The Sierra Madre Mountains are commonly referred to as the range in Southern California. However, this California range is actually part of a larger network, from which it gets its name.
Meaning of Sierra Madre
Sierra Madre is Spanish for "mother mountain range." It applies to the network of mountains stretching through parts of the Americas.
Sierra Madre in Mexico
The Sierra Madre in Mexico consists of the Sierra Madre Oriental, the Sierra Madre Occidental and the Sierra Madre del Sur. A volcanic belt links those three sierras.
Sierra Madre in Mexico: Terrain
The terrain in the Mexican section of the Sierra Madre is varied. You find snow-covered peaks as well as hot, tropical valleys, and thick areas of vegetation interspersed with barren, sparse regions.
Sierra Madre in Central America
The Sierra Madre Mountains extend into Central America. Called the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, the continuation of this mountain range cuts through Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
Sierra Madre in the Philippines
Although not related to the Sierra Madre Mountains of North and Central America, the Philippines' longest mountain range--which dominates the country's biggest island, Luzon--is also named Sierra Madre.