National Statistics Institute: Peru is home to 1,786 indigenous communities

A total of 1,786 indigenous communities living in 11 Peruvian departments were geographically and cartographically identified during the latest nationwide population census, reported Peru’s national Statistics Institute, or INEI, on Wednesday.

The recently published results of Peru’s 11th Population Census and Second Indigenous Communities Census — both conducted in 2007 — indicate that 1,786 indigenous communities live in Peru, making it the most heterogeneous country in the Americas.

These communities belong to 13 distinct linguistic families including the arahuaca, cahuapana, huitoto, jíbaro, quechua and zaparo, and 60 ethnic groups, including the ashánika, chamicuro, piro, resígaro, jebero, amarakaeri, bora, aguaruna and quichua.

Of the 60 ethnic groups known to exist, 9 have been assimilated into larger and often Spanish-speaking, mestizo communities. And, in some cases, researchers found that two different ethnic groups, such as the chamicuros and the cocama-cocamilla, share a given community or settlement.

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