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Matthew Ross
Matthew Ross


The city sits on a plateau at 932 m (3,058 ft) above sea level. It is located west of the seaport of Paranaguá and is served by the Afonso Pena International and Bacacheri airports. Curitiba is an important cultural, political, and economic center in Latin America[6] and hosts the Federal University of Paraná, established in 1912.


As with most of Southern Brazil's population, Curitiba is mostly inhabited by European descendants. The first Europeans to arrive were of Portuguese origin, during the 17th century. They intermarried with the native people and with the African slaves.[48]

Since it was declared capital of the State of Paraná in 1853, the city has gone through several major urban planning projects to avoid uncontrolled growth and thus has become an international role model in dealing with issues including transportation and the environment.[65] The city is Brazil's second largest car manufacturer. Its economy is based on industry, commerce and services. For that reason, Curitiba is considered by many investors to be the best location for investment in Brazil.

According to IPEA data, the GDP in 2006 was 32 billion reals, without including agriculture and livestock (0.03%). Industry represented 34.13% and the commerce and service sectors 65.84%.[67] Cidade Industrial de Curitiba, the industrial district, is home to many multinational industries, such as Nissan, Renault, Volkswagen, Philip Morris, Audi, Volvo, HSBC, Siemens, ExxonMobil, Electrolux and Kraft Foods, as well as many well-known national industries, such as Sadia, O Boticário and Positivo Informática.

The city's 30-year economic growth rate is 7.1%, higher than the national average of 4.2%, and per capita income is 66% higher than the Brazilian average. Between 1975 and 1995, Curitiba's domestic product grew by some 75% more than the entire State of Paraná, and 48% more than Brazil as a whole. In 1994, tourism generated US$280 million- 4% of the city's net income. Curitiba has municipal health, education and day care networks, neighborhood libraries shared by schools and citizens and Citizenship Streets, where buildings provide essential public services, sports and cultural facilities near transportation terminals. At the Open University, residents can take courses in subjects such as mechanics, hair styling and environmental protection for a small fee. Policies for job creation and income generation became part of the city's strategic planning in the 1990s, for the metropolitan area as well as the city.[69]

Since 1990, the Municipal Housing Fund has provided financial support to housing for lower income populations. After national housing finance collapsed in 1985, just as people from the countryside poured into Curitiba, the city's public housing program bought one of the few remaining large plots of land, "Novo Bairro" (New Neighborhood), as home for 50,000 families. While landowners built the houses themselves, each received a pair of trees and an hour's consultation with an architect to help them develop their plan. COHAB also built Technology Street, an avenue of 24 homes in the centre of Novo Bairro, each built using different construction techniques.[70]

Curitiba is the second pole on technological innovation in Brazil, according to IPEA (Applied Economic Research Institute). It is Brazil's second best, and South America's fifth best, city for business, according to America Economia Magazine/2005 and 2006. The best destination for business, according to Veja Magazine of 2007. The third position among the Champions of Infrastructure, Exame Magazine of 2006. The second best city to work in Southern Brazil, according to Você S.A. Magazine of 2005. The 49th position, MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce: Emerging Markets Index of 2008. One of the highlights according to the survey Offshoring Horizons performed by Watson Wyatt of 2007. One of the 10 global sustainability centres, according to Ethisphere Institute of 2008.[73] Curitiba is also home to the largest cancer hospital in the South of Brazil, Erasto Gaertner Hospital.[74]

Curitiba's public transportation consists entirely of buses. It opened the world's second bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Rede Integrada de Transporte, in 1974.[126] The popularity of Curitiba's BRT has effected a modal shift from automobile travel to bus travel. Based on 1991 traveler survey results, it was estimated that the introduction of the BRT had caused a reduction of about 27 million auto trips per year, annually saving about 27 million liters of fuel. In particular, 28 percent of BRT riders previously traveled by car. Compared to eight other Brazilian cities of its size, Curitiba uses about 30 percent less fuel per capita, resulting in one of the country's lowest rates of ambient air pollution. Some 1,100 buses make 12,500 trips every day, serving more than 1.3 million passengers, 50 times the number from 20 years ago. Eighty percent of travelers use the express or direct bus services. Curitibanos spend only about 10 percent of their income on transportation, far below the national average.[127]

