Peru is a country in west central South America. The
capital is Lima, situated along the Pacific coast, a chief commercial center.
Peru was once the center of an extensive South American empire
ruled by the Inca. This empire fell to conquerors from Spain in the 16th
century. Attracted by the gold and silver mines of the Andes, the Spaniards
quickly converted Peru into the seat of their wealth and power in South America.
It remained a Spanish colony until the early 19th century.
El Misti Volcano, Arequipa Area, Peru (October 1988 - NASA). The large, multipeaked, snow-capped volcanic structure ascending more than 6055 m above sea
level (center of the photograph) is Nevada de Chachani, directly north of which
is the large caldera of an unidentified volcano. Southeast of Nevada de Chachani
and across the Chili River valley stands El Misti Volcano, a dormant volcano
that last erupted in 1870. El Misti (usually snow-capped, but not in this
photograph), a cone volcano widely recognized in the Inca religion, has provided
inspiration for Peruvian legends and poetry. El Misti rises 5825 m above sea
level. Arequipa, one of Peru’s larger cities with a population of more than 100
000, sits along the western flank at the foot of El Misti. The city is located
on a narrow plain and provides goods and services to southern Peru and northern
Chile. Chief exports of this region are leather goods, textiles, foodstuffs, and