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Peruvian Fruit Producers and Exporters to Attend Fruit Logistica 2009 Event on Feb 4-6 in Berlin, Germany

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logo-index-enOn February 4-6, the leading trade fair for the international fresh produce trade Fruit Logistica 2009 will take place in Berlin, Germany.

While going through the list of exhibitors, it was great to see so many Peruvian firms and associations participating, including the Peruvian associations of producers of Hass avocados, citrus lime, lemon, asparragus, mango, grapes, among many others.

Consorcio de Productores de Fruta (CPF, and translated the Consortium of Producers of Fruit) is one of the Peruvian companies exhibiting. In a press release, Eugenio Oliveira, CPF’s Commercial Manager, says:

“With our projected volume growth in coming years it will be very important in 2009 to continue the development of our business and establish our brand “Malki” in new international markets. We are looking to new markets in Russia and Asia and plan commercial trials to the Middle East. Increasing production, exchange rate volatility and global recession are all factors in leading us to look at new markets as part of our long term vision”.

To learn more about this event in Germany, click here.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 24, 2009 at 10:26 pm

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

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

Surfin’ U.S.A.? Try Surfin’ Peru!

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surfOne of Peru’s most beautiful and fun beaches, San Bartolo, will be the venue wherethe best surfers in the world will be competing for the World Championship of Women and Men Professional Surfers 2009, as an article in RPP reports.

So if you are planning to be in Lima, Peru between January 23 thru February 1 and like surfing, you might want to consider a trip to San Bartolo which is just a few miles south of Lima (TIP: to drive from Lima to San Bartolo take the Carretera Panamericana Sur, drive until kilometer 50, and then make a right).

Among the 10 surfers representing Peru is Sofia Mulanovich, a multi-world champion surfer and the first South American to be inducted into the Surfers Hall of Fame. Check out a video interview to Sofia here.

As of date, the teams from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico,  Puerto Rico, U.S. and Hawaii have confirmed their participation.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 13, 2009 at 2:43 am

Former Aston Villa and Newcastle Soccer Winger Nolberto Solano Is Back in Peru

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4886567If you are a European soccer fan, most likely you’ve heard of Nolberto Solano. The 34-year-old former Aston Villa, Newcastle and West Ham winger is leaving Greek club Larissa to go back to Peru and join one of its largest soccer teams “Universitario”, as ESPN reports. Universitario is one of the “classic” soccer teams in Peru.

Solano is finally landing in Peru today Sunday after waiting for his contract to be finalized and after dealing with flight delays due to weather conditions. Solano expects to play for two years in Universitario, then will end up his soccer career as a player, and perhaps begin as a trainer in Argentina.

If you are planning a trip to Peru or other South American countries, you might want to consider tracking the 50th edition of the Copa Libertadores regional championship which is scheduled to begin on January 27 and will last til April, and check out Solano playing with the Universitario team.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 11, 2009 at 1:38 pm

A Peruvian Looking to Become Olympic Best Cross-Country Skier

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olympicsToday’s New York Times print and online issues include a story about Roberto Carcelen, a 38-year old Peruvian who is looking to become the only Peruvian cross-country skier in the 2010 Olympics. Carcelen, one of only a handful of South American skiers with sights set on the Vancouver Games, is training while also being a consultant for Microsoft.

As the NYT story states, Kent Murdoch is a two-time medalist in the World Masters cross-country championships who is a member of Carcelen’s training group, and says about this Peruvian:

“Roberto is like many of us. He wants to see how far he can go. But what impresses me every day is that he is doing it in a new arena, and with a drive and intensity that most people just dream about.”

What is remarkable about this story is Carcelen’s energy and dedication to achieve his dream in such a unique niche in Peruvian sports. As I mentioned in my earlier post, Peru has so many things to do given its weather diversity, including surfing and running, two of the activities Carcelen has experience at. But nobody practices cross-country skiing as a sport.

Click here to read the full NYT story. Good luck, Roberto! You are already a winner to our beloved Peru!

