Title:  You and Me and the PPP

Grade Level: 10-12

Subject(s): Social Studies, Globalization Current Affairs, Environment


This lesson introduces the pros and cons of development and its effects on local communities through examination of the Plan Puebla Panama.


To introduce the Plan Puebla Panama, a development plan that will reach all of Mesoamerica. This lesson provides the basis on which we will ask the question, "How is free trade and development effecting small communities and individuals?" throughout the countries in which we will travel.



  1. PPP Reading and Questions
  2. The Inter-American Development Bank's "A New Vision for Mesoamerica" at http://www.iadb.org/idbamerica/English/AUG01E/aug01e1.html
  3. World Atlas

Activities and Procedures:

  1. Find in an atlas the following information for Panama, El Salvador, and Mexico:
    • Literacy Rate
    • Average Income
    • Mortality Rate
    • Average Education Level and GNP
  2. Compare the numbers of each country: Which country seems to be the most developed? The least? Why the difference between them? (Resources, government stability, history)
  3. Look at pictures posted on the Log book section of Teachers on Bikes and then go to http://www.projectcensored.org/publications/2004/16.html for a critical view of the PPP. Then read "A New Vision for Mesoamerica" and discuss what the plan means for the countries involved. Comparing the two articles, what are the arguments given for and against the Plan? How do both argue that it could help or harm each country involved? Remember: the "New Vision" article is written by the IDB - what is their interest/role in the Plan? (Who is the IDB?)
  4. Read the PPP Reading and answer the two questions. Discuss: Who would be FOR the PPP? Who would be AGAINST it?

Tying It Together:

In groups, students create and present their own development plan for the region - How will countries make money? What types of development will be done? Who will decide how the plan is carried out? Who will be in charge? Who might be for or against your plan?