Connect to Peru

Where Americans and Peruvians Living Abroad Connect to Peru

Archive for January 2009

Join the “Connect to Peru” Facebook Group!

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facebook2Just a reminder that “Connect to Peru” is available via Facebook!

Click here to join the dozens of readers already getting their daily updates via Facebook!

Written by Catherine Castro

January 22, 2009 at 11:18 pm

Posted in General, Uncategorized

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Join “Connect to Peru” Via Twitter!

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twitter_logo_sJust a reminder that “Connect to Peru” is also available via Twitter:

http://twitter.com/connecttoperu

Written by Catherine Castro

January 21, 2009 at 9:07 am

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Expectations from NY Bronx Peruvian Immigrant at Today’s Inauguration Ceremony

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Today’s New York Daily News’ Bronx issue published a story on dozens of Bronx residents visiting Washington D.C. for the Presidential Inauguration celebration. And a Peruvian immigrant Alejandra Delfin among them shares her expectations:

Alejandra Delfin, 42, a Peruvian immigrant and artist, is going because her daughter, Misra Walker, 16, got tickets by working in [Rep. Jose] Serrano’s office.

They were prepared to sleep in their car, but will instead use sleeping bags on the floor of a three-bedroom apartment.

“The Election Day was so amazing, but it is not real in a way,” she said. “Being there is almost to say this is really happening and we are part of it.”

She said the visual image of Obama, the son of a Kenyan father and a white mother from Kansas, gives hope to all people with darker skin.

“I feel he’s more understanding and open-minded,” she said. “Even just to see someone who looks like us in leadership, it’s wonderful.”

To read the full article, click here.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 20, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Forbes Magazine Ranks Peru Among “World’s Top 10 Culture Capitals”

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forbes1Forbes magazine ranked Peru among top 10 “World’s Culture Capitals”! 

In the travel section of its most recent issue, Forbes magazine states:

Known both for its textiles and folk art as well as ancient structures and biodiversity, the OECD says Peru classifies 93% of its tourists as cultural tourists. However, Peru is different from many other cultural meccas in that it targets young travelers who spend less per day, but tend to stay longer. Along with volunteer tourism, those with an International Student Identity Card receive discounts on everything from hostels to Inca Trail tours. […]

And according to the Peruvian government, the country’s tourism dollars reached $2.22 billion in 2008, an 11% increase from $2 billion in 2007.

“In a downturn like this, many young people will choose to travel at the end of their degree, rather than immediately embarking on a career,” says Richards. “They might be the most effective target [for cultural tourism].”

To read the full article, click here.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 19, 2009 at 7:29 pm

Discovering ‘Lost’ Kingdom of the Ancient Inca

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machu-picchuThis is the title of the travel article in today’s Miami Herald. It includes a pretty good summary on the most recent developments behind the stories on how the Machu Picchu citadel was “lost” and rediscovered.

The article states:

For decades, the story has been that Yale professor Hiram Bingham, in a feat that smacks of Indiana Jones, ”discovered” Machu Picchu and its treasure in 1911. In fact, according to Beto Rengifo Solano, one of Peru’s leading archaeological guides, Bingham was led to the site by a barefoot, young boy. When he got there, four families were living among these grandest of Incan ruins. Its greatest treasure had long since been plundered.

A recent article in The New York Times goes one step further, reporting the existence of property records that show repeated purchases and sale of lands including Machu Picchu before 1911, and suggesting the possibility that a German logger may have made off with the site’s best treasures. Other early visitors may well have included a British missionary and a German businessman.

Click here to read the full article. The debate about being lost and its discovery might take decades, but as the article states Machu Picchu “itself remains an endless enchantment.”

Written by Catherine Castro

January 18, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Argentinean Blogger Travels to Peru Inspired by “Connect to Peru” Blog Post

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playaA blog post woke me up in a gratifying way this morning as I read an Argentinean blogger named “Seba” was going on a two-week vacation as a hitchhiker to Peru, and particularly to the northern beaches in Piura after mentioning Hemingway finding inspiration for one of his books in Mancora from my post on “Great Beach Getaways in Piura: White Sands, Warm Water, and Sun”.

Here is a translated version of an excerpt of his post:

As it reads. This humble server is out on vacation. Leaving with Sun. Two weeks. Already got the yellow fever shot, backpacks ready, passports up to date and tickets in hand. Destination is Peru, first Cuzco and then the beaches in the north, definitely Mancora (I want to know that place since I learned that Hemingway got inspiration from that place to write “The Old Man and the Sea” (“El viejo y el mar”). [and then he links his blog to my post]

Seba – If you read this post, thanks for reading “Connect to Peru” all the way from Argentina! Enjoy your trip to my native Peru. I am sure you’ll run out of camera memory with all the wonderful things you can explore particularly when hitchhiking! Best of luck, and we’d definitely like to hear from you on how your adventure went two weeks from now! Buen viaje!

Written by Catherine Castro

January 17, 2009 at 10:03 am

BREAKING NEWS: Bush Puts US-Peru FTA Deal Into Effect!

