The Pampas are fertile South American lowlands that cover more than 750,000 km2 and include the Argentine provinces of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and Córdoba. The vast plains are a natural region, interrupted only by the low Ventana and Tandil hills, near Bahía Blanca and Tandil, with a height of 1,300 m and 500 m, respectively; the climate is temperate, with precipitation of 600 to 1,200 mm, more or less evenly distributed through the year, making the soils appropriate for agriculture. The area is one of the distinct physiography provinces of the larger Paraná-Paraguay Plain division; the climate of the Pampas is temperate giving away to a more subtropical climate in the north and to a semiarid climate on the western fringes. Summer temperatures are more uniform than winter temperatures ranging from 28 to 33 °C during the day. However, most cities in the Pampas have high temperatures that push 38 °C, as occurs when a warm, northerly wind blows from southern Brazil. Autumn arrives in March, peaks in April and May.
In April, highs range from 20 to 25 °C and lows from 9 to 13 °C. The first frosts arrive in mid-April in the south, in late May or early June in the north. Winters are mild, but cold waves still occur. Normal temperatures range from 12 to 19 °C during the day, from 1 to 6 °C at night. With strong northerly winds, days of over 25 °C can be recorded everywhere, during cold waves, high temperatures can be only 6 °C. Frost occurs everywhere in the Pampas, but it is much more frequent in the southwest than around the Parana and Uruguay Rivers. Temperatures under −5 °C can occur everywhere, but values of −10 °C or lower are confined to the south and west. Snow never falls in the northernmost third and is rare and light elsewhere, except for exceptional events in which depths have reached 30 cm. Springs are variable. Violent storms are more common as well as wide temperature variations: days of 35 °C can give way to nights of under 5 °C or frost, all within only a few days. Precipitation ranges from 1,200 mm in the northeast, to about 500 mm in the southern and western edges.
In the west, it is seasonal, with some places recording averages of 120 mm monthly in the summer, only 20 millimetres monthly in the winter. The eastern areas have small peaks in the fall and in the spring, with rainy summers and winters that are only drier. However, where summer rain falls as short, heavy storms, winter rain falls as cold drizzle and so the amount of rainy days is constant. Intense thunderstorms are common in the spring and summer, it has among the most frequent lightning and highest convective cloud tops in the world; the severe thunderstorms produce intense hailstorms, both floods and flash floods, as well as the most active tornado region outside the central and southeastern US. Herbivores of the pampas are the pampas deer, gray brocket, dwarf mara, plains viscacha, Brazilian guinea pig, southern mountain cavy and coypu; the biggest predator of the region is the puma followed by the maned wolf, pampas fox, geoffroy's cat, lesser grison as well as the omnivorous white-eared opossum and molinas hog-nosed skunk.
Bird species of the pampas are ruddy-headed goose, pampas meadowlark, hudsonian godwit, maguari stork, white-faced ibis, white-winged coot, southern screamer, dot-winged crake, curve-billed reedhaunter, burrowing owl and the rhea. Frequent wildfires ensure that only small plants such as grasses flourish, trees are less common; the dominant vegetation types are grassy prairie and grass steppe in which numerous species of the grass genus Stipa are conspicuous. "Pampas grass" is an iconic species of the Pampas. Vegetation includes perennial grasses and herbs. Different strata of grasses occur because of gradients of water availability; the World Wildlife Fund divides the Pampas into three distinct ecoregions. The Uruguayan Savanna lies east of the Parana River, includes all of Uruguay, most of Entre Ríos and Corrientes provinces in Argentina, the southern portion of Brazil's state of Rio Grande do Sul; the Humid Pampas include eastern Buenos Aires Province, southern Entre Ríos Province. The Semiarid Pampas includes western Buenos Aires Province and adjacent portions of Santa Fe, Córdoba, La Pampa provinces.
The Pampas are bounded by the drier Argentine espinal grasslands, which form a semicircle around the north and south of the Humid Pampas. Winters are cool to mild and summers are warm and humid. Rainfall is uniform throughout the year, but is a little heavier during the summer. Annual rainfall is heaviest near the coast and decreases further inland. Rain during the late spring and summer arrives in the form of brief heavy showers and thunderstorms. More general rainfall occurs the remainder of the year as cold fronts and storm systems move through. Although cold spells during the winter send nighttime temperatures below freezing, snow is quite rare. In most winters, a few light snowfalls occur over inland areas. Central Argentina boasts a successful agricultural business, with crops grown on the Pampas south and west of Buenos Aires. Much of the area is used for
Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. At 14,200,000 square kilometres, it is the fifth-largest continent. For comparison, Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km in thickness, which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctica, on average, is the coldest and windiest continent, has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Most of Antarctica is a polar desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 mm along the coast and far less inland; the temperature in Antarctica has reached −89.2 °C, though the average for the third quarter is −63 °C. Anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at research stations scattered across the continent. Organisms native to Antarctica include many types of algae, fungi, plants and certain animals, such as mites, penguins and tardigrades.
