Portal:Peru

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THE PERU PORTAL

Flag of the Republic of Peru
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Peru is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador 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 civilization, one of the oldest in the world, and to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the country in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty, 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 presidential representative 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 medium Human Development Index score and a poverty level around 40%. Its main economic activities include agriculture, fishing, mining, and manufacturing of products such as textiles. The Peruvian population, estimated at 28 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans, Africans and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages.

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Union street in Lima (1930)

The history of Lima, the capital of Peru, began with its foundation by Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535. The city was established on the valley of the Rímac River in an area populated by the Ychsma polity. It became the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru and site of a Real Audiencia in 1543. In the 17th century, the city prospered as the center of an extensive trade network despite damage from earthquakes and the threat of pirates. However, prosperity came to an end in the 18th century due to an economic downturn and the Bourbon Reforms.

The population of Lima played an ambivalent role in the 1821–1824 Peruvian War of Independence; the city suffered exactions from Royalist and Patriot armies alike. After independence, Lima became the capital of the Republic of Peru. It enjoyed a short period of prosperity in the mid-19th century until the 1879–1883 War of the Pacific when it was occupied and looted by Chilean troops. After the war, the city went through a period of demographic expansion and urban renewal. Population growth accelerated in the 1940s spurred by immigration from the Andean regions of Peru. This gave rise to the proliferation of shanty towns as public services failed to keep up with the city expansion. (more...)

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Alpamayo
Photo credit: RedWolf

Alpamayo (Spanish: Nevado Alpamayo) is one of the most conspicuous peaks in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range of the Peruvian Andes. It is a steep (sixty degrees), almost perfect pyramid of ice, one of a number of peaks that compose the Santa Cruz massif, the northernmost massif of the Cordillera Blanca. Although smaller than many of its neighboring peaks, it is distinguished by its unusual formation and overwhelming beauty. It actually has two sharp summits, North and South, separated by a narrow corniced ridge. (more...)

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The port of present-day Callao

The Battle of Callao (in Spanish, sometimes called el Combate del Dos de Mayo in South America, or Guerra del Pacífico in Spain) occurred on May 2, 1866 between a Spanish fleet under the command of Admiral Casto Méndez Núñez and an alliance of Peru, Chile, Bolivia, and Ecuador, in the Peruvian port city of Callao during the Chincha Islands War. The Spanish fleet bombarded the port of Callao (or El Callao), but eventually withdrew without any major damage to the city structures. (more...)

In this month

  • October  2, 1996 - Flight Aeroperú 603 crashes off the coast of Lima killing all crew members and passengers on board.

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Lama at Machu Picchu

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