Connect to Peru

Where Americans and Peruvians Living Abroad Connect to Peru

Update from our Argentinean Blogger Friend Seba on his Trip to Peru

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sebaWe just got a message from our Argentinean blogger friend Seba as he is back in Argentina after a couple of weeks vacation in Peru — a trip he just did following our posting about a northern Peruvian beach called Cabo Blanco where Ernest Hemingway got inspiration from to write his book “The Old Man and the Sea”.

Here is a translation of his comment posted this morning:

“Well, I am back in Argentina since yesterday, will be a week of reaccomodating myself to work but I promise a super post next week. Your country (Peru) is really beautiful, with things to discover in every single corner, and, as an extra gift, with prices really but really cheap. Hugs and thanks for everything!”

Looking forward to reading all the details about his experience in Peru next week!

Written by Catherine Castro

February 5, 2009 at 10:00 am

Calling Las Vegas, New York and Miami…Gaston Acurio’s Peruvian Cuisine is on the Way!

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Traditional Lomo Saltado

Traditional Lomo Saltado

According to today’s Associated Press story published in today’s Florida’s Sun Sentinel newspaper, Gaston Acurio – one of Peru’s top chefs and one of the leaders in Peruvian cuisine around the world – announced his empire will be opening more La Mar seafood restaurant locations in Las Vegas, New York and Miami.

As the article states,

“Acurio hopes to inundate the U.S. and European markets with his brands, from a mall-friendly stuffed potato franchise to microwavable Peruvian favorites and seasonings for grocers. Acurio says investors have been eager to back his projects.”

Acurio brings the best of Peruvian cuisine to the palate of the international gastronomy fans — also named “neo Peruvian cuisine” which is a bit different from what traditional native Peruvian cuisine is all about. So how do you know which one is which? Might be a bit tough if you are not Peruvian or you don’t have a Peruvian friend at your table. Let’s see…I will show you the difference from visuals that might help for one of Peruvian cuisine’s most traditional dishes, the Lomo Saltado. The photo above is the traditional-styled Lomo Saltado which is more home-y, more rustically served, this is how Peruvians eat it every day. Now check the picture in the AP story and you will see it is a bit more refined and styled up. Neither of them are right or wrong, just two different styles. If you want to have the authentic one, you might want to try the traditional style of course. That is how many Peruvians have enjoyed their cuisine for many generations.

There is no question about how Acurio’s efforts have benefited and promoted tremendously the Peruvian gastronomic art (yes, it is an art) around the world. And if you want to learn more about Gaston Acurio, get a refresher of the postings I did earlier, one on his new La Mar restaurant opening in California, and another posting about its ratings.

Look forward to trying the new locations! And if you are a local in any of these three cities, let us know how was your experience!

Written by Catherine Castro

February 5, 2009 at 8:37 am

British Woman to Trek the Peruvian Andes to Raise Money for Mental Health Charity

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treking1Great to read that Peru’s geographic landscape will be witnessing such a nice gesture for mentally disabled people in the UK.

Sara Burden, a woman native from Belper, United Kingdom, will be treking the Peruvian Andes in September 2009 to raise funds for the Mental Health Foundation, a

Burden states in the article:

“The trek is seven days across the Andes. We will trek for eight or nine hours a day and will train for 16 weeks.”

How can you support her? If you are in the UK, you might want to stop by at her art auction at “The Little Gallery” on Bridge Street from February 7 – 21.

Good luck on your treking adventure in Peru, and congratulations on such a nice gesture!

Written by Catherine Castro

February 4, 2009 at 9:03 am

First Shipments of Peru-US Exchanged Goods Arrive to/Depart from Peru

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The first goods exchanged between Peru and the U.S. around the recently signed Free Trade Agreement arrived to Peru and were shipped to the U.S., correspondingly, according to an article in El Comercio.

In a historic celebration, the first shipment coming from the U.S. to Peru’s international port of Callao arrived yesterday Monday, February 2 including apples from California worth US$17,542. And the first shipment of Peruvian textiles to the U.S. left Callao.

