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This article is about the country in South America. For other uses, see Peru (disambiguation).
Peru third world producer of lead, the world's fourth largest producer of tin, the fifth world's largest producer of boron and the world's fourth largest producer of molybdenum. - not to mention gas and of oil. Little industrialized, Peru suffers from the international variation of commodity prices.
Peru is the world's largest producer of quinoa, one of the 5 largest producers of avocado, blueberry, artichoke and asparagus, one of the 10 largest producers in the world of coffee and cocoa, and one of the 15 largest producers in the world of potato and pineapple, also having a considerable production of grape, sugarcane, rice, banana, maize and cassava; its agriculture is considerably diversified. In livestock, Peru is one of the 20 largest producers of chicken meat in the world.
The World Bank lists the top producing countries each year, based on the total value of production. By the 2019 list, Peru has the 50th most valuable industry in the world ($28.7 billion).
In 2016 Peru was the world's largest supplier of fishmeal.
Table of contents
Infrastructure Demographics Culture See also
Peru's road network in 2021 consisted of 175,589 km (109,106 mi) of highways, with 29,579 km (18,380 mi) paved. Some highways in the country that stand out are the Pan American Highway and Interoceanic Highway. In 2016, the country had 827 km (514 mi) of duplicated highways, and was investing in more duplications: the plan was to have 2,634 km (1,637 mi) in 2026. The country's rail network is small: in 2018, the country only had 1,939 km (1,205 mi) of railways.
Peru has important international airports such as Lima, Cuzco and Arequipa. The 10 busiest airports in South America in 2017 were: São Paulo-Guarulhos (Brazil), Bogotá (Colombia), São Paulo-Congonhas (Brazil), Santiago (Chile), Lima (Peru), Brasília (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Buenos Aires-Aeroparque (Argentina), Buenos Aires-Ezeiza (Argentina) and Minas Gerais (Brazil).
Peru has important ports in Callao, Ilo and Matarani. The 15 most active ports in South America in 2018 were: Port of Santos (Brazil), Port of Bahia de Cartagena (Colombia), Callao (Peru), Guayaquil (Ecuador), Buenos Aires (Argentina), San Antonio (Chile), Buenaventura (Colombia), Itajaí (Brazil), Valparaíso (Chile), Montevideo (Uruguay), Paranaguá (Brazil), Rio Grande (Brazil), São Francisco do Sul (Brazil), Manaus (Brazil) and Coronel (Chile).
Peruvian electricity production totaled 49.3 million GWh in November 2021. Of these, 52% came from hydroelectric plants, 38.3% from thermoelectric plants (which use oil, gas and coal) and 9.7% of renewable energy plants like: wind, solar, and others.
In 2021, Peru had, in terms of installed renewable electricity, 5,490 MW in hydropower (34th largest in the world), 409 MW in wind power (49th largest in the world), 336 MW in solar power (62nd largest in the world), and 185 MW in biomass.
Main articles: Demographics of Peru and Peruvian people
With about 31.2 million inhabitants in 2017, Peru is the fourth most populous country in South America. The demographic growth rate of Peru declined from 2.6% to 1.6% between 1950 and 2000; with the population being expected to reach approximately 42 million in 2050. According to the 1940 Peruvian census, Peru had a population at the time of seven million residents.
As of 2017, 79.3% lived in urban areas and 20.7% in rural areas. Major cities include the Lima metropolitan area (home to over 9.8 million people), Arequipa, Trujillo, Chiclayo, Piura, Iquitos, Cusco, Chimbote, and Huancayo; all reported more than 250,000 inhabitants in the 2007 census. There are 15 uncontacted Amerindian tribes in Peru. Peru has a life expectancy of 75.0 years (72.4 for males and 77.7 for females) according to the latest data for the year 2016 from the World Bank.
Peru is a multiethnic nation formed by successive waves of different peoples over five centuries. Amerindians inhabited Peruvian territory for several millennia before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century; according to historian Noble David Cook, their population decreased from nearly 5-9 million in the 1520s to around 600,000 in 1620 mainly because of infectious diseases.
The 2017 census for the first time included a question on ethnic self-identification. According to the results, 60.2% of the people identified themselves as mestizo, 22.3% identified themselves as Quechua, 5.9% identified themselves as white, 3.6% identified themselves as black, 2.4% identified themselves as Aymara, 2.3% identified themselves as other ethnic groups, and 3.3% didn't declare their ethnicity.