Written by Catherine Castro

January 2, 2009 at 11:10 pm

How Are Peruvians Welcoming 2009?

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playa1So how do Peruvians plan to celebrate the New Year’s? An article in RPP Noticias, the leading news radio and online site, states the options are either camping at a beach, at a friends’ or family’s place, or at a public venue for the long weekend that began yesterday for most.

For the New Year’s Eve, traditionally there are superstitions on receiving the New Year with a positive attitude and good luck, including wearing a yellow underwear (typically bought by someone else to bring more luck), eating 12 grapes at midnight, having yellow flowers, among many others. And regardless of where they will be, people plan ahead to stock up on alcohol and beers, bottled water, as well as canned food if you will be away from home.

According to the article, this is how the New Year’s Eve is looking like in Peru, particularly in the Coast region:

Campers along the beaches have already began to travel mostly by car to their preferred beach or to their friends’ or family’s beach house since the past days according to their vacation schedules. The main inter-department highway along the Coast called “Panamericana” (similar to the I-95 along the East Coast) is already busy with thousands of cars and SUVs with families or groups of friends going north or south from Lima, the capital city. Several police cars are along the highway to address any potential jams, and giving away brochures with safety and driving recommendations. To help the flow of drivers from Lima to the south of Peru, the highway has been opened today to be all southbound, and will change on January 4 when all drivers plan to come back to the city to start work on Monday.

Hundreds of people are also along the highway selling goods for those last-minute needs, including yellow flowers, balloons, bottled water, and other yellow goods to bring up good luck at midnight.

And for those who decide to stay at home or at a friends’ or family member’s place, a dinner similar to what they had for Christmas (a big meal similar to Americans’ Thanksgiving dinner) will be served tonight. The main course could be chicken, turkey, or pork, accompanied by paneton (an Italian-style sweet bread), salads, and several sides such as mashed potatoes and white rice. And to drink, there will be champagne or sparkling wine.

And once the clock hits midnight, fireworks all around the country will be heard. This replaces the typical “ball drop” Americans have.

Happy New Year to everyone, regardless of where in the world you will be!

Written by Catherine Castro

December 31, 2008 at 1:44 pm

Machu Picchu Continued Capturing Presidents and Celebrities’ Attention in 2008, including The Simpsons and South Park

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mpicchu1Throughout 2008, Machu Picchu and the neighboring city of Cusco has welcomed several celebrities, royalty personalities, and sports stars, as El Comercio reports, including:

  • Alicia Keys: received the 2008 year in Cusco and then visited the archaeological site. Click here to watch her appearance in the Letterman show talking about her visit.
  • Jenna Bush: visited Cusco and Machu Picchu on January, and also stopped by the Andean communities in Paucartambo, nearby Cusco, as part of her Unicef agenda in favor of local poor children. Click here to watch a raw Associated Press video of her visit.
  • Marguerite of Borbon, Infant of Spain: visited Cusco in April and enjoyed a show with Peruvian folkloric and flamenco music before heading by train to Machu Picchu. Despite her blindness since birth, she very much enjoyed it from the windows of the train.
  • Canadian singer and composer Bryan Adams arrived to Cusco following his concert in Lima in a private plane, and then headed to Machu Picchu in a helicopter.
  • Several Presidents from around the world and political personalities visited Machu Picchu around the Latin American, Caribbean and European Union (ALC-UE) Summit and the Asian Pacific (APEC) Forum between May and November, including the Foreign Affairs and External Affairs Commissioner of the European Commission Benita Ferrero-Waldner; the President of the same organization José Manuel Barroso; the Prime Minister of Poland Donald Tusk, the President of Guatemala Álvaro Colom; the Chancellor of Slovakia Jan Kubis; the Chancellor of Hungary Kinga Goncz;  and the wife of the Executive Chair of the region of Hong Kong Selina Tsang Pou Siu-mei.
  • The goalie and captain of the Spanish soccer team Iker Casillas visited Machu Picchu in July accompanied with a group of children that the sports star supports through an NGO. Together with the former Spanish soccer star Emilio Butragueño, they visited Patabamba to visit children in that community.

