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Peru is a country in South America, next to Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and

Chile. Peru is famous because this country had the Inca Empire. The official name of

Peru is “Republica del Peru”.


Area: The area of Peru is approximately 1.28 million sq. km. (496,225 sq. mi.). Peru has

25 regions and its Capital is Lima.

Terrain: The three principal regions are “Costa” Western coastal plains, “Sierra” central

rugged mountains (Andes), and “Selva’ eastern lowlands with tropical forests.

Climate: The weather in the “Costa” is hot, arid and mild; In the “Sierra” from temperate

to frigid and in the Selva is tropically warm and humid.



Population: 28 million (UN, 2005) approximately

Ethnic groups: Peru has Indian, Mestizo, White, Black, Japanese, Chinese, and others.

Most Peruvians are "mestizo". This term usually refers to a mixture of Amerindians and

Peruvians of European descent.

Languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara and a large number of minor.

Spanish is used by the government and the media and in education and commerce.
Amerindians who live in the “Sierra” Andean highlands speak Quechua. The people who

live in the “Selva” the eastern side of the Andes and in the tropical lowlands adjacent to

the Amazon basin speak Aymara.


The majority of Peruvians are Roman Catholic but there a short group of Peruvians who

still have traditional religion of the Incas. The religion of Peru is an inheritance of the

Spanish conquest, for this reason, it is a mainly Catholic country. The native religion

before the Spanish conquest was based on the cult of the Sun, the Pachamama (Mother

Earth) and elements of nature, have also been present. Nowadays, Peru has different

religions which are influence of North America and Europe like Jehovah’s Witnesses,

Mormons, Adventists, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, and Hare Krishnas. Religious

activity in Peru is important, and for many people, one of the "centers of energy" in the

world is the city of the Cusco.


Under the 1993 constitution of Peru, primary education is free and compulsory. Peru has

Public schools and Private Schools but the 83% of Peru's students attend public schools

at all levels.

School enrollment has been rising sharply for years, due to a widening educational effort

by the government and a growing school-age population. The illiteracy rate is estimated

at 12.5% (17.4% for women), 28.0% in rural areas and 5.6% in urban areas. Elementary

and secondary school enrollment is approximately 7.7 million.
Peru has 4 universities, 39% public and 61% private.


Peru was one of the major centers of artistic and architecture expression in America,

where pre-Inca cultures, such as Chavin, Paracas, Wari, Nazca, Chimu, and Tiahuanaco

developed high-quality pottery, textiles, jewelry and sculpture. The Incas made

extraordinary achievements in architecture. The mountain town of Machu Picchu and the

buildings at Cuzco are excellent examples of Inca architectural design.

The representative music of Peru is from the Andes. The Andean musicians use the quena

and the zampona which are wind instruments. With the Spanish conquest, the Peruvians

started to use instruments like harps, guitars, lutes and others.

Peru has popular celebrations as a result of Peruvians traditions and legends. Each

celebration gathers music, dances, meals and typical drinks. Furthermore, Peruvians has

traditional religious celebrations like Christmas, Corpus Christi or Holy Week.

Peru has dances of native origin which are dances related to the agricultural work,

hunting and war. One of the most representative Andean dances is the wayno or huayno.

The huayno is a “salon dance”. It is danced by couples and in closed spaces.

The dance which can be considered the national dance of Peru is the Marinera Nortena.

In this dance we can see a man’s courting a young woman.

Peru is best known as the heart of the Inca Empire, but it was home to many diverse

indigenous cultures long before the Incas arrived. Peru was once part of the great Incan

Empire and later the major vice-royalty of Spanish South America. It was conquered in

between 1531 and 1533 by Francisco Pizarro. On July 28, 1821, Peru proclaimed its

independence, but the Spanish were not finally defeated until 1824. For a hundred years

thereafter, revolutions were frequent; a new war was fought with Spain in from 1864 to

1866, and an unsuccessful war was fought with Chile from 1879 to 1883 (the War of the


The principal presidents of Peru were José Luis Bustamente y Rivero, Gen. Manuel A.

Odria, Manuel Prado y Ugarteche, Fernando Belaúnde Ferry, Gen. Juan Velasco

Alvarado, Gen. Francisco Morales Bermudez, Alberto Fujimori, , Alejandro Toledo and

Alan García Perez.


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