Spaniards and Africans arrived in large numbers under colonial rule, mixing widely with each other and with Indigenous peoples. After independence, there was gradual immigration from England, France, Germany, and Italy. Peru freed its black slaves in 1854. Chinese and Japanese arrived in the 1850s as laborers following the end of slavery, and have since become a major influence in Peruvian society.
Main article: Languages of Peru
According to the Peruvian Constitution of 1993, Peru's official languages are Spanish and, in areas where they predominate, Quechua and other Indigenous languages. Spanish is spoken natively by 82.6% of the population, Quechua by 13.9%, and Aymara by 1.7%, while other languages are spoken by the remaining 1.8%.
Spanish language is used by the government and is the mainstream language of the country, which is used by the media and in educational systems and commerce. Amerindians who live in the Andean highlands speak Quechua and Aymara and are ethnically distinct from the diverse Indigenous groups who live on the eastern side of the Andes and in the tropical lowlands adjacent to the Amazon basin.
Peru's distinct geographical regions are mirrored in a language divide between the coast where Spanish is more predominant over the Amerindian languages, and the more diverse traditional Andean cultures of the mountains and highlands. The Indigenous populations east of the Andes speak various languages and dialects. Some of these groups still adhere to traditional Indigenous languages, while others have been almost completely assimilated into the Spanish language. There has been an increasing and organized effort to teach Quechua in public schools in the areas where Quechua is spoken. In the Peruvian Amazon, numerous Indigenous languages are spoken, including Asháninka, Bora, and Aguaruna.
Main article: Religion in Peru
Roman Catholicism has been the predominant faith in Peru for centuries, albeit religious practices have a high degree of syncretism with Indigenous traditions. Two of its universities, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and Universidad Cattolica San Pablo, are among the 5 top universities of the country. As of the 2017 census, 76% of the population over 12 years old described themselves as Catholic, 14.1% as Evangelical, 4.8% as Protestant, Jewish, Latter-day Saints, and Jehovah's Witnesses, and 5.1% as nonreligious.
Amerindian religious traditions continue to play a major role in the beliefs of Peruvians. Catholic festivities like Corpus Christi, Holy Week and Christmas sometimes blend with Amerindian traditions. Amerindian festivities from pre-Columbian remain widespread; Inti Raymi, an ancient Inca festival, is still celebrated, especially in rural communities.
The majority of towns, cities, and villages have their own official church or cathedral and patron saint.
Main article: Education in Peru
Peru's literacy rate is estimated at 92.9% as of 2007; this rate is lower in rural areas (80.3%) than in urban areas (96.3%). Primary and secondary education are compulsory and free in public schools.
Peru is home to one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the New World. The National University of San Marcos, founded on 12 May 1551, during the Viceroyalty of Peru, is the first officially established and the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas.
Many of the Peruvian toponyms have Indigenous sources. In the Andes communities of Ancash, Cusco and Puno, Quechua or Aymara names are overwhelmingly predominant. Their Spanish-based orthography, however, is in conflict with the normalized alphabets of these languages. According to Article 20 of Decreto Supremo No 004-2016-MC (Supreme Decree) which approves the Regulations to Law 29735, published in the official newspaper El Peruano on 22 July 2016, adequate spellings of the toponyms in the normalized alphabets of the Indigenous languages must progressively be proposed with the aim of standardizing the naming used by the National Geographic Institute (Instituto Geográfico Nacional, IGN). The National Geographic Institute realizes the necessary changes in the official maps of Peru.
Main article: Culture of Peru
Peruvian culture is primarily rooted in Andean and Iberian traditions, though it has also been influenced by various Asian and African ethnic groups. Peruvian artistic traditions date back to the elaborate pottery, textiles, jewelry, and sculpture of Pre-Inca cultures. The Incas maintained these crafts and made architectural achievements including the construction of Machu Picchu. Baroque dominated colonial art, though modified by Native traditions.
During this period, most art focused on religious subjects; the numerous churches of the era and the paintings of the Cusco School are representative. Arts stagnated after independence until the emergence of Indigenismo in the early 20th century. Since the 1950s, Peruvian art has been eclectic and shaped by both foreign and local art currents.
