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Gap year in Peru

PERU



PERU AT A GLANCE

Peru boasts some of the worlds most diverse and beautiful landscapes, rich ancient history and iconic landmarks revered the world over. Peru presents gappers with infinite possibilities to experience new and hidden treasures that captivate the imagination.

Peru sits on the west coast of South America, bordered by Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Chile and Bolivia. Peru has a rich cultural and geographic diversity with traditional South American culture, infused with Spanish, African and Asian influences.


 

Peru's official language is Spanish but Quechua, the language of the Incas, is spoken by 13% of the population. Besides Spanish, there are a large number of minor Amazonian languages spoken by natives.

History

The origins of civilization in Peru can be traced back 20,000 years before the Incas. The best-known early Peruvian civilizations are the Chavin and Wari cultures followed by the Incas. In the space of a century the Incas built not only the largest empire in pre-Colombian America but also one of the largest in the world. Peru stands as the direct collision between the Western and the Andean worlds beginning with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in 1532. The Spanish conquistadors of the 16th century introduced the language and religion most Peruvians still speak and practice today. The economic classes they established then, still survive today as the: mestizo (mixed-race) and the indigenous 'Quechuan' population. 

Peru gained its independence from Spain in 1824. The 'Peruvian War of Independence' spanned over thirteen years and culminated at the battle of Ayacucho.

However, Peru's struggle did not end there. Following a period of guerrilla warfare by the Maoist terrorists movement Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) in the 1980’s, it is estimated that some 200,000 people were driven from their homes and 70,000 Peruvians were killed. Peru today stands as a country moving toward social reform, social inclusion and greater development. 




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