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Peru

  • 1,285,216 kmē
  • 10°00'S
  • 76°00'W
  • July 28, 1821
  • Lima
  • 308,745,538
  • 23/km2
  • Spanish
  • Nuevo Sol
  • Alan Garcia
  • +1
Peru Map
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Peru Map

Peru was the homeland of the Inca, who ruled over an impressive empire in the mountains and fertile valleys of the Andes some 600 years ago. The Inca civilization was destroyed by Spanish conquerors and today most Peruvians are mestizos (people of mixed Indian and European ancestry). Peru is the third largest country in South Africa. Only Brazil and Argentina cover a greater area. Lima (pronounced LEE mah), the capital of Peru, is the largest city. Peru is one of the world's leading producers of copper, lead, silver and zinc. Descendants of the Incas still farm the ancient terraces on the steep mountain ridges. Llmasfan animal with a thick woolly coat, used as a beast of burden) loaded with baggage tread old Inca trails and condors, the elegant vultures of the Andes, glide through the clear air overhead. To the west of the Andes the country's main cities lie on the coastal plains. To the east a vast, remote region of tropical forest stretches towards the Amazon Basin. The Amazon begins its immense journey in Peru's mountains, just 190 kilometres from the Pacific coast. At the port of Iquitos the river is deep enough to receive ocean-going vessels from the other side of the continent.Peru is rich in mining, fishing and agriculture, yet it remains a poor country troubled by violent unrest. In the early 1990's Maoist guerrillas called the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) controlled large parts of Peru. Thousands of farming families were caught up in the troubles, while struggling simply to survive.

Peru is a farming nation. High in the Andes Mountains, the backbone of the country, farmers work on small plots of land to grow potatoes, which are believed to have originated here. Chickens, sheep and llamas are raised for their produce.