The vast majority of goods coming from the U.S. to Peru free of customs charges include complementary and industrial goods, supplies, and machinery for Peruvian producers.

The U.S. is Peru’s largest commercial partner. In average, trade among both countries reaches nearly US$ 9.4 billion per year.

Click here to watch a news video on this relevant trade accomplishment for both countries.

Key US-Peru trade facts, according to El Comercio:

  • Since last Sunday, products imported to Peru from the U.S. are entering free of customs — in the past they included a 9% or 17% customs charge.
  • In 2008, 18% of the US$31,163 million of total Peruvian exports were shipped to the U.S.
  • In the following months, the Free Trade Agreements with Canada, Singapore, China and Chile will become effective.

Written by Catherine Castro

February 3, 2009 at 10:29 pm

lared and Fulbright Commission in Peru Sign Agreement to Benefit Young Peruvians via Scholarships to Learn English for Free

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lared-logofulbright1

One of my favorite things is to work to benefit Peruvians with limited resources who cannot afford to have the education that I was able to get since my early years. I have always believed that education is certainly a critical factor that needs immediate attention in order to fight poverty, hunger, quality of life, and establish strong values to young Peruvians.

 

Through this post, I am delighted to share great news that will benefit many young Peruvians with limited economic resources in several provinces of Peru. A not-for-profit group of young professionals living abroad to which I belong, lared, has just announced an agreement with the Fulbright Commission in Peru to manage and assign the funds we generate through different events and activities for educational scholarships to study English.

 

Although in Spanish, here is a link in Fulbright’s website already promoting and calling applicants.

Written by Catherine Castro

February 3, 2009 at 11:42 am

Engineer and Son from Rochester, Minnesota Explore the Peruvian Amazon and Machu Picchu

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limaThe Post Bulletin paper from Rochester, Minnesota, recently published a travel article written by engineer April Horne who decided to travel to Peru with her eight-grade student son Garrison Komanieckiand.

The destinations within Peru included Machu Picchu, one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World”, and the Amazon River/Rainforest, which is currently ranked No. 3 in the voting for Natural Wonders of the World.

While at Lima (where the major international airport is located), they explored the city and said:

“We walked through beautiful cathedrals, including one with extensive catacomb structures, an engineering marvel that had survived numerous severe earthquakes. We also saw pre-Incan ruins dating back to about 600 A.D.”

While in the Amazon, she highlights:

“We learned how to shoot a blow gun and danced around a fire with the villagers. We were struck by the simple life of the villagers, with minimal possessions, open-air huts and a diet consisting of fish, bananas and the occasional sloth or monkey. We ended our rainforest stay with a “recovery” stop at Ceiba Tops, a luxury resort with hot and cold running water and a swimming pool.

And on her trip to Machu Picchu, she says:

Our guide told us about the different sections of the Lost City, pointing out agricultural areas and living quarters, temples, channels for drinking water and waste water. He showed us how structures were built to study the stars and movements of the sun. We finished with a hike up a portion of the Incan Trail to the Sun Gate.

Click here to read the full article.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 30, 2009 at 9:15 am

Newest Pre-Incan Museum “Huaca Rajada” Opens Nearby Lord of Sipan’s Tomb in Lambayeque, Peru

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top_lambayequeIn the northern department of Lambayeque, the newest display of Peruvian archeology just opened in a museum named “Huaca Rajada”, as Reuters reports. The museum showcases masks, ceramics and jewelry from the ancient Moche culture (prior to the Inca empire) which flourished on Peru’s coast from about 100 AD to 600 AD. Click here to watch a video with images on what you can find on your visit. And at the museum, there is an area where locals manufacture native-styled textiles for sale to visitors as souvenirs.

It is worth noting that the museum is located very close to the golden tomb of the Lord of Sipan — dubbed the “Tutankhamen of the Americas”.

