Discovering Peru

Cultural Continuum

A land of rich history and values

Five thousand years of cultural continuum are present in the temples, astronomic observatories, agrarian terraces, irrigation systems, ceramics, textiles, and above all in the values and way of life that persist to this day in Andean Peru, and that resulted in masterpieces as magnificent as Machu Picchu. These achievements are alive in the indigenous communities of the Quechua people who continue to practice reciprocity – Ayni – collective work— Minka, and understand the essence of complimentary opposites — Yanantin. These core values are what assures a harmonious coexistence and interrelation among all living beings, including animals, plants and humans as equal. These values are presented in Sumac Kawsay, good living -- a proposal that reproaches concepts such as development and progress based on qualitative rather than quantitative measures. This ancestral indigenous wisdom reminds us of our true human nature, and insights such as these will accompany you at the end of each day to reflect upon and carry into your daily life.

As the inheritors of a philosophy that respects and celebrates diversity, 12 million indigenous, from the highlands of Columbia and Ecuador through Peru and Bolivia, use thousands of different traditional dress, food, music, dance, rituals, etc. today, and reflect the diverse and abundant nature of Pachamama – the mother universe.

A land of diverse geography

Add Peru’s geographical diversity to all of this and you slowly begin to understand the incredible richness that makes this land so magical. Peru has three natural regions: the arid desert coastline once home to one of the oldest civilizations on earth, the vast rainforest that covers almost two-thirds of Peru, and the breathtaking peaks of the Andes, the highest tropical mountain range in the world, which stretch across the entire length of the country.

Combine this geographical diversity with Peru’s location, situated below the Equator and above the tropic of Capricorn, giving the entire region sun and tropical or subtropical weather, and the cold waters of the Humboldt Current and the warm ocean current “El Niño”, and you get a series of microclimates ranging from the extreme dryness of the coast to the intense humidity of the jungle. There are 28 different climates and 84 out of 104 microclimates in Peru, which makes it the richest country in the world, biologically speaking. Peru is also considered to have the richest sea in the world in marine resources because of its biomass. Peru is the most ecologically diverse country in the world, and these varied climates allow for abundant and diverse natural resources.

A land of astounding biodiversity

Peru’s astounding biodiversity can be appreciated in the different plant species that makes Peru the world’s third richest country in terms of plant life; Peru has become a botanical garden of the modern world. Many of the plant species found have been categorized as “useful”, possessing recognized medical applications, emphasizing the fact that Peru has one of the best preserved traditions of natural medicine in the world.

Other notable examples of Peru´s biodiversity are the potato, corn and orchids: Peru has 3,000 varieties of potatoes, has the greatest diversity in varieties of corn, and has the largest number of species of orchids worldwide.

In conclusion, the three natural regions of Peru and technology and values that originated from the ancient Andean cultures have made great contributions to people throughout the world over the course of time, with more valuable gifts to come! Once you visit, you will confirm that in the Andes the ancestral realm encounters and coexists with the contemporary, being a true cultural continuum that is still strong and alive.

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