The Pampas and the Gauchos

119330-120-78394B6FThe Pampas

Continuing our review of the world’s major grasslands, we have what is commonly referred to as the Pampas in South America.  The Pampas is a relatively level region extending from the Atlantic Ocean in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.  At roughly 300,000 square miles, it qualifies as a major grassland.  It is drier in some areas than others, but is generally something of the ‘breadbasket” of South America with good soils for agriculture.  Not unlike the Great Plains of North America, much of the original wild character has been plowed under.  It has a much milder climate than the Great Plains, but interestingly, also produces tornadoes as cool air from Patagonia and warm tropical air from the north collide.

200px-Gaucho1868bThe Pampas in South American Popular Culture

Once again, it is the grasslands that gives so much to the character and culture of regions and nations.  Like the cowboy in North America, we have the gaucho in South America.  They were celebrated for their horsemanship and rustic, outdoors way of life.  Even though the gaucho way of life has largely disappeared, it remains a romantic notion.  Sound familiar?


About greatplainstrail

Building the Great Plains Trail.
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2 Responses to The Pampas and the Gauchos

  1. Indeed, it sounds very familiar. I was lucky enough to catch a May 25 Independence Day celebration in Tilcara, Argentina, some years ago. The day’s celebration featured a parade – with gauchos aplenty!

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