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Peru

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Anthem: “Somos libres, seámoslo siempre” “We are free, may we always be so”

Capital Lima
Official languages Spanish
Demonym Peruvian
Government Presidential republic
Independence from Spain – Declared, July 28, 1821 / Recognized, December 9, 1824
Area 1,285,220 km² (20th) / 496,222 sq mi
Population July 2007 estimate  28,674,757 (41st)
Currency  Nuevo Sol

[show-map id=’17’] Geography
Peru, in western South America, extends for nearly 1,500 mi along the Pacific Ocean. Colombia and Ecuador are to the north, Brazil and Bolivia to the east, and Chile to the south. Five-sixths the size of Alaska, Peru is divided by the Andes Mountains into three sharply differentiated zones. To the west is the coastline, much of it arid, extending 50 to 100 mi inland. The mountain area, with peaks over 20,000 ft, lofty plateaus, and deep valleys, lies centrally. Beyond the mountains to the east is the heavily forested slope leading to the Amazonian plains.  This flat terrain covered by the Amazon rainforest that extends east. Almost 60% of the country’s area is located within this region.  Peru, unlike other equatorial countries, does not have an exclusively tropical climate; the influence of the Andes and the Humboldt Current causes great climatic diversity within the country. Because of its varied geography and climate, Peru has a high biodiversity; 21,462 species of plants and animals had been reported as of 2003, 5,855 of them endemic.

Culture
Peruvian culture is primarily rooted in Amerindian and Spanish traditions, though it has also been influenced by various African, Asian, and European 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.  Since the 1950s, Peruvian art has been eclectic and shaped by both foreign and local art currents.  Peruvian cuisine is a blend of Amerindian and Spanish food with strong influences from African, Arab, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese cooking. Common dishes include anticuchos, ceviche, humitas, and pachamanca. Peruvian music has Andean, Spanish and African roots.  Spanish conquest brought the introduction of new instruments such as the guitar and the harp, as well as the development of crossbred instruments like the charango. African contributions to Peruvian music include its rhythms and the cajón, a percussion instrument.

*Content gathered from Wikipedia