Once home of the Incan empire, what is now Peru is a land of immeasurable potential. Despite the desert climate in the economically dominant Pacific cost region, agriculture was made possible by irrigation of the run-offs from the Andes Mountains. However, the lack of arable land continues to pose economic and political problems. Twice the size of France, Peru has vast human resources, at one point, Peru, s population increased by 100%. Of Peru, s large population, 45% are Indian and retain a rich cultural heritage. In June of 2001, Alejandro Toledo was elected Peru, s first Indian president. As a Stanford educated economist, Toledo is more than qualified to manage the stagnant economy but with an abysmal 12% approval rating his work ahead remains daunting.
||28,302,603 (July 2006 est.)
||1.28 million sq km
||slightly smaller than Alaska
||Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara, and a large number of minor Amazonian languages