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Lima, Peru

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Lima is the capitol and largest city of Peru, and the fifth largest city in the Americas. It is home to the oldest university in the Americas. Approximately one-third of the entire population of Peru lives in the Lima Metropolitan Area.

Though inhabited by three Amerindian tribes prior to this, the area of Lima was made a part of the Inca Empire in the 15th Century. The actual city was founded in 1535 by Spanish conquistador and conqueror Francisco Pizarro, who originally named the city Ciudad de los Reyes, or, "City of Kings," a nickname that the city has retained.

Today, Lima is known for its architecture, seaside cliffs and beaches, financial sector, beautiful downtown area, and soccer.


People Born in Lima

Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra


Lima in People's Lives

Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra: I was born here in 1744, the son of a Spanish family of Basque origin. I moved to Spain to attend a Spanish naval academy in Cadiz in 1762, at the age of 18.

Mario Vargas Llosa: I spent my young adult life here, and feel a strong connection to this city. I moved here in 1946, when I was 10 years old, and met my father for the first time. Prior to this, my mother had always told me that my father had died when I was very young, while the real story was that he had had an affair with a German woman, leading to my parent's divorce. I also discovered that I had two half-brothers. My parents began their relationship over, and we all lived together in the middle-class Lima suburb of Magdalena del Mar. I attended a Christian middle school from 1947 - 1949. In 1950, at the age of 14, I began attending a military academy within this city. At the age of 16, in 1952, I began my first writing job, working for an amateur journalist for local newspapers. I decided to leave the strict military school, and focused on my writing, being hired by a newspaper and also writing a theatrical play, La huida del Inca, which I proudly saw performed. In 1953, I enrolled in the National University of San Marcos to study law, with a minor in literature. In 1955, I married Julia, a woman who was my maternal uncle's sister-in-law and also ten years my senior: I was 19, she was 29. My first short stories were published in 1957. I graduated from San Marcos in 1958, and recieved a scholarship to the Complutense University of Madrid. Julia and I moved to Madrid for my scholarship in 1958. I moved back in 1964, now divorced from Julia. I married my cousin Patricia in 1965, and our first son Alvaro was born in 1966. Now focusing on my writing, I began publishing novels, which were subject to high praise and acclaim. I also became, over the years, further and further active in political circles, befriending the Peruvian president Fernando Belaunde Terry, and even running for Peruvian presidency in 1990, though I was defeated by Alberto Fujimori. After the defeat, I returned to focusing mainly on my writing, and only dabbled in politics occasionally. In 1990, I moved to Madrid, but still frequently return to this city to visit family.

Pedro de Alvarado: Having heard many extaordinary tales of the riches and gold in Peru, I journeyed here in 1534. However, upon reaching it, I found that Francisco Pizarro was already commanding the area, and did not welcome any rivals. Pizarro seemed ready to attack - a battle that I would be sure to lose - and I was forced to trade almost all of my men, ships, horses, and ammunition in order to be allowed to leave Peru. I returned to Guatemala.

Walt Disney: I was sent here on a filming mission by the U.S. Government in 1941, in an effort to improve relations with South America.

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