Peru: Random Facts and Trivia

Some random facts and trivia for the country of the world Peru, San Marcos University, the Central Railroad, its military junta.

PERU

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San Marcos University in Lima is one of the oldest universities in the western hemisphere. It was founded in 1551, 85 years before Harvard University.

The Central Railroad, built by the American Henry Meiggs, is the world's highest standard-gauge railway. It rises from sea level to 16,000' in the space of only 85 mi. One of its stations, at 15,693', is the highest in the world.

The military junta wants to build a society that is, in its words, "neither communistic nor capitalistic," and believes that by using military leadership and organization, this goal can be accomplished.

In industry, the Government is promoting the policy of propiedad social, or social property. Under this system, the owners of a company would be those who work in it, with the workers or their delegates responsible for all major decisions.

Despite the many changes, old Peru is very much in evidence. Most Indians still work very hard for very little, scratching at the land with the same types of tools they have used for centuries. Their diet is poor, their health neglected. Rural Indians, living in isolated Andean hamlets, may not always know what kind of Government they have, or have any feeling for Peru as a nation.

In recent years Peru has become the world's leading fishing country, surpassing Japan in fish meal exports. However, a 1971 change in the temperature and direction of the cold Humboldt current, plus serious overfishing of anchovies (the source of most fish meal), drastically reduced Peru's fish meal exports.

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