, who constituted the majority of the population, and worked the land.

They had a constant Product exchange Ideas that favored the cultural integration of all groups, for example, practices such as ball game.

They developed a high degree of urban planning and architecture by building hierarchical bases, irrigation canals, or housing units.

The religion was polytheistic, that is, they believed in various deities.

They devised various forms of writing as ideograms, and were based on live punctuation.

They also worked in clay, stone, wood, bird feathers, and the skins of some animals such as jaguars, cotton, and other natural fibers.

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Remember that not all Mesoamerican civilizations developed simultaneously, that is, at the same time, and despite the difficulty of determining the exact start and end dates for each one, specialists have divided its development into three main periods to facilitate their study. – Classical, Classical and Post-Classical period.

See the timeline on pages 58 and 59 of your free textbook.

The The pre-classical periodSpanning from 2500 BC to 200 AD, there are two main civilizations, the Olmecs in Tabasco and Quéquilco in the Valley of Mexico.

distance Classical period It consists of 200 to 900 AD, when the Teotihuacan civilizations in the Central Highlands, the Maya and Zapotec civilizations of Monte Alban were all splendid.

Finally, the postclassic period began around AD 900 and reached its climax in 1521 with the arrival of the Spanish and the fall of Tenochtitlan.

In the following chapters you will delve into each of these periods and the civilizations that compose them.

At the end of this session, remember the following:

With th Plant domestication And seeds, the inhabitants of the first villages modified their relationships and their societies turned into more hierarchical societies.

Little by little, the population increased and specialization in new tasks came with it. Although the basis of the economy was agriculture, other people devoted themselves to tasks such as crafts or construction, and so the big cities arose.

The Farming It was based on corn, and it is a product that currently offers a great variety, there is blue corn, cacaozintel, yellow, or corn to make popcorn or that is used in delicious pozzol. People in Central America also grew other plants for their food, such as chili peppers or squash.

Hence, the thing we enjoy today is the product of thousands of years of history.

Today, in our country, there are peoples descended from these societies, who maintain their own language, forms of organization and way of understanding the world.

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