Spanish Enrichment

Hunter Merck 

Mrs. Suttles

SPAN 1320

November 23, 2015

Peru

            Peru is a Spanish speaking country located in South America. It is rich in history and cultural diversity. They have a large population that is very important to the culture. This country is a developing nation that can be described through the people, the geography, their government and economics and their rich history.

            The total population of the nation is approximately thirty million and the largest percentage of people live in the capital of Lima. The people of Peru are called Peruvians. The three official languages are Spanish, spoken by eighty four percent of the population; Quecha, spoken by only thirteen percent; and Aymara, which is only spoken by about two percent. There are other tribal languages spoken among some people but the population is very small. A majority of Peruvians are Roman Catholic, but there are some Evangelical Christians, and other religions mixed in. The median age of these people is only 27 (World Fact Book, CIA).

            More people live in urban and coastal areas than in the rural areas because of economic opportunity. Because of the improvement in the economy, the rate of malnutrition started to fall in 2005, but the rate still sits at thirty percent. School enrollment also improved, but most children stop going to school around the age of thirteen; however, the literacy rate is relatively high at ninety four percent. This was also a country of great immigration during the 19th and 20th centuries, however, due to economic and violence problems in the 1980s, emigration picked up and nearly two million people have emigrated to the US, Spain and Argentina. There were Asian contract workers that were brought into Peru to work on plantations. The Chinese and Japanese population in Peru has a large influence on the culture (World Fact Book, CIA).

            The culture is very diverse. There are nearly three thousand annual festivals including patron saints feasts, processions, carnivals and rituals. They are usually expressing their belief in God or their respect for nature. Religious festivals have strong Spanish influence. Their food is also heavily influenced from multiple different cultures. There is a gastronomic fair held in Lima. There are many who are very skilled artisans. Their weaving, gourds, mood, stone, gold, silver and pottery were very important in ancient Peru. The artisans use these resources to create art now. Their pottery and their ponchos are highly valued around the world. Music and dance are also very important in Peruvian society. The people of the Nazca culture were the most important musicians in ancient South America. Panpipes and terracotta trumpets were some of the most important instruments (Peru.travel).

            Peru is located on the western coast of South America and borders the Pacific Ocean. The total land area is a little over a million square kilometers. This means that it is slightly bigger than Texas, but slightly smaller than Alaska. Peru takes up most of the western part of South America by bordering most of the countries including, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador. The climate varies in different places. Most of the west experiences tropical or dry weather, while the mountains experience frigid temperatures. Some natural resources include copper, silver, gold, petroleum, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphate, potash, hydropower, and natural gas. They also experience natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, landslides, and mild volcanic activity (World Fact Book). Peru, as a country, is very diverse in geography with different climates and natural resources. They also are fairly large in size.

            The government of Peru is a Republic. This means that law governs the country more than anything else. The capital is Lima, which is centrally located. They gained their independence from Spain on July 28, 1821. Their people can start voting at the age of eighteen and have birthright citizenship. Their current president is Ollanta Humala Tasso. The president is elected by majority popular vote and serves a five-year term. Peru’s legislative branch is a unicameral Congress with 130 people and assigned based on proportional representation. The Judicial branch is run by the Supreme Court, which is made up of 16 members who are nominated by the president and then confirmed by the Congress (World Fact Book). The Economy consists of exports to China and other countries that produce a lot of goods. Their industry includes the mining of metals, petroleum, fishing, textiles, clothing, and food processing. Their produce from agriculture includes coffee, cotton, sugarcane, rice, poultry and fish. They export fish, gold and copper. Peru’s petroleum industry is one of the oldest in the world (National Geographic). Their government is very similar to here in the states and their economy is able to flourish because of the amount of exports that they carry out.

            Peru is full of rich history. Peru was first discovered by hunter-gatherers thousands of years ago. As the agricultural land was developed, more and more civilizations popped up. In about 1200 AD, the Incas took over this land and became the mot important empire in ancient South American history. The origin of the Incan empire was in Cusco, but it stretched to several other South American countries. The people worshipped the earth and believed that their king was the child of the sun (peru.travel) The Incas and the Europeans then began to cross worlds when the Spanish came and founded Lima as their capital in 1535. The Spanish chose this area because of the climate was good for agriculture (National Geographic).  In 1542, Peru was an official country that was dependent to Spain. The Spanish forced the Peruvians to work for mining and handicraft production. The people eventually caused an uprising when the forced work was causing them harm. They gained their independence in 1821. In the 1970’s the government changed the ownership of agricultural lands, but in the 1980’s the government went back to being democratic, but two terrorist movements were able to cause major violence in the country for a little over twenty years. The terrorist groups came to an end in the 1990’s and ever since the 2000’s, Peru has been clearly democratic. They have experienced economic growth and have overcome the tragic events of the past (peru.travel).

            The history of Peru is very rich. The people have been through a lot and the government has experienced many changes throughout their history. The economy has fallen and grown. They produce immense resources and are able to export many goods. Peru is a country that is growing and beginning to thrive.

           

           

           

           

           

 

 

Works Cited

"About Peru." Peru. Travel Peru, n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2015.

"Peru Facts, Peru Flag -- National Geographic." National Geographic. National Geographic, n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2015.

"South America: Peru." Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency, n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2015.