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Friday, October 10, 2008

Interesting Facts About PERU

fun weird strange unusual interesting facts about PERU picPERU? Well, before we go to the interesting facts about PERU, just a bit of introduction of PERU to add some spice. Peru, country in west central South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a land of sharp contrasts, of barren deserts and green oases, snowcapped mountains, high bleak plateaus, and deep valleys. The Andes mountains cross the country from northwest to southeast. Beyond the Andes, in the interior of the country, is a thinly settled area covered with dense tropical forests. Lima, situated along the Pacific coast, is the country’s capital and chief commercial center.

Peru was once the center of an extensive South American empire ruled by the Inca. This empire fell to conquerors from Spain in the 16th century. Attracted by the gold and silver mines of the Andes, the Spaniards quickly converted Peru into the seat of their wealth and power in South America. Peru remained a Spanish colony until the early 19th century.

Mining has remained the basis of Peru’s wealth, although agriculture, fishing, and tourism also contribute. Many tourists visit Peru to see the remains of the Inca empire, especially the Inca stronghold at Machu Picchu high in the Andes.

Many of Peru’s people are descended from the Inca or other Native American groups. Quechua, the language of the Inca, and Aymara, a related Indian language, rank with Spanish as official languages of the country. However, sharp class and ethnic divisions that developed during the colonial period persist to this day. In this divided society a wealthy elite of largely Spanish descent has long dominated Peru’s larger population of Native Americans and mestizos—people of mixed European and Native American ancestry. (1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation)

Now for the interesting facts about PERU. Some facts may not be new to you, and some may be. Just enjoy the list of interesting facts about PERU compiled below.

* If you are from Peru then your nationality is Peruvian.
* The life expectancy at birth for people in Peru is 69.84. This is due to the poverty in the country and the lack of doctors.
* The largest ethnic group in Peru is the Amerindian, followed closely by the Mestizo and white.
* 90% of people in Peru belong to the Roman Catholic religion.
* The literacy rate in Peru is 90.9% which is impressive for a country with so much poverty.
* Peru was the homeland of the Inca Empire until 1533 when it was taken over by Spanish conquistadores.
* Peru ranked 79 out of 177 countries in the UN Human Development Index in 2005. This was an improvement of 6 places since 2004’s ranking of 85.
* Peru’s most famous sport is Soccer, but they also enjoy tennis, surfing, beach volleyball, and sailing.
* In west Peru there are some desert lands, where in the east it is a very tropical climate
* Peru’s natural resources are silver, gold, copper, timber, fish, petroleum, coal, iron, ore, phosphate, potash, hydropower, and natural gas.
* Peru has to deal with natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, volcanic activity, and mudslides.
* Peru has 246 airports. That’s more than it has ever had before. This is a good sign for the economy.
* Unfortunately, the country only has 1 heliport.
* Peru features over of 3000 kilometers of railway.
* Peru is home to the famous Lake Titicaca. (

* Peru borders the South Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador.
* Peru is roughly the size of Alaska.
* Peru has roughly 1,500 miles of coastline on the Pacific Ocean.
* The city of Caral has pyramid remains dated to between 2000 and 2600 B.C. This means Caral may be the oldest city on Earth.
* Peru is home of the Nazca Lines, football field sized drawings built for unknown purposes. Most of the drawing weren’t even discovered until viewed from the air.
* The Incan Empire was based in Peru, with the famous Machu Picchu in the Andes being the best known location. It was discovered in 1911.
* Spain ruled Peru for nearly three hundred years starting in the early 16th century.
* Spain introduced Christianity to Peru and forced locals to take Spanish names.
* Peru was the last Spanish colony in South America.
* Peru is now a constitutional republic.
* Lima is the capital of Peru.
* Peru achieved independence from Spain on July 28, 1821.
* Members of the military and national police may not vote in elections.
* Leftist guerrilla groups including Shining Path and Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement tried to overthrow the government for 20 years from 1980 to 2000.
* Roughly 70,000 people were killed by both the government and rebel groups during the fighting.
* Beatriz Merino became Peru's first female Prime Minister in 2003.
* The climate varies from tropical in the east to dry desert in the west and temperate to frigid in the Andes.
* Natural resources include copper, silver, gold, petroleum, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphate, potash, hydropower and natural gas.
* Peru shares control of Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake, with Bolivia.
* A remote slope of Nevado Mismi, a 5,316 m peak, is the ultimate source of the Amazon River.
* As of 2005, the population of Peru was 27,925,628 people.
* Peruvians have the following ethnic breakdown: Amerindian 45%, mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 37%, white 15%, black, Japanese, Chinese, and other 3%.
From a faith perspective, Peruvians are Roman Catholic 81%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.4%, other Christian 0.7%, other 0.6%, unspecified or none 16.3%
* The Flag of Peru consists of three equal, vertical bands of red (hoist side), white, and red with the coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms features a shield bearing a vicuna, cinchona tree (the source of quinine), and a yellow cornucopia spilling out gold coins, all framed by a green wreath.
* Peru's coastal waters provide excellent fishing grounds.
* Abundant mineral resources are found in the mountainous areas.
* After several years of inconsistent economic performance, the Peruvian economy grew by more than 4 percent per year during the period 2002-2005.
* The average Peruvian earns the equivalent of $6,000 a year.
* Peru's main agricultural crops are coffee, cotton, sugarcane, rice, potatoes, corn, plantains, grapes, oranges, coca; poultry, beef, dairy products and fish.
* Peru has major mining and refining of minerals and metals, petroleum extraction and refining, natural gas, fishing and fish processing, textiles, clothing, food processing, steel and metal fabrication industries.
* In 1995, Peru was the biggest cocaine producer in the world. Production rates have dropped, but opium production is on the rise.
* 54 percent of people in Peru live below the poverty line.
* The literacy rate in Peru is 87.7 percent, with women primarily lacking in the skill. (

