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South America Introduction: South America is a continent located in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with

a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean North America and the !aribbean Sea lie to the northwest. It is formed by twelve soverei"n states # Ar"entina, $olivia, $ra%il, !hile, !olombia, &cuador, 'uyana, Para"uay, Peru, Suriname, (ru"uay, and )ene%uela # the *rench 'uiana, which is an overseas re"ion of *rance, and the *al+land Islands, a $ritish Overseas ,erritory. In addition to this, the A$! islands of the Netherlands may also be considered part of South America, as well as ,rinidad and ,oba"o. ,he South American states that border the !aribbean Sea - !olombia, )ene%uela, 'uyana, Suriname, and *rench 'uiana - are also +nown as !aribbean South America. Culture: South Americans are culturally influenced by its indi"enous peoples, the historic connection with Iberian Peninsula and Africa, and the impact of mass culture from the (nited States of America, alon"side waves of immi"rants from around the "lobe. South American nations have a rich variety of music. Some of the most famous "enres include vallenato and cumbia from !olombia, samba and bossa nova from $ra%il, and tan"o from Ar"entina and (ru"uay. Also well +nown is the non#commercial fol+ "enre Nueva !anci.n movement which was founded in Ar"entina and !hile and /uic+ly spread to the rest of the 0atin America. Occupation: ,he first evidence for the e1istence of a"ricultural practices in South America dates bac+ to about 2333 $!, when s/uashes, chillies and beans be"an to be cultivated for food in the hi"hlands of the Ama%on $asin. Pottery evidence further su""ests that manioc, which remains a staple food today, was bein" cultivated as early as 4333 $!.$y 4333 $!, many a"rarian villa"e communities had been settled throu"hout the Andes and the surroundin" reli"ious re"ions. *ishin" became a widespread practice alon" the coast, helpin" establish fish as a primary source of food. Irri"ation systems were also developed at this time, which aided in the rise of an a"rarian society. South American cultures be"an domesticatin" llamas, vicu5as, "uanacos, and alpacas in the hi"hlands of the Andes circa 6733 $!.

Language: Portu"uese is the most spo+en lan"ua"e in South America, followed by Spanish 8926,4:6,:99;, which is the official lan"ua"e of most countries, alon" with other native lan"ua"es in some countries. Portu"uese is the official lan"ua"e of $ra%il. <utch is the official lan"ua"e of Suriname &n"lish is the official lan"ua"e of 'uyana, althou"h there are at least twelve other lan"ua"es spo+en in the country such as Hindi and Arabic. &n"lish is also spo+en in the *al+land Islands. *rench is the official lan"ua"e of *rench 'uiana and the second lan"ua"e in Amapa 8$ra%il;. Indi"enous lan"ua"es of South America include =uechua in &cuador, Peru, !hile, Ar"entina, !olombia, and $olivia Wayuunai+i in northern !olombia 80a 'ua>ira; 'uaran? in Para"uay and, to a much lesser e1tent, in $olivia Aymara in $olivia, Peru, and less often in !hile and @apudun"un is spo+en in certain poc+ets of southern !hile and, more rarely, Ar"entina. At least three South American indi"enous lan"ua"es 8=uechua, Aymara, and 'uarani; are reco"ni%ed alon" with Spanish as national lan"ua"es. Climate South America !limate is predominantly wet and hot. However the lar"e si%e of the continent ma+es the climate of South America varied with each re"ion havin" its own characteristic weather conditions. ,he other factors influencin" the climate of South America are the "eo"raphical location, ocean currents and winds. South America !limate differs from one re"ion to another. ,he Ama%on river basin has the typical hot wet climate suitable for the "rowth of rain forests. ,he temperatures in the Ama%on basin A3 to 23 de"rees *. ,he Andes @ountains, on the other hand, remain cold throu"hout the year. ,he temperatures of the mountains is always very low. ,he desert re"ions of !hile is the driest part of South America. ,he westerly winds carryin" moisture shed their moisture on the western parts of the Andes, thus the eastern portions of the mountains receive very little rainfall. ,he cold Peru !urrent is responsible for the dry coastal parts of Peru as well as northern !hile. ,he cold current is unable to hold much moisture. South America Human Life

