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Summer: February 15
Fall: February 15
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Peru is a country in western South America, bordered by Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil to the east, Bolivia to the southeast, Chile to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The Andes mountains divide the country into three geographic regions: The costa (coast) to the west, the sierra (highlands) and the selva (jungle). The coast is a narrow plain, with moderate temperatures and low precipitation. The highland, the region of the Andes, includes the highest peak of the country, Huascaran at 6,768 m. The jungle is flat terrain, heavy rainfall, high temperatures and is covered by the Amazon rainforest. This territory includes 60% of the country's area.

Peru has a representative democratic republic with a multi-party system. The president is the head of state and government and is elected to a five year term. The president designates the Prime Minister and together they choose the rest of the Council of Ministers. Congress is unicameral with 120 members elected for a five-year term and bills may be proposed by either the executive or the legislative branch. However, they become law only after being passed by Congress. The Peruvian government is directly elected, and it is compulsory for all citizens aged 18 to 70 to vote.

Pre-Inca cultures have greatly influenced the Peruvian artistic traditions of elaborate pottery, textiles, jewelry, and sculptures. Recently, Peruvian cuisine has received acclaim due to its diversity of ingredients and techniques. Due to the range of climates within this country, there are a wide assortment of plants and animals available for cooking. A few popular dishes include: anticuchos, ceviche, humitas, and Panamanian.

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Quick Facts

Population: 29,549,517
Capital: Lima
Per-capita GDP: $ 10200
Size: 1,285,216 km2
Time Zone: (GMT - 05:00 hours) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

US State Department

Travel Warning: YES
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Country information is adapted from public domain resources including the CIA World Fact Book and
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