About Peru

Peru is situated in western South America. It is cradled by the Pacific Ocean on the west and borders the countries of Ecuador and Colombia in the north, Brazil in the east, and Bolivia and Chile to the south and southeast. Peru has a one of the oldest civilizations of the world and is famously the land of the former Incan Empire. The country stands with an extraordinary architectonical past, which is preserved fortunately to this day, with, for example, the mystical UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu.

Peru has not only been privileged by an extraordinary culture, but also by its geography, with diverse landscapes ranging from breathtaking coastline and beaches to arid deserts. Beyond these Peru has the third largest extent of tropical rainforests on the planet, through which one of the world’s largest water systems flow, the Amazon River. These multifacited ecological systems are all teaming with vast amounts of biological diversity of flora and fauna.

Lima, the capital of Peru, is a city of migrants, and is often referred to as the ‘The City of Kings’, pointing to a history of settlement by Spanish Viceroys. In just five decades the demographics of Lima’s population has changed considerably from people of whom originated from the city itself to what you will find today. Of the eight million who now reside within the city limits many are from small villages in the poverty stricken countryside. This trend is explained mostly by the lack of sustainable devlopment opportunities in rural areas, many come seeking a better perspective for their children. The constant in-flux of people has left the outlying suburbs of Lima with a lack of basic facilities, and often people are left with out electricty and water. Nevertheless, Lima has much potential for further development, as it is one of the few South American capitals with a near access to the ocean and one of the biggest ports on the Atlantic Sea: the Callao. Additionally its historical city center has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, providing opportunity for the development of tourism.

The official language is Spanish, but there are various native languages spoken all over the country. The most important of which are Quechua and Aymara, which are predominantly spoken in some regions. For the most part they can be heard spoken in the southern areas of the country, where the Incan Empire was once situated.

The economy of Peru is largely driven by agriculture and fishing, as well as through mining and textile manufactoring industry.

The Peruvians are a very hospitable people. There is a proverb saying, “where just few people eat, there is enough for more people to eat”. The gastronomy is diverse and with increasing frequency rich and tasty Peruvian food finds its devotees all over the planet. This is due to a special ingredient native to Peru: the potato.

In the Peruvian households the role of the women stands out. Often women have to work for the income, look after the children, and do the housework by themselves, without any further aid by their partners. For this reason a program called “Vaso de leche” (Glass of Milk) was initiated by the government, in order to provide support for the Peruvian woman. This program procures alimentary aid to families by offering a free breakfast to families with little income.

With its diverse geography, vast biodiversity and precious natural resources of natural gas and petrol, Peru works hard to overcome extreme poverty, which still touches a third of the population. Peru makes special efforts to surmount its huge deficit in the field of education, where globally it still sits quite low. The biggest challenge for the Peruvians today is, to jump these hurdles and allow the population to put all their hopes towards change.

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