Peru is a country in western South America and is bordered by Ecuador and Columbia on the North, Brazil on the east, Chile on the south and Pacific Ocean on the West. It has an amazing variation of geography like the pacific coastline on one hand to the rocky Andes Mountains on the other and also the Amazon Basin forests. The capital of Peru is Lima and the official languages spoken here are Spanish and also a local dialect called Quechua. This country is officially known as the Republic of Peru. The most famous scenic spot – Machu Picchu is also located in Peru.
Peru was in history ruled by the Incas kings who ruled until the 16th century. The Spanish conquerors captured Peru and ruled it till the mid 19th century. Peru was finally awarded its independence by 1821 however military rule continued until 1980 after which a democratic government was elected. After independence also, Peru fought a number of wars with Spain, Chile and other revolutions for over 100 years. Though Peru’s elected President has given a sound economy and prosperity to the country, Peru has also seen increased guerilla warfare which has acted against the government and indulged in several wars taking the lives of innocent people and debilitating the nation’s economic progress and political stability completely.
Peruvians belong to various ethnic groups like the Amerindians, mestizo, whites, black, Chinese, Japanese etc. Roman Catholics are a majority in this country and a large number of minor Amazonian languages are also spoken in parts of Peru. Peruvian culture is a mix of Spanish and Amerindian traditions. Their fine arts include fine pottery, jewelry, textiles and sculptures. The Incas kings had a taste for good architecture and it is they who built the very famous Machu Picchu. Paintings and art were inspired by religion. Peruvian literature again is inspired by Columbian, Spanish civilizations and religious literature was preferred. With independence, arts and literature both have taken a back seat and seen a major change. Music in Peruvian culture is inspired by Spanish and African music and important instruments like guitar, harp, percussion instruments etc started to take centre stage. There are many folk dances in Peruvian culture too. The cuisine in Peru is an adaptation and mix of Spanish, African, Chinese, Japanese and Italian cooking. Peruvian food is widely renowned for its diverse recipes, ingredients and taste.
Services account for the chief occupation of Peru apart from manufacturing, metal extraction industry, etc. Exports of metals which are extracted here include gold, copper and zinc. Services industry in Peru include people working in Government sector, hospitals, education, banking, financial and legal services, media, tourism, retail, real estate etc. This services industry accounts for 53% of the GDP of Peru.
Peru is connected by almost 210 airports, heliports, roadways, railways, ports and terminals and merchant marine.
The Nuevo Sol (PEN) is the unit of currency of Peru. 1 Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN) = 0.35635 US Dollar (USD)
The flag of Peru contains three vertical bands of red, white and red. The white strip contains a coat of arms surrounding a shield and bearing a vicuna, a cinchona tree and a yellow cornucopia spilled out with coins. These 3 are symbolical of flora, fauna and wealth. Red colour denotes the bloodshed that Peruvians went through to win independence and White color denotes peace.