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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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Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus)

The Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) is a species of South American bird in the New World vulture family Cathartidae and is the only member of the genus Vultur. Found in the Andes mountains and adjacent Pacific coasts of western South America, it is the largest flying land bird in the Western Hemisphere.

It is a large black vulture with a ruff of white feathers surrounding the base of the neck and, especially in the male, large white patches on the wings. The head and neck are nearly featherless, and are a dull red color, which may flush and therefore change color in response to the bird's emotional state. In the male, there is a wattle on the neck and a large, dark red comb or caruncle on the crown of the head. Unlike most birds of prey, the male is larger than the female.

The condor is primarily a scavenger, feeding on carrion. It prefers large carcasses, such as those of deer or cattle. It reaches sexual maturity at five or six years of age and roosts at elevations of 3,000 to 5,000 m (10,000 to 16,000 ft), generally on inaccessible rock ledges. One or two eggs are usually laid. It is one of the world’s longest-living birds, with a lifespan of up to 50 years. (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...)

Selected battle

Contemporary engraving of the Battle of Cajamarca, showing Emperor Atahualpa surrounded on his palanquin.

The Battle of (or Massacre at) Cajamarca (November 16, 1532) was a surprise attack on the Inca royal entourage orchestrated by Francisco Pizarro. Sprung in the evening in the great plaza of Cajamarca, the ambush claimed the lives of thousands of Incas and achieved the goal of capturing Emperor Atahualpa. The confrontation at Cajamarca was the culmination of a months-long struggle involving espionage, subterfuge, and diplomacy between Pizarro and the Inca via their respective envoys. Atahualpa had received the invaders from a position of immense strength. Encamped along the heights of Cajamarca with legions of battle-tested troops fresh from their victories in the civil war against his half-brother Huáscar, the Inca felt they had little to fear from Pizarro's tiny army, however exotic its dress and weaponry. In a calculated show of goodwill, Atahualpa had lured the adventurers deep into the heart of his mountain empire where any potential threat could be met with a show of force. (more...)

In this month

  • July 19, 1991 - The Nuevo Sol was introduced as the official currency to replace the Inti.
  • July 27, 1995 - A new unicameral 90-seat Congress was created.

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