Peru is the third largest country in South America, after Brazil and Argentina and comprises over 1 million square kilometres. With a population of almost 30 million Peru is the fourth most populous country in South America. Most people live along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, there the capital, Lima, is located. Peru is divided by the Andes Mountains into three sharply differentiated zones. The coastline to the west is mostly arid, the central mountainous area has lofty plateaus and keep valleys, and the eastern zone is the heavily forested slope leading to the Amazonian plains.
Peru has been home to some of the oldest civilisations in the world including the Inca Empire and currently is a multiethnic country formed by the combination of different groups over five centuries.
Peruvian culture is predominantly rooted in Amerindian and Spanish traditions with minor influences form African, Asian and European ethnic groups.
In 2010 Peru ranked 63rd of the world’s counties on the Human Development Index with a HDI of 0.723. This rank position was 15 places above the previous UN HDI ranking. It is now well above other Latin American countries such as Brazil (73), Venezuela (75), Ecuador (77) and Colombia (79). Despite this increase 43% of the population are still living in poverty.
Peru is hailed as one of Latin America’s economic success stories. Its economy’s rapid growth (the fastest in the region in 2002) reflects the profits of a small elite, but eclipses the misery of the majority. More than half of all Peruvians subsist on less than $1.25 a day.
Lima is Peru’s capital city and is home to at least 8 million people. Most of these 8 million have migrated to Lima in the last 30 years to escape the severe poverty of Peru’s highland regions. Yet in Lima’s poorer areas a stunning 90% do not have access to health services, 59% are not connected to the piped water and sewerage system and 23% do not have electric power. As many as 25% of the children are malnourished.
The following are our eco ethical enterprise partners in Peru. Please click on the name to view more information about the enterprise and the products that they produce.
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