Andean countries

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Orange: Andean countries in the narrower sense. Blue: Other states with a share of the Andes.
The altitude of the tierra fría in the central Andes .

The term Andean countries is used to describe a group of states in western South America that share the Andes mountains .

Natural demarcation

In the narrower sense, it is often understood to mean those states in South America that have an Andean culture and whose territory is largely shaped by the Andes: Bolivia , Peru , Ecuador , Colombia . Although Chile is geographically located on the Andes, it is often not included due to cultural differences. Although Argentina and Venezuela also form part of the Andes, they are usually not referred to as Andean countries, as the Andes' share of the land territory is small in these two cases. The two countries Argentina and Chile are also often included in the region of the southern cone .

Andean countries as a cultural area

The culture of the Andean countries, in particular that of the countries of the Central Andes (Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador as well as the north of Chile, the north-west of Argentina and the extreme south of Colombia), has independent ethnic, linguistic and cultural elements, such as the use of Quechua or Aymara as well the Adobe design. One of the reasons for this is the Inca Empire , which stretched in this region between around 800 and 1500, and its cultural mixing ( mestizaje ) with Iberian influences. This has led to the fact that the name Andean countries is now also used as a term for a cultural area .

In traditional music, too, the Andean countries have similarities in harmony and rhythm, as well as in the musical instruments used. The prevailing styles are mixtures of the pre-Columbian heritage (in particular the use of wind instruments such as various flutes and panpipes such as Quena and Sicus , but also the overtone harmonics ) and Spanish influences (string instruments such as guitar , charango etc. as well as diatonic ).

Political-economic space

More rarely, the term Andean countries is also used as a synonym for the states of the Andean Community (Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia). Argentina, on the other hand, is a member of Mercosur and Venezuela was until it was suspended in 2016. Chile is linked to both alliances via association agreements - without being a member. More recently, the Alianza del Pacífico has come to the fore, in which Chile, Peru and Colombia, together with Mexico, are striving for economic integration.

See also


  • Johannes Winter, André Scharmanski: Are the Andean states ungovernable? Causes of the political crisis in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru . In: Zeitschrift Entwicklungspolitik . 14/2005, pp. 30-34. Download