Main article: Peruvian art
Peruvian art has its origin in the Andean civilizations. These civilizations arose in the territory of modern Peru before the arrival of the Spanish. Peruvian art incorporated European elements after the Spanish conquest and continued to evolve throughout the centuries up to the modern day.
Peru's earliest artwork came from the Cupisnique culture, which was concentrated on the Pacific coast, and the Chavín culture, which was largely north of Lima between the Andean mountain ranges of the Cordillera Negra and the Cordillera Blanca. Decorative work from this era, approximately the 9th century BCE, was symbolic and religious in nature. The artists worked with gold, silver, and ceramics to create a variety of sculptures and relief carvings. These civilizations were also known for their architecture and wood sculptures.
Between the 9th century BCE and the 2nd century CE, the Paracas Cavernas and Paracas Necropolis cultures developed on the south coast of Peru. Paracas Cavernas produced complex polychrome and monochrome ceramics with religious representations. Burials from the Paracas Necropolis also yielded complex textiles, many produced with sophisticated geometric patterns.
The 3rd century BCE saw the flowering of the urban culture, Moche, in the Lambayeque region. The Moche culture produced impressive architectural works, such as the Huacas del Sol y de la Luna and the Huaca Rajada of Sipán. They were experts at cultivation in terraces and hydraulic engineering and produced original ceramics, textiles, pictorial and sculptural works.
Another urban culture, the Wari civilization, flourished between the 8th and 12th centuries in Ayacucho. Their centralized town planning was extended to other areas, such as Pachacamac, Cajamarquilla and Wari Willka.
Between the 9th and 13th centuries CE, the military urban Tiwanaku empire rose by the borders of Lake Titicaca. Centered around a city of the same name in modern-day Bolivia, the Tiwanaku introduced stone architecture and sculpture of a monumental type. These works of architecture and art were made possible by the Tiwanaku's developing bronze, which enabled them to make the necessary tools.
Urban architecture reached a new height between the 14th and 15th centuries in the Chimú Culture. The Chimú built the city of Chan Chan in the valley of the Moche River, in La Libertad. The Chimú were skilled goldsmiths and created remarkable works of hydraulic engineering.
The Inca Civilization, which united Peru under its hegemony in the centuries immediately preceding the Spanish conquest, incorporated into their own works a great part of the cultural legacy of the civilizations which preceded it. Important relics of their artwork and architecture can be seen in cities like Cusco, architectural remains like Sacsahuamán and Machu Picchu and stone pavements that united Cusco with the rest of the Inca Empire.
Main articles: Peruvian colonial architecture and Cusco School
Peruvian sculpture and painting began to define themselves from the ateliers founded by monks, who were strongly influenced by the Sevillian Baroque School. In this context, the stalls of the Cathedral choir, the fountain of the Main Square of Lima both by Pedro de Noguera, and a great part of the colonial production were registered. The first center of art established by the Spanish was the Cuzco School that taught Quechua artists European painting styles. Diego Quispe Tito (1611-1681) was one of the first members of the Cuzco school and Marcos Zapata (1710-1773) was one of the last.
Painting of this time reflected a synthesis of European and Indigenous influences, as is evident in the portrait of prisoner Atahualpa, by D. de Mora or in the canvases of the Italians Mateo Pérez de Alesio and Angelino Medoro, the Spaniards Francisco Bejarano and J. de Illescas and the Creole J. Rodriguez.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Baroque Style also dominated the field of plastic arts.
Main article: Peruvian literature
The term Peruvian literature not only refers to literature produced in the independent Republic of Peru, but also to literature produced in the Viceroyalty of Peru during the country's colonial period, and to oral artistic forms created by diverse ethnic groups that existed in the area during the pre-Columbian period, such as the Quechua, the Aymara and the Chanka people.
Peruvian literature is rooted in the oral traditions of pre-Columbian civilizations. Spaniards introduced writing in the 16th century; colonial literary expression included chronicles and religious literature. After independence, Costumbrism and Romanticism became the most common literary genres, as exemplified in the works of Ricardo Palma. The early 20th century's Indigenismo movement was led by such writers as Ciro Alegría and José María Arguedas. César Vallejo wrote modernist and often politically engaged verse. Modern Peruvian literature is recognized thanks to authors such as Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, a leading member of the Latin American Boom.
