Peru borders on the north with Ecuador and Colombia, on the east with Brazil and Bolivia, on the south with Chile and on the west with the Pacific Ocean. Peru’s territory includes 496,414 square miles. More than half of the Peruvian population lives on the coast. About 32% of the population lives on the Andean region of the country and the rest on the Amazonian plains. Peru is the third largest country in South America after Brazil and Argentina and ranks among the 20 largest countries in the world. The country’s location in the central part of South America facilitates market access to Asia and North America. Peru is a linking bridge for consumers and sellers in South America and Southeast Asia.
Peru’s main exports include coffee, gold, zinc, textiles, and fish meal. Coffee, primarily Arabica beans for the blend market, is one of the largest exports for Peru. Peruvian Shade Grown Organic coffee is highly recognized for its quality and has helped Peru become the second largest exporter of organic coffee in the world. According to the National Coffee Board, Germans, Belgians and Dutch are among Peru’s largest coffee customers.
An interesting fact about the history of coffee in Peru is that it takes you back to the country’s central jungle.
More than 100 years ago, descendants of European settled and started some of the best coffee farms in Peru. Most of these farms remain in operation today.
Among these settlers, there were Italians, Germans, Austrians and other European nationalities.
The original German and Austrian ancestors who found themselves in this very isolated region of Peru were part of the European exodus of the 19th century.
After trekking for nearly two years across the coastal desert followed by the Andes mountains before eventually reaching this habitable region, these immigrants decided to put an end to their journey and settle in this part of the world.
Luckily for them, the area is ideal for dairy farming, cattle ranching and farming.
Once these immigrants decided to stay permanently, they established farms and created a self-sufficient and thriving community that maintained European traditions but mixed them with native customs to produce a very unique culture that is very much alive today.
They pursued the cultivation of coffee and did not include chemical products at all. It is possible to say that Germans and Austrians gave birth to the Peruvian organic coffee cultivation.
Peru is well known for its ethnic diversity but the Germanic influences in Oxapampa and Pozuzo are quite remarkable.
It is very striking to find Alpine-style buildings lining the streets and a population of blond haired and blued eyed people with beautiful Indian Peruvian traits in the high jungle right on the edge of the Amazon rain forest.
During “fiestas,” the “lederhosen” or traditional German breeches made of leather are worn for good old German “knees-up” games and activities, a fun and beautiful spectacle. Hearing mixtures of German, Spanish, Quechua and other languages, literally in the middle of nowhere, is quite an unforgettable experience.
Chanchamayo and Satipo provinces located in this region are among Peru’s best coffee growing areas with an altitude ranging between 4,000 to 6,000 feet above the sea level. The National Park is situated in the department of Pasco, province of Oxampampa, districts of Oxapampa, Villarica, Huancabamba and Pozuzo on a chain of mountains to the east of the Andes. This park includes more than 122,000 hectares and includes a great variety of mosses, brackens, orchids, flowering and evergreen bushes, cedars, walnut trees, oak trees and many more.
The entire shade growing coffee area is dubbed Peru’s Organic Coffee Land and it is an environmentally friendly area. There is a commitment at high government and private enterprise levels in certifying more than half of all coffee growing areas as ‘specialty coffee.” This will mean more shade grown coffee which, in turn, will be beneficial for wildlife. To achieve this goal, there are programs that encourage farmers to use improved technologies, educational programs and training opportunities.