With an area of 1,285,215 square km, Peru is the third-largest
country in South America after Brazil and Argentina, ranking
it amongst the world's 20 largest nations. Peru also holds
sway over the sea up to 200 miles from the Peruvian coast
and has territorial rights to an area of 60 million hectares
in the Antarctic. Peru is divided into 24 departments, plus
the Constitutional Province of Callao. Lima is the capital
Other languages: 3.0%
Foreign languages: 0.2% As part of its rich
cultural tradition, Peru features many different languages.
Although Spanish is commonly spoken across the country, Quechua
is a major legacy of the Inca empire, and is still spoken
with regional dialects in many parts of Peru. In addition,
other languages are spoken such as Aymara (in Puno) and a
startling variety of dialects in the Amazon jungle, which
are divided up into 15 linguistic families and 38 different
Peru is a democratic republic. The president and members
of Congress are elected every five years by universal suffrage.
The current constitutional president of Peru is Alejandro
Toledo Manrique (2001-2006).
Rural: 27.7% Peru is a nation of mixed ethnic
origins. Throughout its history, Peru has been the meeting
ground for different nations and cultures. The indigenous
population was joined 500 years ago by the Spaniards. As a
result of this encounter, and later enriched by the migration
of African blacks, Asians and Europeans, Peruvian man emerged
as the representative of a nation whose rich ethnic mix is
one of its leading characteristics.
top of the page