Vegetation, where it occurs, is tundra. Antarctica is noted as the last region on Earth in recorded history to be discovered, unseen until 1820 when the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev on Vostok and Mirny sighted the Fimbul ice shelf; the continent, remained neglected for the rest of the 19th century because of its hostile environment, lack of accessible resources, isolation. In 1895, the first confirmed. Antarctica is a de facto condominium, governed by parties to the Antarctic Treaty System that have consulting status. Twelve countries signed the Antarctic Treaty in 1959, thirty-eight have signed it since then; the treaty prohibits military activities and mineral mining, prohibits nuclear explosions and nuclear waste disposal, supports scientific research, protects the continent's ecozone. Ongoing experiments are conducted by more than 4,000 scientists from many nations; the name Antarctica is the romanised version of the Greek compound word ἀνταρκτική, feminine of ἀνταρκτικός, meaning "opposite to the Arctic", "opposite to the north".
Aristotle wrote in his book Meteorology about an Antarctic region in c. 350 BC Marinus of Tyre used the name in his unpreserved world map from the 2nd century CE. The Roman authors Hyginus and Apuleius used for the South Pole the romanised Greek name polus antarcticus, from which derived the Old French pole antartike attested in 1270, from there the Middle English pol antartik in a 1391 technical treatise by Geoffrey Chaucer. Before acquiring its present geographical connotations, the term was used for other locations that could be defined as "opposite to the north". For example, the short-lived French colony established in Brazil in the 16th century was called "France Antarctique"; the first formal use of the name "Antarctica" as a continental name in the 1890s is attributed to the Scottish cartographer John George Bartholomew. The long-imagined south polar continent was called Terra Australis, sometimes shortened to'Australia' as seen in a woodcut illustration titled Sphere of the winds, contained in an astrological textbook published in Frankfurt in 1545.
Although the longer Latin phrase was better known, the shortened name Australia was used in Europe's scholarly circles. In the nineteenth century, the colonial authorities in Sydney removed the Dutch name from New Holland. Instead of inventing a new name to replace it, they took the name Australia from the south polar continent, leaving it nameless for some eighty years. During that period, geographers had to make do with clumsy phrases such as "the Antarctic Continent", they searched for a more poetic replacement, suggesting various names such as Antipodea. Antarctica was adopted in the 1890s. Antarctica has no indigenous population, there is no evidence that it was seen by humans until the 19th century. However, in February 1775, during his second voyage, Captain Cook called the existence of such a polar continent "probable" and in another copy of his journal he wrote:" believe it and it's more than probable that we have seen a part of it". However, belief in the existence of a Terra Australis—a vast continent in the far south of the globe to "balance" the northern lands of Europe and North Africa—had prevailed since the times of Ptolemy in the 1st century AD.
In the late 17th century, after explorers had found that South America and Australia were not part of the fabled "Antarctica", geographers believed that the continent was much larger than its actual size. Integral to the story of the origin of Antarctica's name is that it was not named Terra Australis—this name was given to Australia instead, because of the misconception that no significant landmass could exist further south. Explorer Matthew Flinders, in particular, has been credited with popularising the transfer of the name Terra Australis to Australia, he justified the titling of his book A Voyage to Terra Australis by writing in the introduction: There is no probability, that any other detached body of land, of nearly equal extent, will be found in a more southern latitude.
Uruguay the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, is a country in the southeastern region of South America. It borders Argentina to its west and Brazil to its north and east, with the Río de la Plata to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast. Uruguay is home to an estimated 3.44 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the metropolitan area of its capital and largest city, Montevideo. With an area of 176,000 square kilometres, Uruguay is geographically the second-smallest nation in South America, after Suriname. Uruguay was inhabited by the Charrúa people for 4,000 years before the Portuguese established Colonia del Sacramento in 1680. Montevideo was founded as a military stronghold by the Spanish in the early 18th century, signifying the competing claims over the region. Uruguay won its independence between 1811 and 1828, following a four-way struggle between Spain and Argentina and Brazil, it remained subject to foreign influence and intervention throughout the 19th century, with the military playing a recurring role in domestic politics.
