Located on the northwestern coast of South America, Peru shares its borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile. Although Peru has a turbulent political history, some of the unrest has settled since Alberto Fujimori's election to president in 1990. Fujimori signed a peace treaty with Ecuador over disputed borders in October 1998. Economic reforms to benefit the poor are current challenges.
Peru's population has varied ethnic representation. Nearly 54 percent of the people are descendants of the Incan Empire. Thirty-two percent are mestizo, with mixed European and indigenous heritage while 12 percent are of Spanish descent. Small African and Asian minorities are also represented. Although the people of Peru have the freedom of religion, more than 90 percent of the population is Roman Catholic.
Many people mix Roman Catholic beliefs with traditional beliefs. ¡Buenas días! This greeting, which means "Good morning!" is often used in Peru. Traditional Peruvian music is often played with a charango, a small guitar and an antara, an assortment of vertical flutes tied together.
Popular foods are rice, beans, fish, tropical fruits and fresh vegetables. Food is purchased daily in small corner stores or large open-air markets.
Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable body of water in the world, is located on Peru's southeastern border. Tourists visit Peru to see Chan Chan, Cuzco, the lost city of Machu Picchu and other Incan ruins.