* Peru has had many famous visitors: Rosalynn Carter (ex-First Lady of the United States); Neil Armstrong (astronaut); Edwin Aldrin (astronaut); Michael Collins (astronaut); John Wayne (actor); Dennis Hopper (actor);Shirley MacLaine (actress); Yasuhiro Nakasone (Prime Minister of Japan);George W.Bush (President of the United States); Charles de Gaulle (President of France); Claudia Schiffer (supermodel); Mohammed Mahatthir (Prime Minister of Malaysia);Kim Young-sam (President of South Korea);Ernest Hemingway (writer); Gloria Estefan (singer); Julio Iglesias (singer); and Mother Theresa (religious)
* The Hawaiian Hiram Bingham (1875-1956) discovered Machu Picchu, one of the wonders of the world.
* Miss Peru, Gladys Rosa Zender Urbina, was supported by the artist Alberto Joaquin Vargas y Chavez, who was international judge at the Miss Universe pageant in 1957. Gladys Zender became the first Latin-American to win the Miss Universe…
* Writer Ciro Alegria (1909-1967) was born in Trujillo, a city in the north of Peru. His best seller was "The Golden Serpent".
* Different from Venezuela and Cuba, Peru is a democratic country in the Third World. Alan García Perez is one of the most popular presidents in South America.
* Peru maintains good relations with France, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Canada, Spain, Italy, China, and the United States.
* Mario Vargas Llosa is one of the most important writers in the world. He has written several novels and essays. Beginning the 1980s Vargas Llosa attracted international attention when he wrote perhaps his most famous novel "The War of the End of the World".
* Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa was born on March 28, 1936, in Arequipa, Peru. He was educated in Lima at the National University of San Marcos, where he studied literature. Literary recognition came gradually. His novels included: "The Green House" (1966), "Conversation in the Cathedral" (1969), "Captain Pantoja and the Special Service" (1972), "Aunt Julia & the Scriptwriter" (1977), "The War of End of the World" (1981),"The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta" (1984), "Who Killed Palomino Molero?" (1986), "Notebooks of Don Rigoberto" (1997), and "Feast of the Goat" (2000).Vargas Llosa’s latest work "The Way to Paradise" was published in 2003.He received Spain’s Miguel Cervantes Prize in 1994.
* Since 1976 he became a spokesman for the democracy in Cuba. From 1987 to 1990 Vargas Llosa became active in the Peruvian democracy movement. During the 1990s, he was an outspoken critic of Alberto Kenya Fujimori’s dictatorship, as well as ardent supporter of the democratic revolution that brought Alejandro Toledo to power. During the Fujimori’s regime, Vargas Llosa went to exile in Spain.
* Peru has many famous people in Latin America: Bernardo Fort-Brescia (architect); Luis Dunker Lavalle (composer); Juan Giha (sportsman); Francisco Boza (sportsman);Luisa Fuentes (sportwoman); Madeleine Hartog-Bell (Miss World 1967); María Julia "Maju" Mantilla (Miss World 2004);Alberto Joaquín Vargas y Chávez (painter); Miguel Hart- Bedoya ( singer and composer); Boris Vallejo (painter); Luis Llosa (film maker); Phil Uriarte (entrepreneur); Carlos Baca Flor (painter).
* The City of Cuzco is considered a Cultural Heritage for Humanity by UNESCO. Like Mexico and China, Peru has many World Heritages Sites:
-Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (1983)
-Chavin Ruins (1985)
-Huascaran National Park (1985)
-Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (1986)
-Manú National Park (1987)
-Historic Centre of Lima (1988/1992)
-Lines Geoglyphs of Nasca and Pampas de Jumana (1994)
-Historical centre of the City of Arequipa (2000)
* The soccer is the most popular sport in Peru. Peru qualified for the 1970 FIFA Soccer World Championship.
* Lima, Peru’s capital, hosted the 1982 FIVB Volleyball World Championship. Under the leadership of Cecilia Tait Villacorta, Peru beat USA 3-0 in the semi-finals. Peru won the silver medal in the FIVB World Cup. The United States was the favorite until last second. The American Flora Hyman was elected the best player. The final ranking was: 1-China, 2-Peru, 3-USA, 4-Japan, 5-Cuba. In 1982, Cecilia Tait was considered one of the best athletes in Latin America. (