Things You Should Know:
- The Andes are a tall mountain range that lines the western portion of South America.
- The Amazon River carries rain and snowfall from the Andes Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean.
- Seasonal changes are caused by the tilt of the earth, so December in South America is a warm month.
- Soccer is a very popular sport in South America.
- In 1493, Pope Alexander VI drew a line that split South America between Spain and Portugal.
- Simon Bolivar was a Venezuelan revolutionary leader known as "the Liberator." Bolivar fought the Spanish to win the independence of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
- José de San Martin is a South American military hero who fought to win the independence of Argentina, Chile and Peru.
- Colombia is a mountainous nation known for it’s coffee andcitrus exports. Unfortunately, the Colombian government has been unable to stop the flow of illegal drugs from their nation.
- Oil is a major source of wealth in Venezuela.
- Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana are small tropical nations along the north coast of South America. Rainforest comprise a great deal of the sparsely populated lands of the nations.
- French Guiana served as a French penal colony until 1953. It's prisioners included Alfred Dreyfus and Henri 'Papillon' Charrière
- Charles Darwin formed his theories about evolutionwhile sailing in the Galapagos Islands.
- The violent Shining Path communist rebels have made many terrorist attacks in Peru.
- Lima is the capital of Peru.
- Bolivia is located high in the Andes mountains. American visitors to the most mountainout area of Bolivia often find it hard to breathe due to the lack of oxygen at high altitude.
- La Paz is Bolivia’s largest city.
- Paraguay is a poor, landlocked Andean nation.
- Paraguay was controlled by General Alfredo Stroessner, a brutal military leader who was overthrown in 1989
- Portuguese is the national language of Brazil.
- Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are the largest cities in Brazil, but the capital is the smaller city of Brasilia located deep in the highlands of central Brazil.
- Carnival is a four-day Brazilian festival that comes before Lent.
- Lent is a holy period for Christians. Many Christians fast or abandon pleasurable habits during Lent.
- Argentina has become a "melting pot" nation. More people have immigrated to Argentina from Europe than any other Latin American nation.
- Juan Peron was a nationalist leader who ruled Argentina in the 1940s and the 1950s and again briefly in the 1970s.
- Thousands of people disappeared after opposing the military in South America from 1976 to 1983. That period of Argentina’s history is known as "The Dirty War."
- Britain defeated Argentina in 1982 after Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands off the Argentine coast.
- Chile is the size of Texas but has a very different shape. It is 2,600 miles long, but only about 110 miles wide.
- Mining is a very important industry in Chile. Chile recently surpassed the United States toi become the world’s largest exporter of copper.
- Easter Island is located off the coast of Chile. It is famous for its large stone statues.
- Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago (or a group of islands) at the southern tip of South America.