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What is the Patagonia?

Patagonia (Spanish pronunciation: [pataˈɣonja]) is a sparsely populated region at the southern end of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile. The region comprises the southern section of the Andes Mountains, lakes, fjords, and glaciers in the west and deserts, tablelands and steppes to the east. Patagonia is bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and many bodies of water that connect them like the Strait of Magellan, the Beagle Channel, and the Drake Passage to the south. The Colorado and Barrancas Rivers, which run from the Andes to the Atlantic, are commonly considered the northern limit of Argentine Patagonia. The archipelago of Tierra del Fuego is sometimes included as part of Patagonia. Most geographers and historians locate the northern limit of Chilean Patagonia at Huincul Fault, in Araucanía Region.At the time of the Spanish arrival, Patagonia was inhabited by multiple indigenous tribes. In a small portion of northwestern Patagonia, indigenous peoples practiced agriculture, while in the remaining territory, peoples lived as hunter-gatherers, traveling by foot in eastern Patagonia or by canoe in the fjords and channels. While the interest of the Spanish Empire had been chiefly to keep other European powers away from Patagonia, independent Chile and Argentina began to slowly colonize the territory over the course of the 19th and early 20th centuries. This process brought a decline of the indigenous populations while at the same time thousands of Europeans, Argentines, Chilotes and mainland Chileans settled in Patagonia. Border disputes between Argentina and Chile were recurrent in the 20th century. Nearly all of these disputes have been settled today. The contemporary economy of eastern Patagonia revolves around sheep farming and oil and gas extraction, while in western Patagonia fishing, salmon aquaculture and tourism dominates. Culturally, Patagonia has a varied heritage including Criollo, Mestizo, Indigenous and non-Iberian European influences. ..


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