Exploring Peru Culture

Peru, the ancient heart of the great Inca Empire, is a country with an amazing history and exciting present. Peru is located on the West Coast of South America, south of the Equator line with 80 world ecological habitats. Andean peaks surround Machu Picchu; lush tropical rainforests, Amazonian jungles, sandy beaches, arid deserts, remote farmland and fishing villages make up the Peruvian landscape. It has a diverse population, which includes the Quechua Indians (descendants of the Incas), mestizos (a blend of Indian and European), and people of Spanish ancestry.

Study abroad in Peru Host a Peruvian student in the U.S.


People and Community in Peru

A family in Peru

Peruvian families are well known for their hospitality and can be very affectionate. The Peruvian sense of privacy is a little different than other cultures, but that’s just because Peruvian families enjoy each other’s company so much! Peruvian families usually have three or more children and extended family, or adult children often live together as well.

Peruvian families are comfortable expressing their emotions and like to spend time together during meals and at family gatherings. Parents are usually very protective of their children, especially girls. Parental decisions are respected and followed, and the parents have the last word in disciplinary and other family matters. Children are financially dependent on their parents until they finish studies at the University. Boys are usually allowed more freedom than girls. Girls in Peru culture have less freedom than girls in most European and North American countries.

Language and Communication Styles in Peru

A busy street in Peru

The official language in Peru is Spanish, while Quechua is officially acknowledged as a second language. Additionally, Aymara is recognized as a regional language.

Food in Peru

Ceviche in Peru

Peruvian cuisine is well known and admired worldwide for its rich variety and influences from different cultures around the world. Many of the dishes are influenced by European, Asian, African, and indigenous flavors. Staples of Peruvian cuisine are rice, potatoes, chicken, fish, and vegetables. Potatoes are native to Peru and there are over 4,000 varieties! Guinea pigs are eaten throughout Peru and are raised in most rural homes and some urban ones.

Peruvian food can be moderately spicy. Ceviche (raw fish with lemon juice, garlic, and shredded onion) is popular. Papa a la Huancaina is a cooled, sliced baked potato with sliced eggs and hot chili. Peru offers unique fruits, some only grow in this lush country. Most Peruvians are used to two main meals: lunch and dinner. Breakfast is quick and light: milk, coffee, bread, cheese, fruit, or some juice.