Connect to Peru

Where Americans and Peruvians Living Abroad Connect to Peru

Archive for November 2008

Looking for a Book to Read after Christmas? Or a Belated Xmas Gift?

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marieMarie Arana (a name most of DC-based book fans might be familiar with from the pages of The Washington Post where she is the book editor — and a successful Peruvian) will be releasing her new fiction book “Lima Nights” on December 30, 2008. You can get the book via, for example.

A good friend to one of my colleagues who is also a former Post reporter (and hopefully soon we finally get to schedule that lunch we’ve been shooting for since two years ago!), Marie’s books bring up Peru’s food, sceneries, lifestyle, customs, and many other things that if you are a Peruvian I am sure you will be pretty familiar with and easily relate to.

Check her book out — and hopefully sometime soon we finally get to connect maybe in-between one of her many months-long trips to Lima and get the download on her experience as a successful Peruvian living in the U.S.

Written by Catherine Castro

November 29, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Possible Ancient Pre-Incan City Found in Peru’s Amazon

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Citizens in the north East of Peru In Utcubamba, Amazonas are said to have found a pre-Incan city including also two caverns with ancient ceramics, according to local press El Comercio. Local government representatives will be visiting the site in the following days. The regional government in Amazonas is requesting for the implementation of a tourism circuit in the area given it is also nearby the Lejía falls.

Written by Catherine Castro

November 29, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Cindy Lauper Just Wrapped Up Her Tour Stop in Peru

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Cindy Lauper just finished her stop by Lima, Peru presenting her “Bring Ya to Brink” South American tour. Today Saturday Nov 29 she will be in Venezuela. Other countries her tour includes are Chile and Argentina. More than 6,000 fans convened at the National Stadium (Estadio Nacional) in Lima where she performed her 80’s hits “Time after Time” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, as the newspaper El Comercio reports. includes a brief press statement by Lauper:

“I’m tired, but happy. People have been telling me about Machu Picchu but I won’t be able to go. I’ve also been told about Peruvian food and I’m going to try it.”

Hopefully on her way to the airport she got some chicken from Pardo’s, and a good pisco sour…at least!

Written by Catherine Castro

November 29, 2008 at 12:08 pm

3D Tech: An Innovation Bet Among Young Peruvians

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It is said that one of the characteristics of Peruvians is their strong sense in being creative and innovative, particularly if you are in need to make progress in life and even more so if you are young and have all that energy to learn and grow.

Given limited funding, Young Peruvian professionals are betting on 3D technologies to show their work on applying 3D design technologies for different verticals, including shoe design, vehicle motor designs, and even car design — without the need to actually create them physically.

As the magazine states, this is what Master Group Perú (MGP), a local insitution in Peru’s capital city, is trying to promote.

That’s a great way to not only generate innovation in Peru among the young audience, but also make them participants to address the need of countries to generate and remain innovative in today’s global competitive market.

Written by Catherine Castro

November 29, 2008 at 11:16 am

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Iron Maiden Fan and Visiting Lima? Mark Your Calendar: March 26, 2009

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The long-awaited confirmation of Iron Maiden stopping by Peru as part of their Latin American tour is finally here! If you are a fan, they will be at the National Stadium (Estadio Nacional) on March 26.

According to an article from Peru’s largest print publication El Comercio, the show will be similar to those the band does in Europe, including 5 Eddies (the group’s pet), fireworks, and 12 tons of equipment they will bring in the Ed Force One, the plane that will be flown by Bruce Dickinson himself.

Written by Catherine Castro

November 29, 2008 at 10:34 am

Lucky You, San Francisco: The Acurio Empire Has Arrived!

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gaston-acurioOne of Peru’s greatest cuisine treasures is Gaston Acurio. A native Peruvian chef, his unmatched vision and superior quality while preparing the food has just arrived this fall in San Francisco, CA (and now I am feeling SO envious to be in the East Coast!). This is his first restaurant in the U.S.

Acurio just opened this fall La Mar Cebicheria Peruana (means The Sea Peruvian Cebiche Restaurant) in the newly renovated Pier 1 1/2 – just north of the Ferry Building. It’s been said that the rear of the restaurant will open onto the marina. Similar to his La Mar restaurant in Lima, Peru, the menu includes “classic Peruvian dishes and ingredients, such as potatoes, tomatoes and chiles, as well as pastas combined with seafood and chile-infused sauces, all adapted to Northern California’s sensibility and ingredients”, as the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Other La Mar restaurants around the world are in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Chile.

This week, the Chronicle also reported chef Jose Luis de Cossío left to return to Andina, the Peruvian restaurant in Portland where he was executive chef before coming to La Mar. Taking his position will be chef Victoriano Lopez, the head chef for all of Acurio’s operations, who helped design the menu and has been at La Mar since it opened in Peru.

And if you want to get to learn more about this “next super chef “, check out his Conde Nast profile story, which states:

Acurio is the most famous chef you’ve never heard of. In the last five years, the 41-year-old has emerged as a celebrity south of the equator: He has more than a dozen high-end restaurants in Peru, with outposts in Mexico, Panama, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama, Colombia, and even Spain, plus a comfort-food chain, two fast-food franchises, a culinary school in Lima, a luxury eco-hotel opening next year, and a hit cooking show that plays constantly on Peruvian TV. Acurio’s businesses reportedly made $65 million in 2007, and revenues are expected to nearly double to $120 million in 2008.

So I guess I will either better start planning that trip to San Fran pretty soon…or start working on pitching him the idea to get a La Mar in the Nation’s Capital. Uhhhh…can’t wait!

