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Countries of South America

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Presentation on theme: "Countries of South America"— Presentation transcript:

1 Countries of South America

2 Northern Tropics – The Guianas
Includes Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana Physical Characteristics Share tropical wet climate, rain forest, and a coastal plain Human Characteristics Guyana – Official language is English; Christian, Muslim, Hindu Suriname – Dutch is spoken; Christian, Muslim, Hindu French Guiana – Official language is French; Catholic Economic Activities All three share similar activities; fishing, farming, mining

3 Northern Tropics - Venezuela
Official language Spanish, people mostly Roman Catholic Andean Highlands Stretch across northern Venezuela; Capital city Caracas in this region Waterfalls and Grasslands World’s highest waterfall Angel Falls Llanos (plains) on both sides of Orinoco River Elevation and Climate Farmers grow different crops at different elevations. An Oil-Rich Region Economy mostly petroleum; top ten oil producer worldwide

4 Northern Tropics - Colombia
Physical Characteristics Three regions – lowlands, mountains, llanos Three quarters of people live between Andes in fertile valleys Single Crop Most farmland is used to grow coffee Drug Trade Huge quantities of marijuana and cocaine are exported illegally Estimate smuggling of drugs is twice as profitable as coffee Cooperation and Conflict Civil war in 1950’s resulted in 200,000 people killed Struggles to find solutions to challenge of social inequality

5 Andean Countries – Physical Characteristics
Andean Mountains divide Andean nations into three environments. Coastal Plain Narrow plain that stretches along the entire Pacific coast from Colombia to southern end of Chile. Highlands Plateau regions known as altiplano in Peru and Bolivia and as paramos in Ecuador. Tropical Forests Amazon rain forests begin in forested regions called selva.

6 Andean Countries – People and the Environment
Andean Countries contain rich soil, mountains contain a wealth of minerals. Mountains also restrict some trade to outside countries. Economic Activities People have adapted to elevation by engaging in vertical trade. Physical Effects Andean Native Americans who have lived at high altitudes for centuries have developed larger hearts and lungs.

7 Andean Countries – Ecuador
Takes its name from the Equator Population used to be concentrated in mountainous highlands, but now evenly distributed to coastal lowlands Oil was discovered in 1960s in lowlands which quickly became one of Ecuador’s most important exports. Government mismanagement and fluctuating oil prices caused decline in Ecuador’s growth in 1990s.

8 Andean Countries - Peru
Peru was the heart of the Inca Empire before it fell to the Spaniards in early 1500s. Most Peruvians are mestizos who work in factories or on plantations. Poverty and unemployment are a very big concern. Visit Peru

9 Andean Countries - Bolivia
Climate varies depending on each region’s altitude. Contains world’s highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca Most of Bolivia’s people are Native American subsistence farmers who live in the highlands. Struggling about what to do with large natural gas reserves. One of the poorest nations in South America.

10 Andean Countries - Chile
Name means end of the land Unlike the other Andean nations, Chile has relatively few Native Americans. Fertile river basin regions grow wine grapes, fruit, and vegetables. Chile’s economy has done well but still has about 3 million people living below the poverty line. Chile and Bolivia

11 Southern Grassland Countries – Physical Characteristics
Great Rivers Buenos Aires and Montevideo are located on the Rio de la Plata Andean Region Highest peaks of the Andes are in western Argentina Tropical Lowlands Also known as Gran Chaco, or hunting land Grasslands Pampas were home to hundreds of gauchos; now produces grain Patagonia South of the temperate grasslands, well suited for raising sheep.

12 Southern Grassland Countries - Paraguay
Almost all Paraguayans live in the highlands of the east. Half of the people live in urban areas, especially Asuncion Most Paraguayans are mestizos who speak Spanish Economy based on agriculture, cotton, grains, and livestock

13 Southern Grassland Countries - Uruguay
Most Uruguayans are of European descent, mainly Italian and Spanish. Much of Uruguay is rolling grasslands Primary economic activities are raising livestock, processing meat, and making wool and leather. Uruguay is one of the few countries in which people are required to vote and fined if they do not.

14 Southern Grassland Countries – Argentina
Most of Argentina’s people are of Spanish and Italian descent 13 million people live in Buenos Aires; Argentina has highest per capita GNP of Latin America countries Political instability between 1940 and 1983; many dictators

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