Useful Notes: Peru
— First thing that most people say whenever they think of Peru, or...
"Cuzco, Machu Picchu".
— The thing for which Peru is most known among tourists.
Peru, or Republic of Peru (República del Perú in Spanish) is a country in western South America, it's the third largest country in South America (after Brazil and Argentina), also, it's among the countries with most variety in natural regions and subclimates in the world. How many you ask? There are somewhere over 100 subclimates subdivided in three natural regions: the coast, formed mainly by deserts and small valleys, the Andes mountains, and the jungle (the Amazon rainforest). Its population surpasses 29 million, with its capital and largest city, Lima, encompassing 9 million inhabitants, diversified between the indigenous populations and the mestizos, with a small percentage of Blacks, Asians and Europeans. Religiously however, it is mostly Catholic with a growing number of Evangelical congregations. Peru has two official languages: the Spanish, the most spoken one; and the Quechua, the most spoken of the indigenous languages. There are however, many other indigenous languages like the Aymara and the various languages of the people of the Amazon Forest.
Precolumbine Period Its territory was home to various ancient cultures like the Norte Chico civilization, most known as Caral, the most ancient city in the American Continent (About 5000 years old), and various others; the Precolumbine history is studied in six stages:
- Initial Period: Ranges from the prehistory, covers the Caral civilization and diverse foundings as Toquepala and the temple of the crossed hands.
- The Early Horizon: Covers the time of the Chavin hegemony upon other cultures, such as the Paracas and its decadence.
- The Early Intermediate: Ranges between the decadence of Chavin and the rise of the Wari, the Nazca, the Moche and other cultures appeared in this period.
- The Middle Horizon: Spans the rise and fall of the Wari Empire in Perú, features other cultures such as the Chachapoyas.
- The Late Intermediate: Houses the time between the fall of Wari and the victory of the Inca Confederacy upon the Chancas, which would eventually lead to the Inca Empire, the cultures that appear are, amongst others, the Tiawanaco, the Chimu and The Inca Confederacy.
- The Late Horizon: Follows the rise of the Inca Empire, lead by Pachacutec, and its eventual expansion, which would be called the Tawantinsuyu and would eventually cover most of the northern territory of Chile, the coast and mountains of Perú as well as parts of the forests, Ecuador, and parts of Colombia and Bolivia; it ends with the capture of Atahualpa and his execution by Francisco Pizarro the 26th of July of 1533.
- Michael Bentine. Although born in England, comedian, author and TV presenter Bentine was a Peruvian citizen through his father. He was bilingual in Spanish and never forgot his roots in this country, fronting appeals in the UK for aid after natural disasters in Peru. He visited frequently, and, as a member of the family that founded Peru's first airline company, was familiar with the country, its strengths and weaknesses, and worked tirelessly to raise awareness of its existence outside South America.
The Peruvian flag
The tradition says that the Libertador San Martín dreamed the first flag of Perú after seeing the flamingos of the coast, the red hoist and fly stripes symbolize the blood of Peru's fallen freedom fighters, and the white central stripe represents peace.