And thanks to Marcelo Pimentel, my dear friend and correspondent for sending us the scoop from Lima, Peru.

Written by Catherine Castro

November 29, 2008 at 7:16 am

Miami: First Peruvian School for Chefs in Latin America, Opening of Restaurant in Doral

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A sign of the popularity that Peruvian cuisine is gaining in the U.S. (and ask Boston-based chef and celebrity restauranteur Todd English predicting Peruvian food is the “next big thing”), the first Peruvian school for chefs in Latin America named “Don Ignacio” has been inaugurated in Miami, Florida, as Peruanos en USA magazine reports in its latest issue.

Founder is Raúl Diez Canseco Terry, a renowned Peruvian investor in successful franchises in Peru, who has also just opened a restaurant under the same name where 80% of the ingredients are imported directly from Peru. Among its specialty dishes is the Quinoa Risotto, and native Peruvian dishes like the Lomo Saltado, Ceviche, and Arroz con Pollo.

I will definitely plan a stop on my next trip to Miami. But for those lucky enough to live in that city, “Don Ignacio” restaurant is located in 10395 North West 41st Street Suite 125. Doral, FL 33178. If you go, let me know how it goes. Bon appetit!!!

Written by Catherine Castro

November 29, 2008 at 5:59 am

Peru Riding Strong the US Economic Crisis, 9.5% GDP Growth in Q3

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Peru’s economy is said to be one of the countries in Latin America that will handle best the U.S. economic crisis given its economic and political stability.

Bloomberg reports that Peru’s National Statistics Institute released the country’s GDP to have “expanded more than economists expected in the third quarter”. Construction and investment in heavy machinery and equipment led this growth.

Written by Catherine Castro

November 29, 2008 at 5:47 am

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Peru: Intro to Living the Legend

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Perú, the land of the Inca Empire and located in South America, is a magical spot which involves one of the richest biodiversities of the Earth, and is a melting pot of different cultures who together are forging the promise of a better future.

Over 40,000 restaurants across the country reflect the diversity of a nation that has mixed its native traditions with the cuisines of Europe, Arabia, China, Africa and Japan. The result: unique flavours that make Peruvian cuisine one of the best and most varied in the world.

Ten thousand years of history are lived through 180 museums and historical places. While Peru inevitably evokes images of Machu Picchu and the Inca empire, the country is also riddled with archaeological sites which are a legacy of even more ancient times, when great civilizations bequeathed a legacy of their art, customs and rituals, their wisdom and skills.

Is Peru a “green” country? Of course and for many years! It is home to 84 of the 104 life zones that exist on our planet, making it a privileged destination for nature lovers. Close to 20% of the world’s birds and 10% of the world’s reptiles live in Peru. And it has converted 13% of its territory into Protected Natural Areas.

So what is this mysticism all about? Take a look at this video, and let me know what you think!

Written by Catherine Castro

November 29, 2008 at 5:23 am

Posted in General, Travel

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Welcome to “Connect to Peru”

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Welcome to “Connect to Peru”, my new blog for YOU to become part early on of this whole new revolution that Peruvian cuisine and its culture is starting to emerge as it becomes the “next big thing” in the US and around the world. Maybe you will laugh today, or you might think I am exagerating. But wait, and see!

Perhaps you know nothing about Peru, perhaps you don’t even know where the land of the Inca Empire is located in the world map. No worries. That is the whole purpose behind my blog.

I am a native Peruvian who has lived her first 20-something years in Lima, Peru. But don’t let my accent confuse you (I might be fluent in English — hehe). Deep down inside there is this girl who was born, raised, educated, and left her whole life, friends and family many miles south of the US to come to this country for which I am thankful for the many opportunities it has, and keeps, offering me on a personal and professional level.

It’s with this feeling of thankfulness and reciprocity that I’d like to share with you what to be a Peruvian in the US is all about, for you to learn more about my culture, about where I come from, what makes me be the person that I am — and particularly, how you can also learn the many wonders and mysticism that the land of the Incas can perhaps bring to your life and hopefully have you visit someday soon!

The idea of creating this blog was also to create the first “one-stop” source of information for Peruvians living abroad, Americans or other foreigners in an easy-to-read format where you can find useful and entertaining information, not just plain news reporting or a whole bunch of links to other different sites that god forbid eventually turn into Spanish. In fact, one of the biggest challenges I have noticed these past years from living in the U.S. is that most of the information that my friends in the U.S. and abroad might be interested in reading and learning about Peru is all in Spanish or they don’t know how to access it. Today’s news wires and international publications rarely cover a Peruvian story that is not related to the global economy, an unfortunate earthquake, or a crisis of some sort that would make it worth covering.

A lot of the stories that give examples on how Peru is progressing as a country, is serving as a role model around the world (such as its green efforts or its renowned FTA with the U.S.), cultural and artistic forms of expression that are capturing many people’s attention around the world, its food, and even great deals you could get on airlines or hotels to visit Peru for less than what you think, are the type of stories I am looking to post in my blog.

I am not trying to become an expert of Peruvian economics, politics, etc., but rather just someone who’d like to share interesting things about my country that you can enjoy even if you live abroad. And if you happen to visit someday Peru, I hope the information in this blog helps you in finding out what could be the things you’d like to do during your stay.

Hope you enjoy this blog, and I welcome your thoughts and comments to make this blog…YOUR blog.

Thanks for visiting, and make sure you add it to your “favorites” folder and/or subscribe to RSS feeds!

Catherine Castro

Written by Catherine Castro

November 28, 2008 at 5:34 am

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