A series of economic crises put an end to a democratic period that had begun in the early 20th century, culminating in a 1973 coup, which established a civic-military dictatorship. The military government persecuted leftists and political opponents, resulting in several deaths and numerous instances of torture by the military. Uruguay is today a democratic constitutional republic, with a president who serves as both head of state and head of government. Uruguay is ranked first in Latin America in democracy, low perception of corruption, e-government, is first in South America when it comes to press freedom, size of the middle class and prosperity. On a per-capita basis, Uruguay contributes more troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions than any other country, it tops the rank of absence of a unique position within South America. It ranks second in the region on economic freedom, income equality, per-capita income and inflows of FDI. Uruguay is the third-best country on the continent in terms of HDI, GDP growth and infrastructure.
It is regarded as a high-income country by the UN. Uruguay was ranked the third-best in the world in e-Participation in 2014. Uruguay is an important global exporter of combed wool, soybeans, frozen beef and milk. Nearly 95% of Uruguay's electricity comes from renewable energy hydroelectric facilities and wind parks. Uruguay is a founding member of the United Nations, OAS, Mercosur, UNASUR and NAM. Uruguay is regarded as one of the most advanced countries in Latin America, it ranks high on global measures of personal rights and inclusion issues. The Economist named Uruguay "country of the year" in 2013, acknowledging the policy of legalizing the production and consumption of cannabis; the name of the namesake river comes from the Spanish pronunciation of the regional Guarani word for it. There are several interpretations, including "bird-river"; the name could refer to a river snail called uruguá, plentiful in the water. In Spanish colonial times, for some time thereafter and some neighbouring territories were called the Cisplatina and Banda Oriental for a few years the "Eastern Province".
Since its independence, the country has been known as la República Oriental del Uruguay, which means "the eastern republic of the Uruguay ". However, it is translated either as the "Oriental Republic of Uruguay" or the "Eastern Republic of Uruguay"; the documented inhabitants of Uruguay before European colonization of the area were the Charrúa, a small tribe driven south by the Guarani of Paraguay. It is estimated that there were about 9,000 Charrúa and 6,000 Chaná and Guaraní at the time of contact with Europeans in the 1500s. Fructuoso Rivera - Uruguay's first president – organized the Charruas' genocide; the Portuguese were the first Europeans to enter the region of present-day Uruguay in 1512. The Spanish arrived in present-day Uruguay in 1516; the indigenous peoples' fierce resistance to conquest, combined with the absence of gold and silver, limited their settlement in the region during the 16th and 17th centuries. Uruguay became a zone of contention between the Spanish and Portuguese empires.
In 1603, the Spanish began to introduce cattle. The first permanent Spanish settlement was founded in 1624 at Soriano on the Río Negro. In 1669–71, the Portuguese built a fort at Colonia del Sacramento. Montevideo was founded by the Spanish in the early 18th century as a military stronghold in the country, its natural harbor soon developed into a commercial area competing with Río de la Plata's capital, Buenos Aires. Uruguay's early 19th century history was shaped by ongoing fights for dominance in the Platine region, between British, Spanish and other colonial forces. In 1806 and 1807, the British army attempted to seize Buenos Aires and Montevideo as part of the Napoleonic Wars. Montevideo was occupied by a British force from February to September 1807. In 1811, José Gervasio Artigas, who became Uruguay's national hero, launched a successful revolt against the Spanish authorities, defeating them on 18 May at the Battle of Las Piedras. In 1813, the new government in Buenos Aires convened a constituent assembly where Artigas emerged as a champ
The Southern Hemisphere is the half of Earth, south of the Equator. It contains parts of five continents, four oceans and most of the Pacific Islands in Oceania, its surface is 80.9% water, compared with 60.7% water in the case of the Northern Hemisphere, it contains 32.7% of Earth's land. Owing to the tilt of Earth's rotation relative to the Sun and the ecliptic plane, summer is from December to March and winter is from June to September. September 22 or 23 is the vernal equinox and March 20 or 21 is the autumnal equinox; the South Pole is in the center of the southern hemispherical region. Southern Hemisphere climates tend to be milder than those at similar latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, except in the Antarctic, colder than the Arctic; this is because the Southern Hemisphere has more ocean and much less land. The differences are attributed to oceanic heat transfer and differing extents of greenhouse trapping. In the Southern Hemisphere the sun passes from east to west through the north, although north of the Tropic of Capricorn the mean sun can be directly overhead or due north at midday.
