The country of Peru
is located on the west coast of South America, between Chile
and Ecuador. It is not a very large country, measuring only
1,285,220 square kilometers compared to Canada’s vast
size of 9,984,670 square kilometers.
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The entire population of Peru
is roughly 28,000,000. The largest cities in Peru are Lima,
the capital (7,603,500), Arequipa (733,900), Trujillo
(600,900), Chiclayo (490,400), and Piura
(359,400). Most of the population live in coastal cities, and the least amount of people live in the northeast portion of
the country, The population growth rate of Peru is 1.66% per
year, and the nation’s population density is 21.75 people per square kilometer.
The official languages of Peru
are Spanish and Quechua. Another language often spoken in Peru
is Aymara, even though it is not official.
flag contains three equal bands of red, white, and red. In the white section of the flag is Peru’s
coat of arms. It shows a vicuna, cinchona tree, and a yellow comucopia pouring out golden coins. This is all surrounded by
a green wreath.
GDP and Inflation
The GDP of Peru in 2003 was $146.9 billion
(US). The GDP per capita in Peru was $5,200 (US) in 2003.
The growth rate of Peru’s GDP was 4% in 2003. There
are three main categories which make up Peru’s GDP,
they are agriculture (10%), industries (35%), and services (55%). The inflation rate in Peru
was 2.3% in 2003.
GDP/capita Canadian conversion:
$5200 (US) x 1.28 (exchange rate)
= $6656 (CAN)
The form of currency used in Peru
is the Nuevo Sol. You can buy 2.52 Nuevo Sols for $1.00 (CAN). The Peruvian currency fluctuates often and rarely stays steady
for more than one month.
(CAN) = 2.6247 Nuevo Sols
Sol = $0.381 (CAN)
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Peru is in
the Central time zone, so when it is in Ottawa,
it is only in Lima.
The climate in Peru
is very tropical in the east, a dry desert in the west, and extremely cold in the Andes mountains.
The type of government in Peru
is a constitutional republic. The president is elected in by the citizens of Peru,
in orderly elections. The government is then appointed by the president and they all serve for five year terms. Peru’s
bicameral legislature consists of a 60 member Senate, and a 180 member Chamber of Deputies. Peru has had a very unstable government
in the recent decade and elected a new head of government, Alejandro Toledo, in 2001.
Imports and Exports
The natural resources that Peru
is most well known for are copper, silver, gold, petroleum, lumber, fish, iron, coal, phosphate, hydro power, and natural
gas. Peru is known for exporting lead, coffee, sugar, and
cotton. Peru’s exports total $9 billion per year. Their
top export partners are the United States, United
Kingdom, Switzerland, China,
and Brazil. Peru
needs to import goods such as machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, food, and pharmaceuticals. This nation imports $8.2
billion worth of materials per year. Peru’s top partners
are similar to their export partners including the United States,
Brazil and Japan.
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Peru was the
world’s largest coca leaf and opium producer until 1996. Once they would produce these plants, they would ship it off
to Colombia, where it would be manufactured into cocaine.
In 2003 the Peruvian labour force consisted
of 8.63 million people. The breakdown of occupations is as follows:
Mining and quarrying 0.4%
Household work 4.9%
Other services 44.6%
The unemployment rate in Peru
There are many colleges and universities
in Peru some of which are listed here:
Pontificia Universidad Catolica delPeru
Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina
Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria
Universidad Nacional de Piura
Universidad Nacional de San Agustín
Universidad Nacional de San
Antonio Abad delCusco
Universidad Nacional de Trujillo
Universidad Nacional Mayor de San
Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas
Universidad Peruana Norbert Wienner
Universidad Ricardo Palma
Universidad San Martín de Porres
To be completely honest, I personally would
not want to go to school there simply because we have such a great education system in Canada.
I also don’t speak Spanish. There would be a major language barrier as well as a culture shock. This combined with the
predetermined pressures of university would drive me through a roof. Although it would be an incredible experience to see
Peru, or even live there for a short period of time, I don’t
think that the culture and lifestyle there is the way for me.