Mesopotamia, Argentina

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The Mespotamia (land between rivers), the area between the Paraná and the Uruguay rivers

La Mesopotamia or Región Mesopotámica is the humid and verdant area of north-east Argentina, comprising the provinces of Misiones, Entre Ríos and Corrientes. The landscape and its characteristics are dominated by two rivers, the Paraná and the Uruguay.[1]

The long parallel courses of the two rivers, and the verdant areas between them, inspired comparisons to the region called Mesopotamia (Greek: Μεσοποταμία "land between rivers"), in modern-day Iraq. The Spanish named the Argentine region after the Mideast region. The Provinces of Formosa, Chaco and Santa Fe share Mesopotamia's features, as do the neighboring regions of nearby Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Mesopotamia has some of the most popular tourist attractions in Argentina, mainly the Iguazú Falls, the Iguazú National Park and the Jesuit mission stations in Misiones. The Iberá Wetlands in Corrientes are an extensive area of flooded forest similar to Brazil's Pantanal.

The region is part of the Brazilian central plateau. The whole region has high rainfall,[1] particularly in August and September, up to 2,000 mm annually. Misiones, in the northern part of Mesopotamia, is largely covered by subtropical forest, with caiman, toucans and monkeys. Fast decomposition of organic matter gives the area a red soil with only a thin fertile layer that can easily be washed away. Corrientes is marshy and wooded, with low hills. Entre Ríos is covered with fertile pasture land stretching into Uruguay.

The flora of Mesopotamia includes the yatay palm (Syagrus yatay, Butia yatay), which is a protected species in the El Palmar National Park, and the Araucaria angustifolia (Paraná pine tree). Tree ferns, orchids and large trees can also be found.

Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) is grown largely in Mesopotamia;[1] 1,800 square kilometres of Misiones are devoted to its production. The region is also important for cattle and sheep, poultry, linseed, tobacco, citrus and rice.

Gualeguaychú in Entre Ríos is popular for its carnival at the beginning of Lent. Corrientes is also known for its carnival celebrations and is a centre of music and festivals generally: the chamamé music style has recently seen a resurgence in popularity.

The region called Litoral (Spanish for coastal) consists of the Mesopotamia and the provinces of Chaco, Formosa and Santa Fe.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lewis, p. 2

Bibliography[edit]

  • Lewis, Daniel (2001). The History of Argentina. United States: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-4039-6254-5.