Peru - The Country

Official Name: República del Perú (Republic of Peru)
Area: 1'285,215 square km
Population: 22'639,000 (census of 1993) - 25'662,00 (estimated 2000)

Capital of the Republic: Lima
Historical capital:  Cusco


It is located in the central and western part of South America, it limits to the N with Ecuador, to the NE with Colombia, to the E with Brazil, to the SE with Bolivia, to the S with Chile and to the W with the Pacific Ocean. The marine domain is called "Sea of Grau" (in honor of a Peruvian Hero Admiral Miguel Grau), reaches a distance of 200 marine miles from the coastline. 

The Peruvian State has also affirmed its presence in the Antarctic like Advisory Member of the Treaty of the Antarctic.

The Peruvian territory possesses a great geographical contrast and presents three defined natural regions, parallel among each other from north to south.

The coast: Located to the west, it is a narrow fringe of desert, sandy and arid plains, with valleys oasis formed by rivers that go down from the Andes Mountains to the sea, and in these valleys big populated centers are located.

The Mountain: Also called Andean region is of uneven topography, it is formed by the Mountain range of the Andes, and is located between the coast and the forest; high mountains, deep valleys, plateaus. The highest pick in Peru is the Huascarán and it has 22,224 feet (6,780 m) above sea level.

The forest: Also called Amazonian, mountain or east, located to the east, formed by the oriental hillsides of the Mountain range of the Andes and extensive plains with exuberant vegetation and tropical forests. It is furrowed by numerous rivers, all tributary of the Amazonas River. The forest occupies more than 50% of the territory existing some zones that are in full discovery and investigation stage.

In the whole Peruvian territory rules the same hour, without hour change in any time of the year.
The hour in Peru is -5 GMT (UT)
Lima, capital of Peru, is located in longitude 77° O.

The Peruvian people is multiethnic and has a pluralism of cultures, descendants of the Colombian cultures, the colonial miscegenation and immigrations.

The estimated population for 1998 is of 24'866,000 inhabitants with an annual growth rate of 1.9%. The metropolis of Lima concentrates the 28% of population.

Geographical distribution of population:
Lima department: 32.1%
North and central Mountain: 19.4%      
North Coast: 16.9%
Andean trapeze: 15.7%
South Coast: 8.2%
Forest: 7.7%

Ethnic people in Peru:
Indians (Quechua and aimaras): 48%
Mestizos (cholos): 32%
White: 12%
Black and mulattos: 6%
Others: 2%

School, Primary (6 degrees) obligatory, Secondary (4 degrees) obligatory, and high school (2 degrees). Numerous technological superior institutes and 54 universities in the national environment with near 500 thousand university students give the superior education.

For more information and statistical data on the Peruvian population Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática (INEI).

The official language of Peru is the Spanish, and in the areas where prevail are also the Quechua, Aimara and other aboriginal languages.

English is a language that many people linked to the tourism sector dominate, and the tourist operators dominate other foreign languages, as German, French, Italian, Japanese, etc.

In Peru exist the freedom of credo or religion. The State recognizes the Catholic Church as an important element in the historical, cultural and moral formation of Peru, and lends its collaboration. The State respects other confessions.

The population in Peru is Catholic 89%, Evangelical 6.7% and other religions 2.6%.

Political system
According to the last Constitution of 1993, Peru is a democratic, social, independent and sovereign republic.

Its government is unitary, representative and decentralized, and is organized according to the principle of the separation of powers.

The Executive Power: The President of the Republic is the Chief of State and personifies the Nation, is chosen by direct vote and absolute majority. Their command is for 5 years. The President is accompanied by 2 Vice Presidents and the Council of Ministers. The President of the Republic is Dr. Alejandro Toledo (July 2001 - July 2006).

The Legislative Power: It resides in the Congress, which consists of a unique chamber, and it is conformed by 120 congress members that are chosen democratically by a 5 year-period and their renovation coincides with that of the President of the Republic.

Beside them also exist the Judicial Power, The Council of the Magistracy, The Public Ministry, The Defense of the Town and the Constitutional Guaranty Tribunal.

The local governments are in charge of the Municipal Council, constituted by the Mayor and the advisors for each one of the county capitals and districts. They are chosen democratically every 5 years and they have political, economic and administrative autonomy in the matters that are of their competition.

Geopolitical division
Peru is divided in 24 departments and 1 constitutional county.
Each department is divided in counties, 189 counties exist in the national environment. Each county is divided in districts, 1800 districts exist in the national environment (modernized in 1994)

The capital of the Republic of Peru is Lima
The Historical capital of Peru is Cusco

Main cities of Peru: