This month, one of our staff members will be leaving for a two year sabbatical to Peru.  Thus, our selection of Peru as the Focus Country for February 2012.

Inca Ruins at Machu Picchu
Inca Ruins at Machu Picchu
Some interesting facts about Peru that may not be commonly known:

– The Andes have more people living in them than any other mountain range in the world.  The highest home in the world is a shepherd’s hut in the Andes at 17,000 feet.

– Peru has the world’s highest navigable body of water. Lake Titicaca is 3,800 meters above sea level.

– Peru is considered to be the archeological capital of South America. The Lost City of the Incas, called Machu Picchu, is located in the Andes Mountains. It is called lost because the Incas abandoned it and the city remained unknown to explorers for several centuries.

The main staples in the Peruvian diet include rice, beans, fish, and a variety of tropical fruits.   Many families in Peru live on the equivalent of $1.00 a day, so food is scarce for many in Peru.

Peruvian Flag
According to legend, General Jose de San Martin saw a great number of flamingos when he arrived in Peru in 1820.  Taking this as a good omen, he decided that white and red should be the colors of the Peruvian Legion that he founded to liberate Peru.  The white represents peace, dignity, and progress.  The red symbolizes war and courage.  In the state flag the arms show symbols of the animal kingdom, vegetable kingdom, and mineral kingdom.  The laurel wreath above the shield is a symbol of the republic.  The palm and laurel wreath around the shield is a symbol of peace and the will to defend the country.