Get to know the capital city of Peru, where Team USA athletes will be competing this summer at the Parapan American Games from August 23 to September 1. Lima was elected as the host city for the 2019 Games after winning the vote at the 51st Pan American Sports General Assembly in Toronto, Canada. Four cities bid for the Games, including La Punta (Argentina), Santiago (Chile) and Ciudad Bolivar (Venezuela). Lima earned 31 votes to win the bid, and announced its official mascot for the Lima 2019 Pan American and Parapan American Games in July as "Milco". The official logo of the Games is a colorful logo depicting three athletes raising their hands together. Here are nine facts to know about the host city Lima:
1) Lima is nicknamed “The City of Kings”. The name "La Ciudad de Los Reyes" was the first name that the city received from Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizzaro, who founded Lima. Pizarro initially chose the name because Lima was founded during an important Catholic holiday known as Three Kings’ Day.
2) After Pizzaro founded Lima on January 18, 1535, Peru gained its independence from Spain on July 28, 1821. Peruvians celebrate Independence Day every July 28th.
3) Lima is the fifth largest city in South America. Its metropolitan area occupies approximately 1,089 square miles (2,819 square kilometers).
4) After Cairo in Egypt, Lima is considered the second largest desert city in the world. As a desert city, Lima does not experience heavy rain, but mainly drizzles. The city is located on a desert strip between the Pacific Ocean and Andes Mountains.
5) There are three main rivers that flow through Lima; the Chillón, Lurín and Rímac Rivers. 80 percent of its water from the Rimac, which runs across downtown Lima.
6) Lima has a history with pirates; its main seaport and largest port city of Callao was a popular business center during Spanish viceroyalty times, which made pirates and privateers in the Pacific Ocean try and enter the city through there.
7) Lima is home to not only Peruvians, but also black vultures, which you mean find circling over the city. These “gallinazos” are responsible for cleaning up the city, and have inspired much cultural work symbolizing them as guardians.
8) One-third of Peruvians live in Lima. As of 2015, Lima served as home to 9.9 million residents.
9) According to the International Trade Center, the highest-value Peruvian exports are copper, gold, petroleum oils, zinc, lead, grapes and coffee. In 2016, Peru exported $36 billion worth of goods around the world.