With a total area of approximately 6,878,000 square miles, South America is the fourth largest continent in the world, consisting of 14 countries - Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, the Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the north and northwest, and the Atlantic Ocean to the northeast, southeast, and east. The continent is linked to North America by the Isthmus of Panama in the northwest and separated from Antarctica by the Drake Passage in the south. Home to over 433 million citizens, South America is bestowed with magnificent landscapes from its gigantic mountain ranges to its dense rainforests and immense waterways, creating rich and diverse ecosystems and cultures. Its major economic activities include agriculture, mining, forestry, and industry. While the continent is abundant in natural resources, some of its countries are still experiencing a slow-down in growth rates due to an increase in the unemployment rate, aggravated political issues, and financial crisis.
Each country of South America has its monetary unit used for its internal commercial activities, with the exceptions of Ecuador that use US dollars for its legal tender, and French Guiana where the Euro is used. Among these currencies, only the Brazilian Real is included in the Top 20 most-traded currencies in the forex market.