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Peru (/pəˈr/ (About this soundlisten); Spanish: Perú [peˈɾu]; Quechua: Piruw Republika [pʰɪɾʊw]; Aymara: Piruw Suyu [pɪɾʊw]), officially the Republic of Peru (ES-pe - República del Perú.ogg), is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.

Peruvian territory was home to several ancient cultures. Ranging from the Norte Chico civilization in the 32nd century BC, the oldest civilization in the Americas and one of the five cradles of civilization, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in pre-Columbian America, the territory now including Peru has one of the longest histories of civilization of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 4th millennia BCE.

Selected article

Guinea pigs (cavia)

Guinea pigs (also commonly called cavies after their scientific name) are rodents belonging to the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia. Despite their common name, these animals are not pigs, nor do they come from Guinea. They are originally native to the Andes, and while no longer extant in the wild, they are closely related to several species that are commonly found in the grassy plains and plateaus of the region. The guinea pig plays an important role in the folk culture of many indigenous South American groups, especially as a food source, but also in folk medicine and in community religious ceremonies. Since the 1960s, efforts have been made to increase consumption of the animal outside South America.

In Western societies, the guinea pig has enjoyed widespread popularity as a household pet since its introduction by European traders in the 16th century. Their docile nature, their responsiveness to handling and feeding, and the relative ease of caring for them, continue to make the guinea pig a popular pet. Organizations devoted to competitive breeding of guinea pigs have been formed worldwide, and many specialized breeds of guinea pig, with varying coat colors and compositions, are cultivated by breeders. (more...)

Selected image

El Misti
Photo credit: Valentin

El Misti, also known as Guagua-Putina, is a dormant stratovolcano located in southern Peru near the city of Arequipa. With its seasonally snow-capped, symmetrical cone, El Misti stands at 5,822 m above sea level and lies between the mountain Chachani (6,075 m) and the volcano Pichu-Pichu (5,669 m). Its last eruption was in 1784. Fertile valleys near the foot of El Misti make its surroundings ideal for agriculture. (more...)

Selected battle

The port of present-day Callao

The Battle of Callao (in Spanish, sometimes called el Combate del Dos de Mayo in South America, or Guerra del Pacífico in Spain) occurred on May 2, 1866 between a Spanish fleet under the command of Admiral Casto Méndez Núñez and an alliance of Peru, Chile, Bolivia, and Ecuador, in the Peruvian port city of Callao during the Chincha Islands War. The Spanish fleet bombarded the port of Callao (or El Callao), but eventually withdrew without any major damage to the city structures. (more...)

In this month

  • August  9, 1970 - Flight LANSA 502 crashes en route from Lima to Cusco killing all but one of the 100 crew and passengers on board.
  • August 15, 2007 - A major earthquake originating off the coast of Peru destroys the city of Pisco.

Did you know...

Lama at Machu Picchu

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