South American is the fourth largest of the
It has 12 countries & 3 major territories.
Many countries belong to International Organizations
ARGENTINA, capital Buenos Aires has both the highest and lowest points in South America. Special attractions include museums, parks, waterfalls, some of the best skiing in the world, and 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The country has one of the longest highways in the world, Route 40, that runs parallel to the Andes mountains. Argentina has 6 geographic regions.
BOLIVIA, capital Sucre, has the highest capital city in the world. The country is landlocked and has a dense rain forest. Special attractions include archaeological sites, and jungle treks. The country has UNESCO Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves. Bolivia has 6 regions.
BRAZIL, capital Brazilia is the largest country in South America and the 5th largest country in the world. Most of the country is in the Southern hemisphere, but a small part is in the Northern Hemisphere. Sao Paulo is one of the largest metropolises in the world. Special attractions include museums, parks, the Amazon River and Forests, the world famous beach at Copacabana, and a Carnival. The Octavio Frias de Oliveria Bridge is unusual due to its form which is similar to an "X", crossing at the tower. The Pantanal is the largest freshwater wetland in the world. The Harbor of Rio De Janiero is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The Christ Redeemer Statue is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The country has UNESCO and Biosphere Reserves. Brazil has 6 regions.
COLOMBIA, capital Bogota, is the only country in South America with coastline along both oceans. Most of the country is in the Northern Hemisphere, but a small part of it is in the Southern Hemisphere. Special attractions include museums, monasteries, palaces, coral reefs, forts, and jungle tours. The country has UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves. Columbia has 5 5 regions.
Many countries in South America have CAVES including some of the most unexplored caves on earth. Huge cave systems here are among the largest and deepest on earth. Brazil has more caves and caverns than any other country in South America including the Abismo Guy Colletthe deepest abyss in the world and the Gruta Casa de Pedrathat has what is considered to be the largest cave mouth in the world. Mexico has many caves. The marble caves Chile, are over 6,000 years old. Guácharo (Oilbird) cave in Guacharo Cave National Park in Venezuela, is considered to be one of the most complete cave ecosystems on earth. Haitón del Guarataro is the deepest limestone cave in Venezuela. Cockpit Country in Jamaica is marked by steep-sided hollows which are separated by conical hills and ridges. South America also has sinkholes. The Great Blue Hole is a giant submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. The Zatacon sinkhole in Mexico is the deepest known water-filled sinkhole in the world. Sima Humboldt is an enormous sinkhole located in Venezuela. In 2010 the Guatemal City sinkhole was a major disaster.
Fossils of DINOSAURS have been found throughout South America. The 1st fossil of a mammal from the Jurassic Period was found in Argentina. The largest dinosaur in the world, Titanosaur and cretaceous jackrabbits have been found in Argentina. Australian platypus may have lived on the land during the Miocene Period. Torotoro National Park in Bolivia is famous for having more than 2,500 dinosaur footprints from the Cretaceous period, 120 million years ago.
South American has experienced many EARTHQUAKES. More than 1/4 of the world's "Great" earthquakes, magnitude 8 or larger, have occurred in western South America. An earthquake, magnitude 9.4-9.6, occurred in Chile in May 1960. It was the most powerful earthquake recorded and resulted in a tsunami. An earthquake, magnitude 7.8, occurred in Ecuador in April 2016. An earthquake, magnitude 6, occurred in Argentina in April 2016. The US Geological Survey and FEMA provide information about earthquakes.
EDUCATION in South America has made great progress. Almost all children attend primary school and access to secondary education has increased. Most educational systems have implemented various types of reforms that have enabled them to reach places and communities that previously had no access to education services. Higher Educationin South America has grown to more than 3,000 institutions inclujding private, public, and federal colleges and universities. Homeschooling is becoming popular. South America has Education Fairs
South America has approximately 70,000 species of FLOWERS and new species are discovered every year. Cuenca, Equador is the Flower Capital of South America. Many species of the passion flower originated in South America. Several countries in South America have a National Flower.
Each country in South America has its own GOVERNMENT. Most countries are members of International Organizations including the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and the World Trade Organization.
GUYANA, capital Guyana, was formerly part of the United Kingdom and known as British Guinea. Special attractions include museums, botanical and zoological gardens, rivers, jungle treks, rain forests, and waterfalls. Kaieteur Falls is one of the great waterfalls in the world. The largest freshwater fish in the world, the Arapaima, is found here. Guyana has many regions.
