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Peru- General Info

Republic of Peru is a country in western South America . It is bordered on the north by Equador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific ocean.

Peruvian territory was home to the Norte Chico civilazation, one of the oldest in the world, and to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Colombian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a Viceroyality, which included most of its South American colonies. After achieving independence in 1821, Peru has undergone periods of political unrest and fiscal crisis as well as periods of stability and economic upswing.

Peru is a represantative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. Its geography varies from the arid plains of the Pacific coast to the peaks of the Andes mountains and the tropical forests of the Amazon Basin. It is a developing country with a high Human development index score and a poverty level around 36%. Its main economic activities include agriculture, fishing, mining, and manufacturing of products such as textiles.

The Peruvian population, estimated at 29.5 million, is multiethnic, including Ameridians, Europians, Africans, and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quwchua or other native languages. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.

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old explorerv2History

The earliest evidences of human presence in Peruvian territory have been dated to approximately 9,000 years BCE. The oldest known complex society in Peru, the Norte Chico civilization, flourished along the coast of the Pacific Ocean between 3,000 and 1,800 BCE. These early developments were followed by archaeological cultures such as Cupisnique,Chavin, Paracas, Mochica, Nazca, Wari, and Chimú. In the 15th century, the Incas emerged as a powerful state which, in the span of a century, formed the Largest empire in Pre-Colombian America. Andean societies were based on agriculture, using techniques such as irrigation and terracing; camelid husbandry and fishing were also important. Organization relied onreciprocity and redistribution because these societies had no notion of market or money.

In 1532, a group of conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro defeated and captured Inca EmperorAtahualpa. Ten years later, the Spanish Crown established the Viceroyalty of Peru, which included most of its South American colonies. Viceroy Francisco de Toledo reorganized the country in the 1570s with silver mining as its main economic activity and Amerindian forced labor as its primary workforce. Peruvian bullion provided revenue for the Spanish Crown and fueled a complex trade network that extended as far as Europe and the Philippines. However, by the 18th century, declining silver production and economic diversification greatly diminished royal income. In response, the Crown enacted the Bourbon Reforms, a series of edicts that increased taxes and partitioned the Viceroyalty of Peru. The new laws provoked Túpac Amaru II's rebellion and other revolts, all of which were defeated.

Peru was defeated by Chile in the 1879–1883 War of the Pacific, losing the provinces of Arica andTarapacá in the treaties of Ancón and Lima. Internal struggles after the war were followed by a period of stability under the Civilista Party, which lasted until the onset of the authoritarian regime of Augusto B. Leguía. The Great Depression caused the downfall of Leguía, renewed political turmoil, and the emergence of the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA). The rivalry between this organization and a coalition of the elite and the military defined Peruvian politics for the following three decades.

                                                   plaza-de-armas-at-lima-peru

Plaza de Armas, Lima

In 1968, the Armed Forces, led by General Juan Velasco Alvarado, staged a coup against president Fernando Belaunde. The new regime undertook radical reforms aimed at fostering development but failed to gain widespread support. In 1975, Velasco was forcefully replaced as president by General Francisco Morales Bermúdez, who paralyzed reforms and oversaw the reestablishment of democracy. During the 1980s, Peru faced a considerable external debt, ever-growing inflation, a surge in drug trafficking, and massive political violence. Under the presidency of Alberto Fujimori (1990–2000), the country started to recover; however, accusations of authoritarianism, corruption, and human rights violations forced his resignation after the controversial 2000 elections. Since the end of the Fujimori regime, Peru has tried to fight corruption while sustaining economic growth; since 2006 the president is Alan García.

globe Geography

Peru covers 1,285,216 km. It borders Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil to the east, Bolivia to the southeast, Chile to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The Andes mountains run parallel to the Pacific Ocean, dividing the country into three geographic regions. The costa (coast), to the west, is a narrow plain, largely arid except for valleys created by seasonal rivers. The sierra (highlands) is the region of the Andes; it includes the Altiplano plateau as well as the highest peak of the country, the 6,768m Huascarán. The third region is the selva (jungle), a wide expanse of flat terrain covered by the Amazon rainforest that extends east. Almost 60% of the country's area is located within this region.


Machupiccho

Most Peruvian rivers originate in the peaks of the Andes and drain into one of three basins. Those that drain toward the Pacific Ocean are steep and short, flowing only intermittently. Tributaries of the Amazon River are longer, have a much larger flow, and are less steep once they exit the sierra. Rivers that drain into Lake Titicacaare generally short and have a large flow. Peru's longest rivers are the Ucayali, the Marañón, the Putumayo, the Yavarí, the Huallaga, the Urubamba, the Mantaro, and the Amazon.

Peru, unlike other equatorial countries, does not have an exclusively tropical climate; the influence of the Andes and the Humboldt Currentcause great climatic diversity within the country. The costa has moderate temperatures, low precipitations, and high humidity, except for its warmer, wetter northern reaches. In the sierra, rain is frequent during summer, and temperature and humidity diminish with altitude up to the frozen peaks of the Andes. The selva is characterized by heavy rainfall and high temperatures, except for its southernmost part, which has cold winters and seasonal rainfall. Because of its varied geography and climate, Peru has a high biodiversity with 21,462 species of plants and animals. The Peruvian government has established several protected areas for their preservation.

Culture

Peruvian culture is primarily rooted in Amerindian and Spanish traditions, though it has also been influenced by various African, Asian, and European ethnic groups. Peruvian artistic traditions date back to the elaborate pottery, textiles, jewelry, and sculpture of Pre-Inca cultures. The Incas maintained these crafts and made architectural achievements including the construction of Machu Picchu. Baroquedominated colonial art, though modified by native traditions. During this period, most art focused on religious subjects; the numerous churches of the era and the paintings of the Cuzco School are representative. Arts stagnated after independence until the emergence of Indigenismo in the early 20th century. Since the 1950s, Peruvian art has been eclectic and shaped by both foreign and local art currents.

Peruvian literature has its roots in the oral traditions of pre-Columbian civilizations. Spaniards introduced writing in the 16th century; colonial literary expression included chronicles and religious literature. After independence, Costumbrism and Romanticism became the most common literary genres, as exemplified in the works of Ricardo Palma.In the early 20th century, the Indigenismo movement produced such writers as Ciro Alegría, José María Arguedas,and César Vallejo. During the second half of the century, Peruvian literature became more widely known because of authors such as Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, a leading member of the Latin American Boom.

woman

Peruvian cuisine is a blend of Amerindian and Spanish food with strong influences from African, Arab, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese cooking.Common dishes include anticuchos, cevicheand pachamanca. Because of the variety of climates within Peru, a wide range of plants and animals are available for cooking.Peruvian cuisine has recently received acclaim due to its diversity of ingredients and techniques.

Peruvian music has Andean, Spanish and African roots.In pre-Hispanic times, musical expressions varied widely from region to region; the quena and the tinya were two common instruments.Spanish conquest brought the introduction of new instruments such as the guitar and the harp, as well as the development of crossbred instruments like the charango.

*All the info with Thanks to Wikipedia Oraganisation.

1300274610_coinCurrency

The official currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol (S/.), which is divided into 100 centimos. The currency includes coins for 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimos and 1, 2 and 5 sol coins. There are bills in the denomination of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Nuevos Soles.

To date March 2011 one American Dollar is  2.781 Peruvian nuevo Sol (1$=2.781S/.).

200_soles_note_peru_money

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