The Sun rotating through the north causes an apparent right-left trajectory through the sky unlike the left-right motion of the Sun when seen from the Northern Hemisphere as it passes through the southern sky. Sun-cast shadows turn anticlockwise throughout the day and sundials have the hours increasing in the anticlockwise direction. During solar eclipses viewed from a point to the south of the Tropic of Capricorn, the Moon moves from left to right on the disc of the Sun, while viewed from a point to the north of the Tropic of Cancer, the Moon moves from right to left during solar eclipses. Cyclones and tropical storms spin clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere due to the Coriolis effect; the southern temperate zone, a subsection of the Southern Hemisphere, is nearly all oceanic. This zone includes the southern tip of South Africa; the Sagittarius constellation that includes the galactic centre is a southern constellation and this, combined with clearer skies, makes for excellent viewing of the night sky from the Southern Hemisphere with brighter and more numerous stars.
Forests in the Southern Hemisphere have special features which set them apart from those in the Northern Hemisphere. Both Chile and Australia share, for example, unique beech species or Nothofagus, New Zealand has members of the related genera Lophozonia and Fuscospora; the eucalyptus is native to Australia but is now planted in Southern Africa and Latin America for pulp production and biofuel uses. 800 million humans live in the Southern Hemisphere, representing only 10–12% of the total global human population of 7.3 billion. Of those 800 million people, 200 million live in Brazil, the largest country by land area in the Southern Hemisphere, while 141 million live on the island of Java, the most populous island in the world; the most populous nation in the Southern Hemisphere is Indonesia, with 261 million people. Portuguese is the most spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere, followed by Javanese; the largest metropolitan areas in the Southern Hemisphere are São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Sydney.
The most important financial and commercial centers in the Southern Hemisphere are São Paulo, where the Bovespa Index is headquartered, along with Sydney, home to the Australian Securities Exchange, home to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Buenos Aires, headquarters of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, the oldest stock market in the Southern Hemisphere. Among the most developed nations in the Southern Hemisphere are Australia, with a nominal GDP per capita of US$51,850 and a Human Development Index of 0.939, the second highest in the world as of 2016. New Zealand is well developed, with a nominal GDP per capita of US$38,385 and a Human Development Index of 0.915, putting it at #13 in the world in 2016. The least developed nations in the Southern Hemisphere cluster in Africa and Oceania, with Burundi and Mozambique at the lowest ends of the Human Development Index, at 0.404 and 0.418 respectively. The nominal GDP per capitas of these two countries don't go above US$550 per capita, a tiny fraction of the incomes enjoyed by Australians and New Zealanders.
The most widespread religions in the Southern Hemisphere are Christianity in South America, southern Africa and Australia/New Zealand, followed by Islam in most of the islands of Indonesia and in parts of southeastern Africa, Hinduism, concentrated on the island of Bali and neighboring islands. The oldest continuously inhabited city in the Southern Hemisphere is Bogor, in western Java, founded in 669 CE. Ancient texts from the Hindu kingdoms prevalent in the area definitively record 669 CE as the year when Bogor was founded. However, there is some evidence that Zanzibar, an ancient port with around 200,000 inhabitants on
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
San Luis Province
San Luis is a province of Argentina located near the geographical center of the country. Neighboring provinces are, from the north clockwise, La Rioja, Córdoba, La Pampa and San Juan; the city of San Luis was founded in 1594 by Luis Jufré de Loaysa y Meneses, but was subsequently abandoned. It was refounded by Martín García Óñez de Loyola in 1596 under the name San Luis de Loyola. Politics in San Luis have long been influenced by the descendants of the noted mid-19th century advocate for San Luis's integration into the rest of Argentina, Juan Saá. Since the return of Argentina to democratic rule in 1983, in particular, the Rodríguez Saá family has occupied the governor's seat; this situation is, as in many smaller provinces in Argentina explained by the customary use of a combination of nepotism and generous social welfare legislation. This includes substantial allegations of illegal pressure, including the violent 1991 harassment of a local journalist and his neighbors. Since 1983, Governor Adolfo Rodríguez Saá has overseen record investment by light manufacturers and advances like the construction of Argentina's most extensive expressway network.
