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Upon independence, Peru was the name given to the country. Peru has an approximate land area of 496,225 square miles (1,285,223 square kilometers) and is located in the central western section of the South American continent.It borders Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil and Bolivia to the east, Chile to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.Both Asian populations have similar migration histories starting in the late 1800s and tend to be incorporated into the same racial/ethnic category. Spanish and Quechua are both recognized as official languages in Peru.

The indigenous population of Panama referred to this powerful state as the land of Piru or Peru (word meaning "land of abundance" in the region's native Quechua tongue).

The Spanish conquistadors Francisco Pizarro (c.1475–1541) and Diego de Almagro (1475–1538) received news of a mighty and rich empire lying just south of the present territory of Central America.

Aymara speakers are typically located in the southern region of the country along the shores of Lake Titicaca, which Peru shares as a border with Bolivia.

Because of large migration within the country, Aymara and Quechua speakers are also found throughout the major urban centers of Peru.

The majestic image of this ancient ruin perched high in the Andes is used to symbolize the resilience of Peruvian traditions.

The fact that Machu Picchu lies on an 8,000-foot (2,440 meter) mountaintop and that it escaped destruction by the Spaniards looms large in the imaginations of Peruvians and tourists.The Central Andes run as the backbone of Peru and are comprised of two large mountain ranges with spectacular snow-capped volcanoes and temperate mountain valleys.The Andean mountains were the traditional home of the ancestral Inca kingdom.There are four major ethnic groups in Peru: (1) whites (of European ancestry); (2) mestizos (of mixed European and Indian ancestry—pejoratively referred to as cholos ); (3) Indians (of Native American ancestry); and (4) Afro-Peruvians (of African descent).Accurate statistics for each of these four populations are difficult to collect because of the fluidity and arbitrariness in defining people as members of each community.To this day, one of the most powerful groups to challenge Peruvian national identity is that of the contemporary Indian population, which at different times in history has seen itself as the rightful heirs of the Inca empire and has resisted European influence on its culture.