•Official Name: Republic of Peru (República del Perú).•Short Name: Peru.•Capital: Lima.•Date of Independence: Declared July 28, 1821, fromSpain; achieved, 1824.•Peru covers 496,225 square miles (1,285,216 km2). Itborders Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil tothe east, Bolivia to the southeast, Chile to the south,and the Pacific Ocean to the west.•Peru is divided into 25 regions and the province ofLima.
•The Andes mountains run parallel to the Pacific shorelinedividing the country into three geographic regions.•The costa (coast) region is a narrow dry plains, except forvalleys created by seasonal rivers.•The sierra (highlands) is made up of the Andes. Thehighest mountain is Huascarán at 6,768 m (22,205 ft).•The selva (jungle) is a wide area of flat terrain covered bythe Amazon rainforest. Almost 60% of Peru is locatedwithin this region.•Unlike other countries in the equatorial region Peru doesnot have an exclusively tropical climate. The costa hasmoderate temperatures, low precipitation and highhumidity. The sierra receives rain and snow. The selvahas heavy rainfall and high temperatures and humidity.
•The population of Peru is approximately 29.5million people.•It is multiethnic country of Amerindians, mestizos(of mixed ethnic descent), and people of African,European and Asian descent.•The primary language spoken is Spanish(83.9%). Several native languages are spoken ofwhich 13.2% speak .•76% of the population live in urban areas and24% in rural areas.•Roman Catholicism is the largest religion (81%)followed by Evangelical (12.5%).
•The literacy rate of Peru is estimated at 93%with the lower rates in the rural areas (80%)and higher rates in the urban areas (96%).•Primary and secondary education iscompulsory.•Peru is a democratic republic.•The President is the head of state and iselected for a five-year term and can onlyseek re-election after standing down one fullterm.•The President appoints a Prime Minister anda Council of Ministers.•There is a unicameral Congress of 120members elected for five-year terms.
•Peruvian culture is rooted in Amerindian andSpanish traditions. It is also influenced byAfrican, Asian and European traditions.•Peruvian art includes pottery, textiles, jewelryand sculpture are rooted in Pre-Inca societies.•The Incas created the architectural marvel ofMachu Picchu.•Peruvian literature is varied. It includes theoral traditions of pre-Columbian societies aswell as varying genres introduced during thecolonial period.•Peruvian cuisine is influenced by Amerindianand Spanish roots. African and Asian cultureshave also influenced cuisine.
•Peruvian music is rooted inAmerindian, Spanish and Africantraditions.
•Amerindian civilizations date back over10,000 years from descendants of the peoplewho crossed over the Bering land bridge.•The Mochica civilization existed around thefirst millennium C.E. The built and elaborateirrigation system that transformed the coastaldesert into productive agricultural lands.•In 1987 near Sipan, archaeologistsdiscovered large numbers of elaborate artifactsof gold, silver and ceramics.•The Chimu civilization created many largecities from about 1150 to 1450. The capital,Chan Chan had an estimated 100,00inhabitants.
•The Inca civilization began as a small Quechuasgroup and expanded from the thirteenth throughthe sixteenth centuries by conquering itsneighbors.•The Inca civilization encompassed one-third ofSouth America with a population of 9 to 16 millioninhabitants.•The Spaniards under Francisco Pizarro arrived in1532 and conquered the Incans.•The Spaniards also brought diseases thatdecimated the Inca population from 9 to 16 millioninhabitants to 2.7 million by 1570.•Colonial Peru largely consisted of a modern,capitalistic and urban society and an Amerindiansociety of poverty, isolation and disease.
•The music of Peru isrooted in Perus Andeanmusical roots and Spanishmusical influences.•Native Peruvian music isplayed on the charango aninstrument in the lute familysimilar to a mandolin.•Also played are the sikú(or zampoña) and antara.These are ancientindigenous instrumentsresembling panpipes.They are made of aquaticreeds found in many lakesin the Andean Region ofSouth America.
•The sikú (or zampoña) and antara areancient indigenous instrumentsresembling panpipes. They are made ofaquatic reeds found in many lakes in theAndean Region of South America.•Other common instruments included thequena (a flute-like instrument) and thetinya (a type of drum).
•The most well known dance in Peru isthe marinera. Other popular folk dancesare the tondero and huayno.
REFERENCESWikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Peru. Retrieved fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PeruThe Library of Congress. Country studies. Retrieved fromhttp://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/cshome.html