The Spanish Language Blog

With swamps the size of the Benelux countries and a biodiversity you can't help but love, the Amazon is the largest area on earth where nothing but pure nature can be found. The area is spread over 9 countries in South America and the world's longest river flows right through it. Besides the presence of enormous biodiversity, the area is also home to indigenous tribes who, in all ignorance of modern civilization, take advantage of what the Amazon rainforest has to offer at all times.

  • The Amazon covers much of Brazil; as much as half of the entire area is in this country.
  • Straight through the largest rainforest on earth flows the Amazon; according to some measurements the longest river on earth, but still in contention for this title with the Nile River.
  • There are still people on earth who have never heard of a computer or even a bicycle and live solely on what nature provides them. The indigenous tribes live off the Amazon rainforest.

Latin America is home to the vast Amazon Basin, known as the largest rainforest on Earth. The Amazon region is also called the Amazon Basin or the Amazon Lowlands. The area is so named because of the river that runs straight through it: the Amazon. In 1541, the conquistador Francisco de Orellana was sailing down this river when he was bombarded with poisoned arrows by warriors. The conquistador thought these warriors were women and called them "Amazons" in the travelogue.

With an area of up to 7 million km2, it is almost as large as all of Australia and covers some 9 countries in Latin America: Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Guyana, Bolivia, French Guiana, Venezuela and Suriname. About 50% of the entire area is in Brazil, covering a large part of the country. Not only is the size of the area impressive, it also has tremendous biodiversity. First, it contains swamps comparable in size to the entire Benelux countries! This is due in part to the fact that at least 10 meters of rain falls each year, often flooding a large part of the area and causing swamps. Second, 20% of the world's bird species live in the Amazon and it is home to as many as 100 million species of insects. In addition, of course, there are many other (mostly protected) species of animals that live in the Amazon. 

One example is the jaguar, an animal that likes to live near water in an environment that is as forested as possible. So the rainforest is the perfect home for jaguars. From mini monkeys weighing 150 grams to mega spiders the size of tennis balls, the Amazon has it all! Lastly, it has tremendous biodiversity because the planting and forestation is extremely varied. According to experts, one square kilometer of rainforest can contain as many as 75,000 species of trees plus another 150,000 types of plants. The water lily of the Amazon Rainforest, with a diameter of 2 meters, is the largest flower in the world and beautiful to see. The diversity of types of plants in the Amazon Rainforest is the highest in the world.

The Amazon River begins its 6,500-kilometer journey in Peru, where it rises in the Andes Mountains. Until it reaches Brazil, the river flows with dozens of other rivers in its upper reaches. Once it arrives in Brazil (the Lowlands of the Amazon), it has now become a huge river with a gigantic flow of water that continues its way through Ecuador, Boliva and Colombia. The most typical of the Amazon is its color; the Amazon is yellow/brown in color. The river's water that enters the Atlantic Ocean is still distinguishable from sea water for a long time.

In addition to the 100 million insects, there are also some 300,000 people belonging to indigenous tribes living in the Amazon, about 180,000 of whom are Indians who live in absolute ignorance. The Indians have never had contact with modern civilization and therefore know nothing about the things we take for granted. The indigenous tribes depend entirely on what the rainforest provides them. For example, they get all their food from the plants and animals, and even medicines are made from special plants. In addition, the rainforest provides good shelters for entire families and plenty of tools can be made from the strong wood of the trees.

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