And if you are a fan of The Simpsons and South Park, you might recall they “visited” Macchu Pichu in an episode where all the members of the Simpsons family end up at the archaeological site following one of Bart’s adventures, and the characters of South Park visit as they fight against an attack of “giant guinea pigs”.

Click here to watch a YouTube video with The Simpsons episode, and click here to watch the South Park episode.

In 2007, actresses Olivia Newton John and Cameron Diaz (click here to check out her visit while taping for the 4REAL show from my earlier post), the multimillionaire Bill Gates (click here for a video of him attending the Inti Raymi, the most important ancient ceremony praising the Sun), the Princess of England Beatrice, and the actors Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson.

It has certainly been quite a busy city in 2008!

Backstreet Boys Performing on February 25 in Lima, Peru

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As El Comercio reports, the Backstreet Boys announced they will be performing on February 25, 2009 in Lima, Peru to promote their latest album “Unbreakable” as part of their South American tour. The concert is scheduled to start at 8:00 pm local time at the Estadio Monumental (Monumental Stadium).

The four members of the band — Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell and AJ McLean — will also be making a stop in Argentina, Venezuela, Chile and Brazil as part of their South American tour.

If you are a BSB fan, you might have heard about Brian Littrell’s son recently diagnosis with A-Typical Kawasaki Syndrome, a disease that causes swollen blood vessels and can result in aneurisms and cardiac arrest, as ABC News reported on December 23. This could be a good opportunity to support the singer in this tough personal journey.

Tickets for their South American “Unbreakable” tour are available via their website by clicking here.

Written by Catherine Castro

December 26, 2008 at 2:18 pm

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Merry Christmas a la Peruvian, by Las Canteras’ Executive Chef Eddy Ancasi

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eddy-ancasiLocated in the Dupont Circle/Adams Morgan area, Las Canteras Restaurant & Bar is one of Washington DC’s Peruvian food hot spots where you can get several authentic dishes and of course Pisco Sours. For today’s Christmas post, its executive chef Eddy Ancasi – a native Peruvian from Arequipa, a department located in the South West of Peru – is our special guest!

A typical Peruvian Christmas starts with a big dinner on the 24th with a table full of dishes similar to Americans’ Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey is the typical main dish, although lately there have been variations of pork or chicken; side dishes include potatoes or white rice; as well as traditional homemade hot chocolate, and paneton (an Italian sweet bread). At midnight, everyone hugs and grabs their presents from underneath the Christmas tree and opens them, while fireworks start going on everywhere. After a few hours of kids enjoying their presents, everyone goes to sleep after much chit chat. The next morning, the family gathers again for lunch to eat leftovers or they all go to a nice family restaurant and continue the celebration. If you are married, having a two-day celebration gives you the chance to spend at each other’s families.

And, here is how chef Eddy Ancasi remembers his own Christmas family gatherings:

Over the years, the celebration of Christmas has evolved. In my childhood — in the mountain town of Chuchibamba — Christmas was a mostly Catholic affair. It centered around singing — carols and folk holiday songs called villancicos. And there was always hot beverages made from dark Peruvian chocolate and paneton. Later, when I moved to Arequipa, Christmas eve was a time of family reunion. All my relatives gathered around a long table laden with turkey, mashed potatoes and different kinds of salads — Russian salad, potato salad and so on. Still later, when I moved to the Washington D.C. area, Christmas became a time for gift giving, seeing friends, and of course, gorging on “Causa de Pollo” and other classic Peruvian dishes.

I guess to nobody’s surprise Peruvian food is the main guest of the party regardless of where in Peru you are from. No wonder the expression “love grows through the stomach”.

Have a wonderful Christmas Day!

Written by Catherine Castro

December 25, 2008 at 12:48 pm