Iquitos

Description

Iquitos ( (listen); Spanish pronunciation: [iˈkitos]), also known as City of Iquitos, is the capital city of Peru's Maynas Province and Loreto Region. The largest metropolis in the Peruvian Amazon, east of the Andes, it is the ninth-most populous city of Peru.
It is known as the "capital of the Peruvian Amazon". The city is located in the Great Plains of the Amazon Basin, fed by the Amazon, Nanay, and Itaya rivers. Overall, it constitutes the Iquitos metropolitan area, a conurbation of 471,993 inhabitants consisting of four districts: Iquitos, Punchana, Belén, and San Juan Bautista. It is the largest city in the world that cannot be reached by road – it is accessible only by river and air.The area was long inhabited by indigenous peoples. The founding date of the European city is uncertain. Spanish historical documents state that it was set up around 1757 as a Spanish Jesuit reduction by the banks of the Nanay River. The Jesuits gathered local Napeano (Yameo) and Iquito natives to live here, and they named it San Pablo de Napeanos.
In the late 19th century, the city became the center of export of rubber production from the Amazon Basin and was the headquarters of the Peruvian Amazon Company (PAC). The rubber boom attracted thousands of European and North African traders and workers, some of whom amassed wealth with the high-volume production, processing and trade in rubber. The city's economy was highly dependent on the PAC, controlled in the nation by Peruvian businessman Julio César Arana.
The operations of PAC's forces deeper in the Basin, who kept indigenous workers in near slavery conditions through use of force and harsh treatment, was investigated by Roger Casement, the British consul-general in Peru. He had investigated labor conditions for natives in the Congo Free State when it was under King Leopold's control, reporting on the abuse of thousands of workers. His 1913 exposure of abuses of Peruvian workers caused a reaction against the company among the several British members of its board and many stockholders. The company struggled financially and lost backing in the UK. In addition, rubber seedlings had been smuggled out of the country and cultivated on plantations in Southeast Asia. As the plants matured, the competition undercut prices of the Peruvian product. With the decline of the rubber industry, many workers and merchants left Iquitos.
As one of the leading cities, along with Manaus, in the huge Amazon rubber boom (1880–1914), Iquitos was influenced by the numerous Europeans who flocked to it. Architecture and cultural institutions established during this period expressed their own traditions. An opera house and Jewish cemetery were among the institutions established.
Later in the 20th century, the city and region diversified its economy. The region exported timber, fish and their products, oil, minerals, and agricultural crops. It also derives considerable revenue from tourism and related crafts, as well as bakery, and carbonated drinks and beer. By 1999, the city had consolidated its four municipalities.

Reference

Wikipedia, Blueballoon

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23.29 °C

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