Why is South America so Important to the World?

South America is a continent of immense importance to the world. It has a diverse agricultural sector, abundant mineral wealth, and plentiful fresh water. The region's economy is largely based on the export of natural resources, and its significance in the global community has grown since the end of the Cold War. South America is home to a wide variety of cultures, and its prodigious agricultural capacity, vast energy reserves, and incredible biodiversity make it an invaluable part of the world.

The continent is home to the Amazon River and rainforest, as well as the Pantanal wetland system. It also boasts the highest waterfall in the world (Angel Falls), the longest mountain range (the Andes), and the driest desert (Atacama). The countries of South America include Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, the Falkland Islands, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay. The region is also making efforts to reduce the effects of climate change.

In addition to its mainland countries, South America also includes several islands. At the end of the 20th century, Rock in Spanish emerged from young hipsters influenced by British pop and American rock in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. Brazil and Mexico are two of the top 10 countries with students studying in the United States; they have around 16,000 and 15,000 students respectively. The Biden administration is well-positioned to take advantage of this moment and present a new vision for participation in the Summit of the Americas which will be hosted by the United States next year.

The first evidence of agricultural practices in South America dates back to around 6500 BC. Brian Winter, editor of Americas Quarterly has noted that talk of a “lost decade” was also prevalent at the start of this century before a dramatic takeoff in 2000s that changed many regional economies and societies. South America has a total area of approximately 6,878,000 square miles (17,814,000 square km), or approximately one-eighth of Earth's land surface. This large gap can be seen in many large South American cities where makeshift shacks and slums sit next to high-class skyscrapers and luxury apartments. The continent's large elevation range produces an unparalleled diversity of climatic and ecological zones which is likely its most prominent feature.

The importation of African slaves represented a major change in South America's cultural landscape. It is part of the New World or Western Hemisphere known as the Americas. Although most of South America lies within the tropics and part extends north of the Equator, it also reaches subantarctic latitudes. Mexico and Central America share an Iberian heritage with almost all of South America so this entire region is often referred to as Latin America.

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