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Portal:Peru

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Introduction

Flag of Peru.svg

Peru (/pəˈr/ (About this soundlisten); Spanish: Perú [peˈɾu]; Quechua: Piruw Republika [pʰɪɾʊw]; Aymara: Piruw Suyu [pɪɾʊw]), officially the Republic of Peru (ES-pe - República del Perú.ogg), is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.

Peruvian territory was home to several ancient cultures. Ranging from the Norte Chico civilization in the 32nd century BC, the oldest civilization in the Americas and one of the five cradles of civilization, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in pre-Columbian America, the territory now including Peru has one of the longest histories of civilization of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 4th millennia BCE.

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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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Abancay main square
Photo credit: Ericbronder

The main square of Abancay, capital of the Apurímac Region, has several palm trees which have adapted to the city's elevation of 2378 meters above sea level. Most cities in Peru have main squares, which are called Plaza de Armas in Spanish. They are usually surrounded by the principal city buildings such as the town hall or the main church. (more...)

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Present-day Miraflores district

The Battle of Miraflores occurred on January 15, 1881 in the Miraflores District of Lima, Peru. It was an important battle during the War of the Pacific that was fought between Chile and the forces of Peru. The Chilean army led by Gen. Manuel Baquedano defeated the army commanded by Nicolás de Pierola guarding the second defensive line of the Peruvian capital city. Two days later, Lima, the capital city of Peru was occupied by Chilean troops. Gen. Baquedano's forces marched into Lima triumphant, while Peru's president and his officers fled into the interior, leaving the country without any government. Although the fall of Lima, the war continued between the occupation army and the troops of Andres Caceres for another three years. During the occupation of Lima, Peru's National Library was set on flames, while a number of other monuments were ransacked by Chilean forces and taken as war trophies. (more...)

In this month

  • August  9, 1970 - Flight LANSA 502 crashes en route from Lima to Cusco killing all but one of the 100 crew and passengers on board.
  • August 15, 2007 - A major earthquake originating off the coast of Peru destroys the city of Pisco.

Did you know...

Anonymous Cuzco School painting, 17th century

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