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Sun of May of Peru
Location of Peru

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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Amantaní island
Photo credit: Bcasterline

Amantaní is an island on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. According to a 1988 census, it has a population of 3,663 Quechua speakers divided among about 800 families, the island is circular and about 9.28 km² in size. It has two mountain peaks, Pachatata (Father Earth) and Pachamama (Mother Earth), with ancient Inca and Tiwanaku ruins on top of both. The hillsides, are terraced mostly worked by hand and planted with wheat, quinoa, potatoes, and other vegetables. Livestock, including alpacas, also graze the slopes. (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

  • March 16, 1892 - César Vallejo, the most important Peruvian poet, is born in Santiago de Chuco.
  • March 31, 1950 - The National Flag is adopted in its present form by removing the Coat of Arms from the center of the flag.

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History: Ancient civilizations • Inca Empire • Spanish conquest • Viceroyalty • War of independence • War of the Pacific • Demographic • Economic • More...

Politics: Constitution • Law • Human rights • Foreign relations • Military • Electoral system • Political parties • More...

Geography: Regions • Cities • Lima • Earthquakes • Mountains • Rivers • Flora • National parks • More...

Economy: Currency • Central Bank • Stock Exchange • Communications • Transport • Tourism • Companies • Electricity • Water supply and sanitation • More...

Culture: Architecture • Art • Cinema • Dances • Cuisine • Education • Languages • Literature • Media • Music • Public holidays • Religion • Sport • More...

Other: Chifa • Guinea pig • Inca Kola • Llama • Machu Picchu • People • More...

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