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Peru, or Perú, is a country located in South America that borders Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, and the Pacific Ocean. It was home to the Norte Chico and Inca civilizations. In the 16th century the Spanish empire colonized the country, but it gained independence in 1821. The government is a representative democratic republic. Its official language is Spanish, but there are many citizens that speak Quechua or other native languages. Its capital and largest city is Lima, with a population of over 8 million people. It has quite a mix of ethnic groups, including 45% Amerindian, 37% Mestizo, 15% European, and 3% African and Asian. It main religion is Roman Catholicism with 81% practicing it. Its population is approximately 29.5 million people. Its currency is the Nuevo Sol. This diverse land has beautiful landscapes and tourist attractions.