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Latin America

The South American continent is the land of the jungles of the Amazon River basin, and the high peaks of the Andes. It includes the the grassy plains of Argentina and the lush rainforests of the interior. Some historians and anthropologists think that civilization in the Andes Mountains, of what is now Bolivia, may extend back in time as much as 21,000 years. When the Portuguese colonized Brazil in the 1500s, they encountered indigenous people with a vast array of life styles and belief systems, and, by the 1800s, the Latin American colonies of both Spain and Portugal, produced their own revolutions for independence.

In this section, you will learn about the ancient empire and civilization of the Incas, and about the hunter-gatherer people that lived in the heart of the Amazonian rainforest. You will read about the conquest of the South American continent by the kings of Spain and Portugal, and about how new countries were later created and developed from those old colonies. You will find out about the gauchos and vaqueros (cowboys) of Argentina, Uruguay, and Southern Brazil, and about the discoveries in, and efforts to preserve, the remaining rainforests. Here, you will be able to explore the history of the vast and diverse regions of Latin America.