From Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian rainforest, we traveled down the Amazon to a Ribere“os village near the confluence of the Napo River and disembarked at the village landing. As always, many curious children came to the dock to meet the arriving boats. This girl was very proud of her pet sloth and was quite happy to find that I appreciated her pet. From that time on, I had a young friend in the village. Usually girls this age must care for younger siblings and have big responsibilities at an early age. Perhaps she was the youngest child in her family and was devoting herself to taking good care of the sloth.
– John Schilling ©2007
Peru/Republica del Peru
In western South America. Tropical east, dry desert in west, coastal plain, rugged Andes mountains in center; lowland jungle/Amazon basin east. 1,285,216 km2 (slightly < AK), 3% arable.
Capital Lima (5.7M)
Population 29.25M (53/km2)
Life expectancy 72.5 years
Languages Spanish (official) 84%, Quecha official 13%, Aymara 2%, Ashaninka 0.3%, other native (many minor Amazonian) 0.7%, other 0.2%
Religions Roman Catholic 81%, Evangelical 13%, other 3%, unspecified/none 3%
Ethnic Groups Amerindian 45%, mestizo 37%, white 15%, black, Japanese, Chinese, other 3%
PCVs 1962-74; 2002 to present; small business development, community health, environment awareness, youth (Volunteers in country: 270; total to date: 2,944)
Nat’l holiday Independence Day, 28 July (1821)