The province has low sierras in the north along the Dry Pampas, another such system on the west with the Guayaguas, Cantanal and Alto Pencoso Sierras, typical of the Cuyo region. San Luis' economy has, over the past generation, been among the most improved in Argentina, its 2006 output, estimated at US$3.386 billion, yielded a per capita income of US$9,203. The economic profile of the province changed due to industrial promotion policies implemented since late 1982; until the primary sector was the productive base. Industrial establishments installed after that year, exhibit great diversification and are in two urban centers: the capital and Villa Mercedes. Tourism is another of the activities promoted by the San Luis government since the return of democracy in 1983; the province has the largest network of highways in the country, which connects most of the resorts with the provincial capital. The province is divided into nine departments. Source for department names: Media related to San Luis Province at Wikimedia Commons Provincia de San Luis - Official website Argentour: San Luis Province
Paraguay the Republic of Paraguay, is a country of South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, Bolivia to the northwest. Although it is one of the only two landlocked countries in South America, the country has coasts and ports on the Paraguay and Paraná rivers that give exit to the Atlantic Ocean through the Paraná-Paraguay Waterway. Due to its central location in South America, it is sometimes referred to as Corazón de Sudamérica. Spanish conquistadores arrived in 1524 after navigating northwards from the Río de la Plata to the Paraná River, up the Paraguay River. In 1537, they established the city of Asunción, the first capital of the Governorate of Paraguay and Río de la Plata. Paraguay was the epicenter of the Jesuit Missions, where the Guaraní people were educated and introduced to Christianity and European culture under the direction of the Society of Jesus in Jesuit reductions during the 17th century. However, after the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spanish territories in 1767, Paraguay became a peripheral colony, with few urban centers and settlers.
Following independence from Spain at the beginning of the 19th century, Paraguay was ruled by a series of authoritarian governments who implemented nationalist and protectionist policies. This period ended with the disastrous Paraguayan War, during which Paraguay lost at least 50% of its prewar population and around 25–33% of its territory to the Triple Alliance of Argentina and Uruguay. In the 20th century, Paraguay faced another major international conflict – the Chaco War – against Bolivia, from which the Paraguayans emerged victorious. Afterwards, the country entered a period of military dictatorships, ending with the 35 year regime of Alfredo Stroessner that lasted until he was toppled in 1989 by an internal military coup; this marked the beginning of the "democratic era" of Paraguay. With around 7 million inhabitants, Paraguay is a founding member of Mercosur, an original member of the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Lima Group; the city of Luque, in Asuncion's Metropolitan Area, is the seat of the CONMEBOL.
The Guarani culture is influential and more than 90% of the people speak different forms of the Guarani language on top of Spanish. Paraguayans are known for being a happy and easy-living people and many times the country topped the "world's happiest place" charts because of the "positive experiences" lived and expressed by the population; the indigenous Guaraní had been living in eastern Paraguay for at least a millennium before the arrival of the Spanish. Western Paraguay, the Gran Chaco, was inhabited by nomads of whom the Guaycuru peoples were the most prominent; the Paraguay River was the dividing line between the agricultural Guarani people to the east and the nomadic and semi-nomadic people to the west in the Gran Chaco. The Guarcuru nomads were known for their warrior traditions and were not pacified until the late 19th century; these indigenous tribes belonged to five distinct language families, which were the bases of their major divisions. Differing language speaking groups were competitive over resources and territories.
They were further divided into tribes by speaking languages in branches of these families. Today 17 separate ethnolinguistic groups remain; the first Europeans in the area were Spanish explorers in 1516. The Spanish explorer Juan de Salazar de Espinosa founded the settlement of Asunción on 15 August 1537; the city became the center of a Spanish colonial province of Paraguay. An attempt to create an autonomous Christian Indian nation was undertaken by Jesuit missions and settlements in this part of South America in the eighteenth century, which included portions of Uruguay and Brazil, they developed Jesuit reductions to bring Guarani populations together at Spanish missions and protect them from virtual slavery by Spanish settlers and Portuguese slave raiders, the Bandeirantes. In addition to seeking their conversion to Christianity. Catholicism in Paraguay was influenced by the indigenous peoples; the reducciones flourished in eastern Paraguay for about 150 years, until the expulsion of the Jesuits by the Spanish Crown in 1767.
The ruins of two 18th-century Jesuit Missions of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue have been designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. In western Paraguay Spanish settlement and Christianity were resisted by the nomadic Guaycuru and other nomads from the 16th century onward. Most of these peoples were absorbed into the mestizo population in the 19th centuries. Paraguay overthrew the local Spanish administration on 14 May 1811. Paraguay's first dictator was José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia who ruled Paraguay from 1814 until his death in 1840, with little outside contact or influence, he intended to create a utopian society based on the French theorist Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Social Contract. Rodríguez de Francia established new laws that reduced the powers of the Catholic church and the cabinet, forbade colonial citizens from marrying one another and allowed them to marry only blacks, mulattoes or natives, in order to break the power of colonial-era elites and to create a mixed-race or mestizo society.
He cut off the rest of South America. Because of Francia's restrictions of freedom, Fulgencio Yegros and several other Independence-era