South America is also a subregion of the South American Continent.
South America is a continent in the Southern Hemisphere, and part of the Western Hemisphere. To the west it borders the Pacific Ocean, to the east it borders the Atlantic Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea and North America are northwest of it.
Together with North America it forms the Americas, and it was named after Amerigo Vespucci. It is the fourth largest continent by area at 17,840,000 km2 (6,890,000 sq miles), and covers almost 3.5% of the earth's surface.
Its population in 2005 was 371 million, the fifth largest of the continents.
The main mountain range of South America is the Andes Mountains, which goes from Venezuela to the southern part of Chile.
The climate of the region is very diverse, having a tropical climate in the countries that have access to the Amazon Rain-forest, also the Chaco region between Bolivia and Paraguay and Misiones in Argentina. Western Peru, Western Bolivia and Northern Chile has a deserctic climate, being one of the most arid on Earth in the Atacama Desert of Chile. East Patagonia has a deserctic climate as well. The central part of Chile has a Mediterranean climate which allows good wine to be made, as well as the Cuyo Region in Argentina. South Chile has non tropical forests reaching tundra climate in the fjords of Chilean Patagonia.
The flora is as diverse as the climate, having native trees such as Araucaria in southern Chile.
Savage felines can be found such as pumas and also the famous llamas and alpacas in the Andean region.
The region has lithium in the lithium triangle between Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, a lot of copper and saltpeter in the north of Chile, oil in Venezuela and Guyana, as well as the Argentinian Patagonia and the Falkland Islands. The Amazon forest has natural rubber and a lot of cocoa is found on the forest.
Argentina has a lot of Arable land, being the farm of the world in the XX Century, also Southern Brazil, Paraguay, Chile and East Bolivia has.
The main languages spoken are Spanish and Portuguese. The most spoken native languages are Quechua in Peru and Bolivia and Guaraní in Paraguay. Mapudungun exist in the southern part of Chile but is not spoken by a majority.
The region is historically and culturally Catholic, however in the last decades Evangelicalism has been on the rise specially on Brazil and Chile as well as Atheism. Chile, Argentina and Uruguay are the most secular countries of the region.
Peru remains one of the most religious countries of the continent being strongly Catholic with a tradition in the indigenous people that goes back to the Spanish Empire. Cuzco city has a religious painting style that is unique and incorporates Andean elements to the paintings.
The Spanish Empire built universities in the region which still exist today, as well as new ones.
The region is has mostly mestizos, which is the combination of Amerindians with Spaniards, as well as Castizos, that is the same but with more European heritage. The northern part of South America historically has more Black People as slave plantations were implemented (against the law of the Empire). Some communities have immigrated to the region such as Welch people to Chubut Province in Argentina, Germans in Llanquihue zone and Valdivia in Chile, Southern Brazil and Paraguay, Mass migrations from Italians and French people to Argentina in the first part of the XX Century. Italians in Peru and Croats in the Magallanes Region of Chile. There's also a group of American descendants that come from the Confederacy in Brazil.
Economy and Commerce
Chile has the best metro system of the region.