This week’s guest author: Hannah (and Diego) Cabrera
I will go ahead and admit right now that before college, I probably could not have pointed Peru out on a map. I knew a little bit about Machu Picchu, only because it was in a Spanish textbook I had as a junior in high school. And I thought it sounded funny. Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu. Try saying that ten times fast.
A Few Basic Facts about Peru
Official Languages: Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara
13% of the population speak Quechua, an indigenous language of the Andes.
Ethnic Groups: Amerindian 45%, mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 37%, white 15%, black, Japanese, Chinese, and other 3%
(Source: CIA World Factbook)
Things that People from the US don’t know about Peru
- Peruvians don’t eat tortillas–which would mean no burritos, tacos, or enchiladas.
- Peru’s geography is very diverse, and is made up of three major elements: Coast, Mountains, and Jungle. The culture in each of these geographical areas is also very diverse.
- Peru is the number 1 producer of silver in the world
- Peruvian actor Marco Zunino was the first Latino male actor to have a major role on Broadway.
- Peru is home to the oldest university in the Americas. The National University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru, was founded in 1551.
- Everybody’s favorite Disney movie, The Emperor’s New Groove, was based on the ancient civilization of the Inca, whose empire was based primarily in modern day Peru.
Ways that Peru tops the US
(completely my opinion, I didn’t do much research on these)
I’m not going to try to make up a statistic about how many people own/use cars in Peru, but I believe it’s safe to say that it’s substantially less than in the US. However, it’s pretty easy to get to where you want to go with public transportation. Peru has the combi (a small MysteryVan type vehicle used as a public bus), taxis, the metropolitan bus, Mototaxis (like little covered scooters with a back seat for two), and in Lima there is a brand new electric train that just started operating in January 2012.
Music and Dancing
Of course, I think all of Latin America has us beat on this one.
As a whole, I think Peru (and again, most of Latin America) generally places more emphasis on the importance of family and family time together. The whole notion of “move out as soon as you turn 18” doesn’t really exist, and I don’t really think that’s a bad thing.
And finally, in my humble opinion, Peruvians make the cutest babies. See?
This is my adorable Peruvian American baby girl, Lucia Belén.
From Kyle again:
If you have experience in both the U.S. and another country (for at least 3 months in each spot) and would like to write a post, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you more information. Thanks!
Keep seeking truth.
You may also be interested in:
International Clarity: Mexico (from Sear Rodriguez)
Peru Post 10: Avoiding the Single Story
Peru Trip Post 1