Background Information


1. Before reading the article, use a dictionary to define the following words:

peril



brazen



capitulation



repression



myriad



bristle



2. What area of Guatemala is the article about?



3. What kind of ecosystem dominates this area?



4. Why are peasants logging and burning land in the Maya Biosphere Preserve?





5. Name four alternative forms of income (other than farming) that have introduced in this region:





6. What are the drawbacks of these alternatives?







7. What is the population growth rate in Peten?





8. If 10,000 people live there now, how big will the population be in 10 years? Use the chart to help you. Multiply Column 2 by 10% and put your answer in Column 3. Add your result from Column 3 to Column 2 to get Column 4. Put your result from Column 4 into Column 2 on the next line. The first few are done for you:
Column 1

Year



Now

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10
Column 2

Population - Start



10,000

11,000

12,100

13,310
Column 3

10% Growth Rate


1,000

1,100

1,210
Column 4




11,000

12,100

13,310


9. Do you think the deforestation problem will be worse in 10 years? Why or why not?






10. What do you think should be done about the deforestation problem in Peten?





11. Imagine that you are a Guatemalan peasant who lost his/her land during the civil war. You are a squatter in the Maya Biosphere Preserve. Write a three paragraph essay arguing why you should be able to stay there.



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