Lima is located 12 degrees south of the equator, 500 feet above sea level near the center of the arid coastal plain in
Peru, South America. Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish conqueror of Peru, founded the city in 1535. It is the largest city
in Peru and quite congested. More than 7.5 million people live in the city, about thirty percent of Peru's total
population and thirty percent of these live in shanty towns on the outskirts of town.
Because of its seismic position
(major earthquakes occurred in 1687, 1746, and 1970), the ancient building materials of adobe, bamboo thatch, and
wood have been replaced with steel, cement, and bricks, therefore, the city's architecture is a blend of colonial styles
and modern architecture. However, although no buildings exist prior to the earthquake of 1740, Lima is still the
location of some of the world's finest colonial and Spanish-Moorish buildings.
Unfortunately, the dramatic population
growth has contributed to the inadequate housing conditions and the obvious poverty of the people. Nevertheless,
despite the smog, earth-quake threats, poverty and traffic-congested narrow streets, tourists who are interested in
pre-Inca Indian civilizations and gold-rich culture find Lima a destination of choice.
Archaeological sites in the area of
Lima include Pachacamac, about18.5 miles to the south along the coast. Most of the Lima's residents are of mixed
racial background--European, Native American with a small percentage of whites, blacks, and Asian. Products
produced in the city include cotton and woolen textiles.