The Spanish Crown gave the name legal status with the 1529 Capitulación de Toledo, which designated the newly encountered Inca Empire as the province of Peru.[27] In 1561, the rebel Lope de Aguirre declared himself the "Prince" of an independent Peru, which was cut short by his arrest and execution. Under Spanish rule, the country adopted the denomination Viceroyalty of Peru, which became the Peruvian Republic after its independence until 1979, adopting its current name of Republic of Peru.[28]

The Indigenous population dramatically collapsed overwhelmingly due to epidemic diseases introduced by the Spanish as well as exploitation and socio-economic change.[44] Viceroy Francisco de Toledo reorganized the country in the 1570s with gold and silver mining as its main economic activity and Amerindian forced labor as its primary workforce.[45] With the discovery of the great silver and gold lodes at Potosí (present-day Bolivia) and Huancavelica, the viceroyalty flourished as an important provider of mineral resources. Peruvian bullion provided revenue for the Spanish Crown and fueled a complex trade network that extended as far as Europe and the Philippines.[46] The commercial and population exchanges between Latin America and Asia undergone via the Manila Galleons transiting through Acapulco, had Callao at Peru as the furthest endpoint of the trade route in the Americas.[47] In relation to this, Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, governor of Panama was also responsible for settling Zamboanga City in the Philippines, which now speak a Spanish Creole by employing Peruvian soldiers and colonists.[48] Because of lack of available workforce, African slaves were added to the labor population. The expansion of a colonial administrative apparatus and bureaucracy paralleled the economic reorganization. With the conquest started the spread of Christianity in South America; most people were forcefully converted to Catholicism, with Spanish clerics believing like Puritan divines of English colonies later that the Native Peoples "had been corrupted by the Devil, who was working "through them to frustrate" their foundations.[49] It only took a generation to convert the population. They built churches in every city and replaced some of the Inca temples with churches, such as the Coricancha in the city of Cusco. The church employed the Inquisition, making use of torture to ensure that newly converted Catholics did not stray to other religions or beliefs, and monastery schools, educating girls, especially of the Inca nobility and upper class, "until they were old enough either to profess [to become a nun] or to leave the monastery and assume the role ('estado') in the Christian society that their fathers planned to erect" in Peru.[50] Peruvian Catholicism follows the syncretism found in many Latin American countries, in which religious native rituals have been integrated with Christian celebrations.[51] In this endeavor, the church came to play an important role in the acculturation of the Natives, drawing them into the cultural orbit of the Spanish settlers.

Eventually, the viceroyalty would dissolve, as with much of the Spanish empire, when challenged by national independence movements at the beginning of the nineteenth century. These movements led to the formation of the majority of modern-day countries of South America in the territories that at one point or another had constituted the Viceroyalty of Peru.[55] The conquest and colony brought a mix of cultures and ethnicities that did not exist before the Spanish conquered the Peruvian territory. Even though many of the Inca traditions were lost or diluted, new customs, traditions and knowledge were added, creating a rich mixed Peruvian culture.[51] Two of the most important Indigenous rebellions against the Spanish were that of Juan Santos Atahualpa in 1742, and Rebellion of Túpac Amaru II in 1780 around the highlands near Cuzco.[56]

In the early 19th century, while most South American nations were swept by wars of independence, Peru remained a royalist stronghold. As the elite vacillated between emancipation and loyalty to the Spanish Monarchy, independence was achieved only after the occupation by military campaigns of José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar.

The Viceroy of Peru, Joaquín de la Pazuela named José de la Serna commander-in-chief of the loyalist army to protect Lima from the threatened invasion by San Martin. On 29 January, de la Serna organized a coup against de la Pazuela, which was recognized by Spain and he was named Viceroy of Peru. This internal power struggle contributed to the success of the liberating army. To avoid a military confrontation, San Martin met the newly appointed viceroy, José de la Serna, and proposed to create a constitutional monarchy, a proposal that was turned down. De la Serna abandoned the city, and on 12 July 1821, San Martin occupied Lima and declared Peruvian independence on 28 July 1821. He created the first Peruvian flag. Upper Peru (Bolivia) remained as a Spanish stronghold until the army of Simón Bolívar liberated it three years later. José de San Martin was declared Protector of Peru. Peruvian national identity was forged during this period, as Bolivarian projects for a Latin American Confederation floundered and a union with Bolivia proved ephemeral.[58] 041b061a72


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