South America has many HISTORIC sites including Wonders of the World. Forgotten Wonders are the Inca City of Machu Picchu in Peru, and The Moai Statues of Tikal on Easter Island. Modern Wonders are the Itaipu Dam in Brazil/Paraguay and the Statue of Cresto Redenta in Brazil. Natural Wonders are Angel Falls in Venezuela, Iguacu Falls in Brazil/Argentina, and the harbor at Rio de Janiero. The continent has experienced several historic disasters. The eruption of Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Columbia in 1985 was the 4th deadliest volcano eruption in recorded history.
The HISTORY of South America spans the full range of human cultural and civilization. The continent is thought to have been first inhabited by people who had crossed the Bering Land Bridge from Asia, which is now the Bering Strait. By 12,000 BC they had made their way to Chile. Over the course of time, people spread to all parts of the continent.
South America has a large variety of INSECTS including tropical insects and arachnids. Spiders include the tarantula and the recluse. Unusual insects found include the Scarab Beetle, the Giant Water Bug which is the heaviest water insect in the world, and the Robberfly which is nearly 2-1/2" long. There are a number of stinging and venous insects including the Africanized Honeybee and dozens of species of Fire Ants. Some countries have an entomological society including Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Mexico, & Venezuela.
South America has many ISLANDS. Several major islands include . The Galapagos, Caribbean, South Sandwich Islands, and Easter Island where the Moai Statues, one of the Forgotten Wonders of the World, are located. The Falkland Islands are a British dependent territory and are also claimed by Argentina. Margarita is one of the most important island in Venezuela. When rivers flood, small pieces of land flow into the ocean and become islands and home to many birds, reptiles and small animals.
There are several JUNGLES and rain forestsin South America. The Amazon Jungle covers 60% of the country of Peru. Pacaas Novos National Park and Pantanal National Park are transitions from jungle to savanah. Sandstone mesas called tepuis are like islands above dense jungle foliage and have unique plants and animal.
KINGS have ruled several areas of South America. Easter Island has a long list of kings. At one time Brazil had a true royal family. There are several monarchies in South America. The continent has had several monarchies.
South America has many LANGUAGES. Spanish is the official language in most of the countries, but each country has a slightly different dialect and local idioms. Portugese is spoken in Brazil, English in Guayana, Dutch in Surini, French in French Guiana, and both Spanish and Guarani in Paraguqy. In one area of Venezuela, residents speak German.
LATIN AMERICAis the group of countries and dependencies in the Americas where Romance languages are predominant. Latin America consists of 20 sovereign states and several territories and dependencies which cover an area that stretches from the northern border of Mexico to the southern tip of South America, including the Caribbean. is all parts of the Americas that were once part of the Spanish and Portuguese Empires.
The history of LIBRARIES in South America dates back to before the conquest of the continent by the Spanish. Although the indigenous peoples of Mexico, Central America, and South America had developed a written language and, in some cases, created libraries and record depositories of their own. All of the countries in South America have LIBRARIES, including national libraries and beautiful libraries. The National Library of Brazil has borrowing services, exhibitions, and internet access. All of the universities in South America have a library.
A variety of MONEY is used in South America including the peso, the dollar, the guarani, the Sol, the Suriname Guilder, and Boliviano. In most countries the U.S. dollar can be used, and automatic teller machines are available.
Many countries have NATIONAL PARKS. Some of the National Parks in Argentina are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Brazil has over 40 National Parks plus state and local parks. Ecuador has National Parks and reserves.
South America is nearly surrounded by OCEANS. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by the Atlantic ocean, to the Southeast, Scotia Sea to the south, and Caribbean Sea to the Northeast. The continent is connected to the North American by the Isthmus of Panama. South American has experienced many shipwrecks and maritime disasters. The USGS provides information about why the ocean is Salty.
OIL and gas fields are located throughout South America. The biggest oil producers in South America are Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela. South America has several Oil Fields and there are many off shore projects.
PARAGUAY, capital Asunción, is landlocked and the 3rd largest country in South America. It is a large cattle producer and home to approximately 12 to 14 million head of cattle that often have a Brahman or British breed influence. Special attractions include museums, parks, a zoo, archaeology sites, and the world's largest hydroelectric dam - Itaipu. The country has a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. Paraguay has 2 regions.
South America has a POPULATION of nearly 400 million people. Brazil has the highest population in South America, Argentina has the highest population of any city, and Venezuela is one of the most densely populated countries in the western hemisphere. The rain forests of South America are home to indigenous people.
