Today we’ll take a trip to the land of the mighty Inca and take a look at some vintage photos from Peru.
I’ll tell you: I love Peru.
But it wasn’t always that way.
When I first arrived to Lima, for instance, I just couldn’t vibe with it. It was cloudy everyday, the city appeared bland and characterless and everything was more expensive than Mexico or Colombia!
I simply couldn’t understand why anyone would choose to live there over another Latin America country.
However, a couple years ago my life took a turn, and I ended up living in Lima for a year.
…and I loved it!
The food, the people, the summers, the ocean, the atmosphere. It really grew on me.
Not to mention a few other great cities, like Arequipa or Cusco.
If you ever get a chance to visit, I highly suggest you take the leap.
For now, these old photos will have to do.
But, before all that, I’m going to give you a brief history of Peru.
A Brief History Of Peru
Let’s begin with the Inca.
Their legends don’t date farther back than 1200 CE, with the alleged arrival of Emperor Manco Capac to Cuzco.
During this period, the Inca were a small tribe among many in the region.
The Inca expanded rapidly.
This expansion began with began with Pachacuti, who is considered one of the great conquerors in the history of the Americas.
In under a century, the Incas conquered an incredible amount of territory, reaching (approximately) from Ecuador to central Chile. At its peak, the empire encompassed 985,000 square km.
And then the Spanish arrived.
1524. Francisco Pizarro began explorations that would lead to the eventual conquest of Peru. By late 1533, the Spaniards had occupied Cuzco, the capital of the Incas.
In 1535, Pizarro established a new city on the coast (Lima).
Conflict between Spaniards eventually resulted in Pizarro’s assassination in 1541.
General José de San Martín of Argentina, reaches Lima and declares Peru independent from Spain on July 28, 1821.
San Martín eventually withdrew, and Simon Bolívar assumed power over Peru.
By the end of 1824, Spanish rule in Peru was officially over.
Fast forward (again).
1879-1883. The War of the Pacific with Chile.
Chile hands a sound defeat to Peru and its ally Bolivia. Chile takes some land, but it was later given back to Peru.
Now, let’s get into some more modern history.
Military rule: 1968–1980.
In 1969, the military junta sought to nationalize industry and public service in Peru.
A Peru for Peruvians, that sort of thing.
An economic downturn spelled the end of this first military junta, and a second military junta took over, this one more friendly to private and foreign investors.
Elections in 1980 saw a return to civilian rule.
But trouble lie ahead.
The economy tanked. Inflation was sky high and, to make things worse, the neo-Maoist Shining Path guerrilla group was wreaking havoc on the country through terrorism.
Alberto Fujimori was elected president in 1990.
To combat inflation, Fujimori instituted austerity. He also promoted neoliberal economic policies, which helped Peru get out of its recession. His anti-terrorism campaign against the Shining Path was also successful.
He was corrupt as hell.
Fujimori eventually fled to Japan to escape charges of fraud, corruption and unconstitutionality.
He later returned to South America (Chile) to attempt to organize another presidential run, but he was extradited to Peru and thrown in jail.
Former president García Pérez, was elected in 2006.
Humala assumed office in 2011.
Kuczynski won a very close election against Alberto Fujimori’s daughter in 2016. In 2017, he resigned amid corruption allegations.
Vizcarra, his vice president, took over. He’s still in power (for now).
And, Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of the former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori has recently been arrested as part of a money laundering investigation.
Like father like daughter, I guess.
We’ll leave it there.
I know, I know, I skipped over A LOT!
But, perhaps you learned something.
And, hopefully this little introduction encourages to look further into Peru’s rich history.
There is certainly much to uncover.
Vintage Photos of Peru
Thanks for listening.
Until next time,
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