Andean Mountain Range, Backbone of Planet Earth

March 27, 2024 Hour: 8:22 pm

The Andes is a mountain range that crosses South America. It has an approximate extension of 7,000 kilometers and runs from the north of Venezuela, through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, to the south of Chile and Argentina. 

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It is divided into three regions: the northern Andes, the central Andes and the southern Andes.

Mount Aconcagua, located in Argentina, is the highest mountain in the Americas at 6,961 meters and is also home to the highest volcano on the planet, the Ojo del Salado at 6,891 meters. Each year, an estimated 2,000 people apply for permits to hike the 72 kilometers from the base to the summit. The journey can be done in approximately two weeks in extreme weather conditions, with a permanent temperature of about -15 degrees Celsius and during the night reaching peaks of up to -30 degrees Celsius.

Throughout history, the Andes Mountains have been fundamental for the peoples of the region, both economically and culturally. For the native Andean peoples, the mountain range not only represented a source of natural resources, but also occupied a key place in their worldviews and cultural systems. However, during the Spanish conquest, a systematic process of exploitation and extraction of natural resources took place, to the detriment of the local indigenous communities. 

Today it is an undisputed tourist attraction, and each country manages the geographic portion that corresponds to it. 

Venezuela is a country with a tropical climate, but snow falls. Yes, it happens in the Pico Bolivar, a mountain located in the Sierra Nevada belonging to the Andes mountain range and reaching 5000 meters high. It is possible to see snow at that altitude, as well as magnificent landscapes worthy of being photographed. 

On the axis of the Central Mountain Range rises one of the best known active volcanic structures in Colombia: the Nevado del Ruiz Volcano. Together with the snow-capped volcanoes Santa Isabel and Tolima, it is part of the protected area of Los Nevados National Natural Park. Precisely, the Nevado del Ruiz volcano is the cause of one of the greatest tragedies in Colombia, known as the tragedy of Armero, which occurred in November 1985. As a result of the eruption of the volcano, the snow melted and caused a flood of mud and debris that were dragged along the riverbed and impacted the town of Armero while its inhabitants slept. We will write about this tragedy soon!

Finally, in Chile, the closest country to the Andes, its capital Santiago grew up at the foot of the mountain and its inhabitants have learned to live with the world-renowned backbone of the planet. 

Autor: teleSUR/ OSG

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