The word “Peru” comes from an Inca word meaning “land of abundance”. Once upon a time, it was the heart of the great Inca Empire, and thus the cradle of many other historical civilizations.
The country is located in the western part of South America with the coast facing the Pacific Ocean and land borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile. It stretches across both the Andes Mountains surrounding the forgotten Inca city of Machu Picchu, lush tropical rainforests, the Amazon jungle, magnificent beaches, arid deserts and remote agricultural communities and fishing villages.
Like its spectacular scenery, the people of Peru are very diverse. The 30 million inhabitants are predominantly Roman Catholic. Many live in the coastal country’s oases and cities, while the rainforests to the east are sparsely populated. About half of the Peruvians are pure Indians (descendants of the Incas), many of whom live in the highlands among the mountains where they speak the ancient Inca language Quechua or Aymara, which has been spoken by the Aymara Indians for centuries.
The rest of the population is of European or mixed Indian / European descent. Although each group adheres to their own traditions and lifestyles, all Peruvians are known for their warmth and spirit of life.
- CAPITAL CITY: Lima
- LANGUAGE: Spanish
- CURRENCY: Sol (PEN)
- AREA: 1,285,216 km2
- POPULATION: 31,151,643 (Allcitypopulation)
People and community
You may live anywhere in Peru, most likely in a mid-sized or small urban area. Peruvian families are comfortable expressing their emotions, and like to spend time together during meals and at family gatherings. Parents are usually very protective of their children, especially girls.
You can live anywhere in Peru, but you will probably have a host family in a medium-sized city or in a small urban area. Peruvian families are comfortable expressing emotions, and they enjoy spending time together during family meals and at family gatherings. Parents are usually very protective of their children, especially girls.
You are going to go to either a private or public school. According to TopSchoolsintheUSA, the school day usually lasts from around eight in the morning until 15 in the afternoon, and it is customary for students to wear a school uniform. There are seasonal leisure activities in preparation for special occasions and holidays, as well as dance lessons or theater. Your school counselor and your AFS contact will also help you prepare presentations about your country.
Spanish is the official language of Peru, while Quechua is officially recognized as a second language. Having a basic knowledge of Spanish before you arrive will be able to assist you during your stay.
Peruvian cuisine is known and admired worldwide for its great variety and influence from different cultures around the world. Some of what is found with the Peruvian cuisine, however, are rice, potatoes, chicken, fish and vegetables. The food is often moderately spicy. Peru has a delicious selection of unique fruits that only grow in this lush country.