Perú

 Surface Area (km sq) 1,285.2
 Population (million) 29.2
 GDP ($ billion) 130.3
 Life Expectancy (years) 73.7
 Poverty headcount ratio (%) 34.8
 HDI 0.723
 Capital City Lima
 Main Language Spanish


Perú is a coastal South American country bordered by Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, and Brazil. Perú was home to the Incan Empire. We import alpaca silver jewelry, alpaca fleece goods, wooden carvings, and woven wool goods from Perú.

History

Peru is located on the west Pacific coast of South America bordered by Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil and Bolivia to the East, Southeast and Chile to the south. Perú received independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821. It is known best for its rich heritage from the Inca Empire (Machu Picchu and Ancient Incan capital Cuzco) and the ancient Norte Chico civilisation and some of the earliest known settlements (dating as far back as 9,000 BC).

Although the 1500’s Spanish conquest destroyed the Inca civilization, the legacy of ancient cultures remains intact among almost half of Peru’s Indian population that live predominantly in remote mountain villages. Perú is also renowned for its stunning scenery, including the world’s highest navigable Lake Titicaca and plentiful and diverse wildlife.

Geography

The geography of Perú is hugely varied from the Pacific coast plains, the tropical Amazon rainforest and the mountainous Andes. As a result the climate is very diverse, the coast is subtropical with little rainfall, the mountains are temperate and the lowlands are hot and rainy.

Perú is the fourth most populous country in South America: about three quarters of the population live in sprawling urbans areas, such as Lima which has 8 million inhabitants.

Economy

Perú has a market oriented economy typically tied to exports, rich in primary resources such as copper, lead, silver, zinc, oil and gold. It is also a large producer of coca. The UN children’s fund, Unicef, has found that most of the pickers in the coca-growing areas in the north-east and south-east are children. Benefits have been limited by high levels of corruption and inequality (a small elite of Spanish descents control the majority of wealth and power) through periods of both military dictatorships and more recent democracies. Indigenous Peruvians are largely marginalized. Political and economic instabilities are rife, deterring considerable potential foreign investment. Power struggles have been to the detriment of the economy and infrastructure and have fuelled guerrilla insurgencies. Gang warfare remains a problem and has been linked to the drug trade.

Population and Culture

Peru’s main language is Spanish, but Quechua and other Aymara are widely spoken. Ethnicities include Amerindians (54%), Mestizo (mixed European and Indian descent 32%) Spanish Descent (12%), Africans (2%) and Asian minority.

Over 90% of the Population is Roman Catholic. The majority of Peruvians are great nationalists and love their country with pride stemming from Peru’s history as the centre of both the Inca and Spanish South America Empire. However, many Peruvians separate the state of Perú from the government, harbouring a distrust of the government and police as the people are used to fighting corruption and embezzlement scandals, as in many countries.

The main attractions are their archaeological patrimony of pre-Columbian cultures and the center of Inca’s Empire, their gastronomy, their colonial architecture (has imposing colonial constructions) and their natural resources (a paradise for the ecological tourism).