Main article: Peruvian cuisine
Because of the Spanish expedition and discovery of America, explorers started the Columbian exchange which included unknown food in the Old World, including potatoes, tomatoes, and maize. Modern Indigenous Peruvian food often includes corn, potatoes, and chilies. There are now more than 3,000 kinds of potatoes grown on Peruvian terrain, according to Peru's Instituto Peruano de la Papa. Modern Peruvian cuisine blends Amerindian and Spanish food with strong influences from Chinese, African, Arab, Italian, and Japanese cooking. Common dishes include anticuchos, ceviche, and pachamanca. Peru's varied climate allows the growth of diverse plants and animals good for cooking.
Peruvian cuisine reflects local practices and ingredients - including influences from the Indigenous population including the Inca and cuisines brought in with colonizers and immigrants. Without the familiar ingredients from their home countries, immigrants modified their traditional cuisines by using ingredients available in Peru. The four traditional staples of Peruvian cuisine are corn, potatoes and other tubers, Amaranthaceaes (quinoa, kañiwa and kiwicha) and legumes (beans and lupins). Staples brought by the Spanish include rice, wheat, and meats (beef, pork, and chicken). Many traditional foods - such as quinoa, kiwicha, chili peppers, and several roots and tubers have increased in popularity in recent decades, reflecting a revival of interest in Native Peruvian foods and culinary techniques. It is also common to see traditional cuisines being served with a modern flair in towns like Cusco, where tourists come to visit. Chef Gaston Acurio has become well known for raising awareness of local ingredients.
Main article: Peruvian music
Peruvian music has Andean, Spanish, and African roots. In pre-Columbian times, musical expressions varied widely in each region; the quena and the tinya were two common instruments. Spaniards introduced new instruments, such as the guitar and the harp, which led to the development of crossbred instruments like the charango. African contributions to Peruvian music include its rhythms and the cajón, a percussion instrument. Peruvian folk dances include marinera, tondero, zamacueca, diablada and huayno.
Peruvian music is dominated by the national instrument, the charango. The charango is a member of the lute family of instruments and was invented during colonial times by musicians imitating the Spanish vihuela. In the Canas and Titicaca regions, the charango is used in courtship rituals, symbolically invoking mermaids with the instrument to lure the woman to the male performers. Until the 1960s, the charango was denigrated as an instrument of the rural poor. After the revolution in 1959, which built the Indigenismo movement (1910-1940), the charango was popularized among other performers. Variants include the walaycho, chillador, chinlili, and the larger and lower-tuned charangon.
While the Spanish guitar is widely played, so too is the Spanish-in-origin bandurria. Unlike the guitar, it has been transformed by Peruvian players over the years, changing from a 12-string, 6-course instrument to one having 12 to 16 strings in a mere four courses. Violins and harps, also of European origin, are also played.
While the Peruvian film industry has not been nearly as prolific as that of some other Latin American countries, some Peruvian movies produced enjoyed regional success. Historically, the cinema of Peru began in Iquitos in 1932 by Antonio Wong Rengifo (with a momentous, initial film billboard from 1900) because of the rubber boom and the intense arrival of foreigners with technology to the city, and thus continued an extensive, unique filmography, with a different style than the films made in the capital, Lima.
Peru also produced the first animated 3-D film in Latin America, Piratas en el Callao. This film is set in the historical port city of Callao, which during colonial times had to defend itself against attacks by Dutch and British privateers seeking to undercut Spain's trade with its colonies. The film was produced by the Peruvian company Alpamayo Entertainment, which made a second 3-D film one year later: Dragones: Destino de Fuego.
In February 2006, the film Madeinusa, produced as a joint venture between Peru and Spain and directed by Claudia Llosa, was set in an imaginary Andean village and describes the stagnating life of Madeinusa performed by Magaly Solier and the traumas of post-civil war Peru.
Llosa, who shared elements of Gabriel García Márquez's magic realism, won an award at the Rotterdam Film Festival. Llosa's second feature, The Milk of Sorrow ("La Teta Asustada"), was nominated for the 82nd Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Picture, the first Peruvian film in the academy's history to be nominated. The Milk of Sorrow ("La Teta Asustada"), won the Golden Bear award at the 2009 Berlinale.
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