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Peru Research

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Peru is located in western South America and it shares borders with Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador and the South Pacific Ocean. Peru is about 1.28 million square kilometers. There are three major regions in Peru: a narrow coastal belt, the wide Andean mountains and the Amazon Basin. The coast is mostly a desert, but contains Peru's major cities. The Andes has two main ranges - Cordillera Occidental and Oriental. Oriental includes Peru's highest mountain called Huascaran, it a peaks out at 22,200ft. On the east side is the Amazon Basin, a region of tropical lowland, the water there is carried out by the Maranon and Ucayali rivers.

Bird and marine life is pretty abundant along Peru's desert coast, with large colonies of sea lions, Humboldt penguins, flamingos, Peruvian pelicans, Inca terns and the brown booby. Some other birds that are there are the Andean condor, puna ibis and a huge number of different hummingbirds. The highland is home to llamas, alpacas, guanacos and vicunas, while the eastern slopes of the Andes have jaguars, spectacled bears and tapirs. Some of the plant life in the Peru includes pisonayes, q'eofias, alisos, puya palm trees, ferns and more than 90 species of orchids. There are also a variety of beautiful butterflies and insects that are only found in Peru. The huge numbers of wildlife are protected in a system of national parks and reserves with almost 30 areas that take up seven percent of the country.

Peru's climate is mainly divided into two seasons, a wet and a dry, although it kind of depends on the geographic region. The coast and western Andean slopes are generally dry, with the summer falling between December and April. During the rest of the year the sun is rarely seen because of a coastal fog called Garua. In the Andes, the dry season is from May to September and the wet season takes up the rest of the year. On the eastern slopes of the Andes, the drier months are kind of like the highland, though the wet season is more pronounced in January through April.

Spanish is the main language throughout Peru, although most highland Indians are bilingual, with Quechua being their language of choice and Spanish their second. Several small lowland groups speak their own languages. The population is around twenty eight million and consists of mainly Indian's. Approximately 36 percent of the population lives in thousands of small villages and hamlets that make up the rural neighborhoods for the regional capitals and trading centers. The main industries that are in Peru are pulp, paper, coca leaves, fishmeal, steel, chemicals, oil, minerals, cement, auto assembly, and shipbuilding. Some of the foods you might eat in Peru consist mainly of soups and stews, corn pancakes, rice, eggs and vegetables. Seafood is excellent there, even in the highlands. Local specialties include ceviche, seafood prepared in lemon juice; lechon, a whole baby pig; and cuy, a whole roasted guinea pig. I might just stick to the seafood as I don't think I could handle the whole baby pig or the roasted guinea pig!

The predominant religion is Roman Catholic, but there are some other Christian faiths. Some locals, however, have blended Catholicism and their traditional beliefs. An example is the near one and the same association of Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) and the Virgin Mary. Many of the main festivals are based around the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar. These are often celebrated with great display, especially in highland Indian villages, where Catholic feast days are usually tied in with a traditional agricultural festival. Some of the major events include: Carnaval (February-March), which is particularly popular in the highlands and features numerous water fights; Inti Raymi (June 24th), the greatest of the Inca festivals with spectacular dances and parades; Peru's Independence (July 28th); All Souls Day (November 2nd),



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