The Struggles Faced by Peru's Population Through the Years

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Peru, a South Latin American country, lies south of the equator and on the western part of the continent bordered by Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia and the Pacific Ocean. It measures approximately 1,285,216 sq. km. with a diverse habitat that varies from the high Andes to tropical rainforests to coastal waters that reach 200 miles into the Pacific Ocean. Peru is known to be abundant in climate and natural resources, and even the name ‘Peru’ means “land of abundance” given by the Quechua Indian. Peru was home to a few ancient civilizations, such as the Incas and Norte Chico civilization. The Spanish Empire conquered the region during the 16th century creating the 25 regions and the capital of Lima. Peru is now home to more than 28 million people; made up of a variety of ethnic backgrounds, including Amerindians, Africans, Asians and Europeans.

Peru gained independence from Spain in the 1800s and reached economic stability for a short period before the War of the Pacific with Chile commenced. Peru suffered and prospered during the twentieth century swinging from social unrest, coups, stability and back to territorial disputes. Although Peru is a developing country, it has grown significantly with high levels in human development and an upper middle-income class. The poverty rate is currently around 19 percent and the country is considered one of the most prosperous economies in the region due to its growth rate. It also has one of the fastest growing industrial growth rates with an average of 9.6 percent.

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While Peru has been one of Latin America’s strongest performing economies, it’s necessary to understand the hindrances created by the policies or governmental practices towards economic growth, why there are millions still living in poverty and why a country with so much to offer still suffers from inequality, lack of education and proper job growth. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Times New Roman'; color: #444444; -webkit-text-stroke: #444444} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} The objective of this country study is to identify any social or economic hindrances that have not allowed Peru to fully utilize its rich natural resources or why poverty is still prominent in many rural parts of the country. Government policies and politics should also not be neglected because they make up a huge part of the decision-making of economic growth on the country and are responsible for implementing social programs, educational programs and secure rights to lands, forests, and water. With its biodiversity and agriculture, there should be better research and programs for food production, animal and health services to reach poor rural areas and not just focus on cities and urbanized areas.

The history of Peru is extensive and has gone through a number of phases of cultural and economic development; however for the purpose of the case study, certain key elements will be discussed. Over 20,000 years ago, the nomadic people arrived in what is now known as the Republic of Peru. These settlers changed their nomadic lifestyles and integrated into farming and developing the land to farm cotton, corn and also domesticate certain animals like the llama. Earlier civilizations created the tools and methods to construct homes, pyramids and irrigation systems for Peru’s diverse and mountainous terrains.

The most powerful pre-Columbian empire belonged to the Incan Empire, who ruled the region for hundreds of years and managed population levels between 9 and 16 million people. The Inca Empire and population eventually fell to the power and political manipulation of the Spanish Conquistadors. Spanish-American landowners revolted against Spain conquest during the 18th century and began their progress towards Independence with the help of Venezuelan and Argentinian leaders.

By the late 20th century, the Republic of Peru had faced the economic and political crisis with the ever-changing cycles of government and military tyrannies. Inflation, terrorist groups, and violence destroyed Peru economically and socially. In the 1990s, the president of Peru implemented laws and policies that helped end terrorist actives and boost the economy. During this period, the populations migrated from rural to urban regions, specifically to the capital of Lima, Cusco, and Arequipa.

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