South America brin"s to you the tan"y taste of life with its ethereal in"redients of salsa, tan"o and samba. It ta+es you to a world that is a deli"ht to the senses and re>uvenation for your mind as well. ,his is the place where you can have an awesome e1perience of wonderful natural beauty, cuisines, art forms and conceptions of self and community. In South America there are street corners where the pa"eantry and movement of life is so dynamic and so varied that you could stand still for a wee+ and never "et bored. Whether adventurin" into isolated settin"s with breathta+in" panoramic mountain views or windin" throu"h mar+etplaces bubblin" with the ener"y and chaos of modernity, South America has it all for you. As an icin" on the ca+e, the "enuine warmth and simple hospitality of the B@esti%oC families will help you develop a whole new appreciation for what it means to be a part of a community. Food South American cuisine refers to typical foods, bevera"es, and coo+in" styles common to many of the countries and cultures in South America. South America is a hi"hly diverse area of land that holds various cuisines that vary from nation to nation. Some items typical of South American cuisine include mai%e#based dishes 8tortillas, tamales, tacos, pupusas, arepas; and various salsas and other condiments 8"uacamole, pico de "allo, mole, chimichurri, chili, a>i, pebre;. ,hese spices are "enerally what "ive the South American cuisines a distinct flavor yet, each country of South America tends to use a different spice and those that share spices tend to use them at different /uantities. ,hus, this leads for a variety across the land. Sofrito, a culinary term that ori"inally referred to a specific combination of sauteed or braised aromatics, e1ists in South American cuisine. It refers to a sauce of tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, "arlic, onions and herbs. South American bevera"es are >ust as distinct as their foods. Some of the bevera"es can even date bac+ to the times of the Native Americans. Some popular bevera"es include mate, hibiscus tea, horchata, chicha, atole, cacao and a"uas frescas. <esserts in South America are "enerally very sweet in taste. ,hey include dulce de leche, alfa>or, rice puddin", tres leches ca+e, te>a and flan.

Vegetation South AmericaDs natural ve"etation follows closely the continentDs climatic %ones. In the Ama%on $asin and other tropical#rainy re"ions are vast rain forests. Here, dense stands of tall hardwood and softwood trees cover vast areas. In the Ama%on $asin much of the forest is bein" cleared and burned to provide land for settlement and farmin". *arther from the &/uator, as rainfall decreases and a dry season be"ins, the rain forest "radually "ives way to less dense tropical forest and then to "rasses. Where the dry season lasts si1 months or more, savannas are dominant. ,hese re"ions of tall "rasses with scattered patches of trees occupy the 0lanos of !olombia and )ene%uela and lar"e parts of southern $ra%il. Alon" permanent streams in savannas, where moisture is abundant, thic+ forests flourish. <rou"ht#prone northeastern $ra%il is mostly a scrubby woodland of thorny bushes and other plants that re/uire little water. Woodland and "rassland in southern $ra%il mer"e southward with the scrub of the 'ran !haco and the "rassy plains of the Pampas. @uch of Pata"onia is covered with semidesert plants, includin" shrubs and "rasses. On the humid eastern slopes of the Andes from )ene%uela south throu"h $olivia, ve"etation chan"es with increasin" altitude. ,ropical forests at the lower levels "ive way to subtropical trees, which fade out at hi"her elevations and are replaced by "rasses. ,he hi"h Andean plateaus and basins are nearly all sparsely covered "rasslands. $arren conditions prevail on the arid Pacific coast from Peru southward throu"h the Atacama <esert of northern !hile. On southern !hileDs rainy slopes are dense mi1ed forests of beech, cedar, fir, and other middle#latitude species.