PERU, capital Limas, was home to the Inca Empire. The country has many special attractions including museums, churches with catacombs, protected areas, wildlife reserves, archaeological sites, and the world famous Nazca lines. a series of ancient geoglyphs and a World Heritage Site. The Inca City of Machu Piccu is one of the Forgotten Wonders of the and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. The country has UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves. Peru has many regions.
There are many RIVERS in South America. Water drainage is mostly from 3 main rivers emptying into the Atlantic Ocean, and most rivers are important transport routes. The most important rivers include the Amazon, the longest river in South America and the second longest river in the world, the Orinoco, and the Paraná, one of the most heavily damed rivers. The Rio Beni is the shortest principal river. The most powerful electric eels in the world are in the northern rivers of South America. In 2016 scientists discovered a a surprisingly intricate and extensive reef system in the ocean off the Amazon River made up of many unusual creatures. The Crystal Channel in Colombian is commonly called the "Liquid Rainbow" due to its many colors for several months of the year.
Many SPORTS are played in South America. Futbol/soccer is the most popular sport and most of the countries have teams. It is the National Sport of Argentina and many other countries. The first World Cups were held in South America. Baseball is the National Sport of Venezuela, and many children belong to Little League. The Southern Andes of Argentina and Chile have world famous Skiing
SURINAME, capital Paramaribo is the smallest independent country in South America. Special attractions include parks, mosques, synagogues, a palace, and a fort. The Brownsberg is a mountain and Nature Reserve in the rain forest. The Central Suriname Nature Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Suriname is divided 2 main geographic regions. The northern lowland coastal area has been cultivated and most of the population lives here. The southern part consists of tropical rain forest and sparsely inhabited savanna.
T IS FOR TRANSPORTATION & TREES
More than 2,500 kinds of TREES grow in South America, and nearly half of the continent is forested. Several countries have a National Tree. Logging is the main threat to the forests in South America. The Amazon River Basin is the largest tropical rain forest in the world and produces more than 20% of the world's supply of oxygen. Chile has many protected areas. A wide variety of birds, mammals, and reptiles live in the rain forests. There are Cloud Forests in South America.
South America has both public and private UNIVERSITIES. The Colonial Universities comprise all universities established by the Spanish Empire in Latin America from the Discovery of America in 1492 to the Wars of Independence in the early 19th century. The transfer of the European university model to the American overseas colonies represented a decisive turning point in the educational history of the continent.
URUGUAY is one of the smallest countries in South America and a popular vacation destination with more visitors per capita than any other country on the continent. Special attractions include museums, beaches, and outdoor markets. Most of the land is used for agriculture and livestock, and it is a world leader in cattle and wool production. It was the first South American country to give women the right to vote. The country has UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves. Uruguay has 2 main regions - North & South.
VENEZUELA is one of the most popular fishing areas in the world. Special attractions include cathedrals, palaces, beaches, parks, 3 World Heritage Sites, and the largest waterfall in the world - Angel Falls. The country also has the third largest river in South America - the Rio Orinoco. Morrocoy National Park in Venezuela includes about twenty uninhabited keys. The country produces one of the most sought after flavors of chocolate in the world - chuao. The country has UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves. Venezuela has many regions.
VOLCANOES are located throughout South America. Cotopaxi is the highest active volcano in the world. Quilotoa is a dorminate crater lake. South America has volcano observatories.The most recent eruptions were Turrialba Volcano in Costa Rica in March 2015 and Calbuco Volcano in Chile in April 2015. Momobombo in Nicaragua erupted in December 2015. Sanbancaya Volcano in Peru erupted in November 2016.
South America has some of the most unique species of WILDLIFE in the world. Almost a fourth of all the known kinds of animals live on the continent but there are not great wild animal herds and no huge animals. The Cockscom Basin Wildlife Sancturary in Belize was established to protect the forests, fauna and watersheds of the eastern slopes of the Maya Mountains. The reserve was founded in 1990 as the first wilderness sanctuary for the Jaguar (Panthera onca) and is regarded as a premier site for Jaguar preservation in the world.The largest rodent in the world, the capybara is found in South America. Unusual animals in South America include the coati and the silky anteater. The maned wolf, squirrel monkey, and douroucouli, the only nocturnal monkey, can only be found in South America. The continent has several endangered species.
The first YMCA in South America was organized in 1893.