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Portal:Peru

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THE PERU PORTAL

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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Cross along the road to Qoyllur Rit'i festival site

Qoyllur Rit'i is a religious festival held annually in honor of the Lord of Qoyllur Rit'i (Spanish: Señor de Qoyllur Rit'i) at the Sinakara Valley in the Cusco Region of Peru. According to local traditions, the celebration originated in 1780, when a young native herder called Mariano Mayta befriended a mestizo boy, called Manuel on Mount Colquepunku. Thanks to Manuel, Mariano's herd prospered so his father sent him to buy clothes for the two boys in Cusco. Upon hearing the story, the archbishop sent a party to investigate but when they tried to grab Manuel, he became a bush with an image of Christ hanging from it. Thinking they had harmed his friend, Mariano died on the spot and was buried under a rock. An image of Christ painted over this boulder became known as the Lord of Qoyllur Rit'i.

The Qoyllur Rit'i festival attracts a large number of peasants from the surrounding regions divided in two moieties. Paucartambo groups Quechuas from the agricultural regions to the northwest of the sanctuary while Quispicanchis includes Aymaras from the pastoral regions to the southeast. Both moieties make an annual pilgrimage to the feast bringing large troupes of dancers and musicians in four main styles: ch'unchu, qolla, ukuku and machula. Besides peasant pilgrims, attendants include middle class Peruvians and foreign tourists. The festival takes place in late May or early June, one week before the Christian feast of Corpus Christi. (more...)

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Stone bridge over the Rímac River
Photo credit: Ericbronder

The Rímac River runs through the Peruvian capital of Lima and is the city's main source of water. One of the oldest bridges spanning the river is the Puente de Piedra (Stone Bridge) built out in stone masonry in the early 17th century. The bridge is still in use and connects the two districts that comprise the Historic Center of Lima: Rímac and Lima Cercado. (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

  • February 12, 1903 - Historian Jorge Basadre author of Historia de la República (History of the Republic) is born.
  • February 25, 1825 - The Coat of arms is adopted as national symbolic emblem of Peru.

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