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fta1Just a few moments ago, President Bush proclaimed the approval of the US-Peru FTA agreement!!

This is a very important accomplishment for Peru on its way to become an economic leader in Latin America and in the world — and of course will also bring foreigners closer to Peruvian goods in the U.S.

Click here to read President Bush’s Proclamation signed today.

As the Associated Press (via BusinessWeek) reports:

U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab says it is the first free trade pact to reflect enhanced labor and environmental standards outlined in an accord the Bush administration reached with Congress in 2007.

For the first time in history, Schwab said, U.S. exporters will be able to sell the vast majority of their products in the Peruvian market duty-free.

Two-way trade between the two nations totals more than $9 billion a year. For Peru, the pact will make permanent and build on temporary trade preferences that have benefited Peruvian farmers, workers and entrepreneurs through the Andean Trade Preference Act.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued this press release (full version click here):

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab made the following statement today regarding the entry into force of the United States–Peru Trade Promotion Agreement:

“With the President’s issuance of a proclamation to implement the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement as of February 1, 2009, I am very pleased to be able to celebrate the entry into force of this important trade agreement.

“We have worked closely with the Government of Peru to ensure that the obligations and responsibilities of each party have been met under this Agreement. We have engaged in this effort as true partners, and I want to thank President Garcia and his government for their hard work and dedication over the course of the last year.

“I want to thank those in Congress who worked with the Administration to develop a bipartisan trade policy template, paving the way for the approval of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement. This is the first free trade agreement (FTA) in force that will reflect the enhanced labor and environmental standards set out in the May 10, 2007, agreement between the Administration and the congressional leadership.

“Today’s proclamation marks an important milestone in our relationship with Peru, one of our strongest allies in Latin America. For the first time in history, American exporters will be able to sell the vast majority of their products into the Peruvian market duty-free. Through this Agreement, we have seized the opportunity to lead by strengthening our partnership and helping promote economic growth, prosperity and well being in Peru and throughout the hemisphere.”

“Trade and trade expansion will be a vital component of our effort to restore economic growth in the global economy. The additional market openness brought by this agreement will enhance our trade and prosperity in the future and support existing and future high-paying American jobs, particularly in manufacturing and agriculture.”

Very exciting! Looks like it will be an amazing year for Peru despite the global economic crisis!

Written by Catherine Castro

January 16, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Posted in News

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Lima International Airport Inaugurates Phase II of Expansion

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peru_overviewOn your next visit to Peru as you arrive into Lima’s International Airport “Jorge Chavez” you might notice changes compared to your last visit. The infrastructure modernization program of the airport was inaugurated and will benefit its 10 million tourists estimated to arrive in the next few years, as El Comercio reports.

The Phase II expansion will bring the following benefits to tourists:

  • More immigration counters for quicker service particularly during peak hours
  • Expansion of the duty free
  • Improved luggage service

Never been to Peru? Here is a great video produced by the German TV network Deutsche Welle on the airport management group and improvements made to the Lima International Airport, including safety for tourists and efficiency of its operations. And here is another video with a glance around the airport.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 16, 2009 at 2:30 am

Afro-Peruvian Rhythms with Novalima Coming Up to New York in March 2009

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novalimaDiversity is a pretty good word to describe Peru — its culture, its history, its food. Among the diversity of cultures and races that still remain in Peru are the descendants of the immigration flow from the African continent several centuries ago. Afro-Peruvian music is perhaps one of the most treasured rhythms you might want to learn if you are exploring Peruvian native music.

New York Daily News writes an article about “Novalima”, a new fusion-type of band who will be releasing worldwide their new CD “Coba Coba” this month and will be performing in New York in March. Click here to watch a video on one of their hit songs “Machete”.

Just so you get a taste of what traditional Peruvian African music is all about (and who served as inspiration to Novalima), click here to listen to the authentic song behind “Machete” called “El Mayoral” performed by Eva Ayllon, one of the most widely known ambassadors to Afro-Peruvian  music.

And if you go to Peru, Chincha is a city in the department of Ica (south of the department of Lima) where you will be able to find the oldest generations of original Afro-Peruvian families. You can get to Chincha by driving the Panamericana Sur highway with some nice beaches along the road. One of the most known native family names is the Balleumbrosio’s, and you can click here and here to watch videos on this exotic dance you might be able to enjoy live on your trip!

Written by Catherine Castro

January 15, 2009 at 6:00 am

Ready to Fly? Paragliding in Lima, Peru

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tandem_paraglidingIf you are of the adventure type, paragliding might be something you’d like to try for your next visit to Lima.

It is done in the Miraflores/Larcomar area right next to the beach which is where most of the top hotels (e.g. Marriott) in Lima are located. So ask your hotel or travel agent for a paragliding company nearby.

Here is a fun video of what you’ll be able to enjoy. Are you ready?!?

Written by Catherine Castro

January 14, 2009 at 11:06 am