Essay on Andean Countries in the Tropics

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Vanderbilt University
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The Andean coast is an important influence on the climate, vegetation, and economic activities in the coastal region of Andean Countries. The Andean Countries influence the climate of the region. On the coastal side of the Andean ranges, the climate experienced is often hot and dry. However, towards the east, are cold and wet climates. It is major because of Venezuela and Colombia, fall on the windward sides of the Andean Ranges (Blouet & Blouet, 2015: pg. 272). Urban centers are densely populated in these countries. Many of the people in the country practice agriculture and mining. For these reasons, the urban centers in these countries often make important trade centers for their products (Blouet & Blouet, 2015: pg. 276).

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Colombia and Venezuela have over 50% coverage of rainforests. Both countries have 52% and 50% of their total land covered with rainforests. The countries physical land also have national parks and a lot of protected and conserved lands (Blouet & Blouet, 2015: pg. 273). Much of the protection of the lands in these countries are due to cultural and traditional purposes as opposed to economic. Small ethnic groups in the region practice, shifting cultivation and often clear forests for agriculture and pasture for their cattle. The clearing of forests is however done in small lengths (Blouet & Blouet, 2015: pg. 273).

The continued clearing of forests and even global influences like global warming are important influences on the climate change the region has realized. Some of the effects of climate change in the region include the thinning of ice caps in the Andes. Many countries depend on the water streams from the Andes which often come from the melting of snowfields and glaciers in the Andes. As temperature increases, the streams realize less water each year (Blouet & Blouet, 2015: pg. 275).

The different crop zones often characterize the cultivation of land in Peru and Bolivia. The major influence of the crop zones is often the climatic conditions like temperature and annual rainfall. The differences in the climatic conditions of these regions influenced that migration of different ethnicities. These cultural groups practiced different economic activities. Some of the influences that endorse the migration of people in Peru and Bolivia include arable farmlands, grasslands for the continued rearing of cattle and availability of minerals (Blouet & Blouet, 2015: pg. 283).

Coca farming is an important agricultural, and economic activity in Bolivia and Peru occurs in the highland plains of Altiplano. It realizes an annual precipitation of approximately 23 inches and has an average temperature of 40 s to 50 s. At 11000 feet, the temperatures get very cold. These extremes are often seasonal. Peru is the world's second producer of coca, and Bolivia follows it. Columbia is, however, the world leader in coca farming and export. The value of the crop has significantly improved the economic development of both countries (Blouet & Blouet, 2015: pg. 285).

The impact of migration due to these factors have led to economic growth and urban development in these countries. In Peru and Bolivia, the urban population exceeds population outside cities. These cities are densely populated due to the economic activities taking place (Blouet & Blouet, 2015: pg. 276). Trade being a primary economic activity in these cities, agricultural and mineral products mined in these countries have influenced the economic development in both countries. Peru, for instance, has enjoyed the benefits of free trade agreements with the United States. Their agricultural products are now able to be exported to the United States. It is a result of the economic stability that the country enjoys (Blouet & Blouet, 2015: pg. 288).


Blouet, B. & Blouet, O. (2015). Latin America and the Caribbean: A Systematic and Regional Survey, 7th Edit (1st ed.).

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