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The Cultures of South America

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1 The Cultures of South America

2 The People of South America
Most South Americans today are descended from Native Americans, Africans, or Europeans. Those that are a mixture of European and American Indian are called mestizos. Those that are a mixture of African and European are called mulattos. South America was mostly colonized by Spain, so most people speak Spanish and are Catholic.

3 Regions within South America
There are four cultural regions in South America. Each of these regions shares certain characteristics based on terrain, climate, and resources. The first region includes Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. Each of these countries border the Caribbean sea, so we call them the Caribbean countries. Because they are on the coast line, many of these countries have a culture similar to the Caribbean islands.

4 Other Regions in South America
Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador are known as Andean countries. These areas have many Native Americans that live high in the Andes mountains. In Bolivia there are more indigenous people than mestizos. Some of these native peoples speak their own unique language.

5 More Regions The third cultural region, known as the Atlantic countries consists of Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay. Most people in Chile are mestizos, while in Argentina and Uruguay they have a more diverse population. One culture that exists in Argentina’s Pampas, or plains, are known as guachos or cowhands that herd cattle. About 85% of Argentina’s people are of European ancestry. A large number of immigrants from Spain and Italy came to Argentina in the 1800’s. The arrival of these immigrants greatly influenced Argentina’s society and culture. The official language of Argentina is Spanish, although the language includes many Italian words.

6 The Largest Region Brazil is South America’s largest country and fourth region. Brazil’s culture is largely Portuguese. The Portuguese were the first and largest European group to colonize Brazil. Brazilians are of European, African, Native American, Asian, or mixed ancestry. Almost all of them speak a Brazilian form of Portuguese, which includes many words from Native American and African languages.

7 Rural and Urban Life Outside of Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay, most rural people practice subsistence farming. Subsistence farmers only grow enough food to feed their families. Very large farms in other areas grow coffee, sugar, and cocoa to export to other countries. Export farming uses so much land for cash crops that the people must import food to eat. To import means to buy from another country.

8 Urban Issues Just like in other regions of Latin America, the population of South America is rapidly growing. This rapid growth makes it hard to find jobs in rural areas. Every day, thousands of rural South Americans move to the city to look for work.

9 Cultural Contributions
The Incas provided advances in architecture and established economic networks The Europeans Explorers brought settlers, government and economics, and religion to South America. The African Slaves brought economic contributions because they provided more for the work force, and they also brought the arts to South America.

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