Historians and archeologists believe that humans have lived in Peru since 8,000BC. The early inhabitants of Peru were the Chavin, Nazca, and Tianhuanaco tribes. In first century AD, Peru was occupied by the Chimu. The Chimu people flourished, many artifacts and structures of the great city Chanchan still remain. Eventually, the Chimu ceased to exist and Peru became an Inca civilization. The Inca empire stretched from Columbia's southern border to central Chile, here gold and silver deposits are abundant, which attracted the attention of Spain. In 1532 Francisco Pizzaro led a group of Spanish soldiers to Peru where they, enslaved, stole from and eventually killed off the Inca people. Atahualpa, the last Inca emperor, was killed in 1533. In 1535 Pizzaro founded Ciudad de los Reyes (City of the Kings), Spain ruled over Peru from then on, up until 1824. During Spain's rule over Peru there were many revolutions that failed. On July 28, 1821 Jose de San Martin proclaimed independence for Peru and in 1824. Simón Bolívar and Antonio Jose de Sucre led the revolution after San Martin and eventually succeeded in 1824. From 1824 to 1826 Bolívar served as Peru's president. After Bolívar, different people affiliated with the military served as president, and in 1845 Ramon Castillas came into office. During Castilla's terms, slavery was abolished and a new Constitution was made.
One of the official language spoken in Peru, like most South American countries, is Spanish. In the 16th century, Spanish colonizers brought this language to Peru and it soon became the primary language of Peru. In certain parts of Peru, indigenous languages are still spoken, such as Quechua and Aymara. Quechua is the second official language of Peru, it was the official language of the Inca people but spread to Spanish settlers since they had to learn it to communicate with and Christianize the Inca people. Now Quechua is spoken in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Colombia. Aymara is also spoken in Peru near lake Titicaca, though is mostly used in Bolivia.
Some common dishes in Peru are: Sopa a la criolla which is a soup with beef, potatoes and noodles. Lomo Saltado which are strips of beef with fried potatoes, fresh tomatoes, and onion. Papas a la huancaina which are potatoes with a spicy creamy cheese sauce with garlic. The two most famous Peruvian dishes are Anticuchos and Ceviche. Anticuchos is pieces of beef heart marinaded and cooked on skewers over an open flame. Ceviche, which is very popular along Peru's coastline, is fresh fish (sea bass, octopus, shrimp, and salmon are popular ceviche meats) marinaded in lemon juice, red onion, rocotos (a Peruvian chili) and sometimes avocado. Ceviche is usually served with lettuce, sweet potato and white corn.
Most Peruvians are Christian, in particular Roman Catholic. Over 80% of Peru's entire population is Roman Catholic, Peru also consists of Protestants, and Evangelicals.
During the time when the Spanish were settling in Peru and christianizing the natives Spanish missionaries had to learn Quechua in order to communicate with the natives. The christianizing of the indigenous people was not full-proof, even though most indigenous people converted, they still had some elements of their prior beliefs into their newly found catholic religion. For example the powers of the earth and the heavens differed, earth's powers being ruled feminine gods (Pachamama) and the heavens being masculine ruled. The catholicism in Peru was a mix of indigenous and European beliefs.
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