These two sites – the new museum and the tomb – could be two great stops for your next trip to Peru if you are of the exploration, archaeology, or historian type. Once you get to the capital city Lima via its international airport, you can take a bus or fly to Lambayeque.

Here is a good site where you can get further information about where to go and what to do in Lambayeque.

And click here to watch a great video to learn who was the Lord of Sipan and why it is so important not only for Peruvian history, but also why it is treasured by historians from around the world.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 29, 2009 at 9:09 am

How is the Economic Stimulus Package Going in Peru?

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As we expect news on the American Economic Stimulus Package in the next two weeks, Reuters writes about the status of the Peruvian’s stimulus package which will help Peru ride best the global economic recession with government estimates reaching up to 4-5% GDP growth in 2009.

The Reuters article reads:

Peru started the first part of spending under its economic stimulus package (…).

The first bit includes 4.5 billion soles ($1.42 billion) of price cuts and spending. It includes a 10 percent reduction in fuel prices, 3 billion soles in social spending, help for non-traditional exporters, and infrastructure projects.

The finance ministry said it also has been working to keep credit lines open and obtain loans from multilateral agencies.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 28, 2009 at 10:56 pm

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Associated Press Reporter Gives Travel Advice for Baby Boomers; Peruvian Amazon His Spring 2009 Destination

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elderhostelThere seems to be a Peru travel media boom lately…this time is the story of an Associated Press retired executive planning a trip to Peru following his retirement! If you are in that time where retirement is an option and looking to destress by taking an educational world tour, this article is a MUST!

Picked up by The Mercury News, Rick Spratling talks about his experience travelling with his wife under a non-profit organization’s travel program. Elderhostel was founded in 1975 on five college campuses in New Hampshire, based on the idea of inexpensive lodging and noncredit classes.

An excerpt of the article states:

By 1980, participation grew to 20,000 people in 50 states and Canada, and in 1981 Elderhostel offered its first international programs. Today Elderhostel says it attracts more than 160,000 participants annually to nearly 8,000 tour packages in more than 90 countries.

Elderhostel says the average cost of programs in the United States and Canada is a little over $100 per day, while international programs, not including airfare, average a bit over $200 per day. Elderhostel emphasizes a package price that covers meals, taxes, gratuities, lodging, lectures, excursions, activities and travel within a program, such as shuttles to various sites.

Participants provide their own transportation to domestic programs. For international programs, you can book the flights yourself or have Elderhostel do it.

Rates vary widely by destination and type of trip. My wife and I paid just under $10,000 to visit Israel. Our planned trip to Peru will cost around $11,600 for two. Both pricetags include roundtrip airfare from the United States.

Also on the high end is a 24-night study cruise of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands and a nearby island called South Georgia for around $14,000 per person. This price covers expert lectures, experienced group leaders, field trips, lodging, most meals, gratuities, taxes, ship travel, air shuttles and round-trip air fare from the United States to Buenos Aires. The cost varies by departure city.

But Elderhostel also offers programs for less than $600. You can study “The Cajun Experience” in Louisiana for $547 per person, including meals, five nights of hotel lodging and expert-led sessions ranging from how to dance the Cajun waltz to the history of Acadian migration from Nova Scotia to south Louisiana. You provide your own transportation to and from the program site in Lafayette, La.

While Elderhostel makes no claim to five-star luxury, we gave good marks in Israel to our hotels, food, guides and expert lecturers.

Sounds like an interesting option for baby boomers looking to travel and explore!

To read the full article, click here.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 27, 2009 at 12:09 am

Colorado Reporter Qualifies the Inca Heart as “Strong and Mysterious”

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bildeIt is always interesting to read how foreigners explore Peru and share their journey with the world. In a recent local Colorado newspaper “Summit Daily News” reporter Megan Wheat documents her trek to Machu Picchu. It was great to read how she summarizes her trip:

Our journey through Peru was simply put — an adventure. For me, Machu Picchu was the highlight, and provided education and exploration. In Peru, the culture is rich, the faces friendly, and the ruins and Incas who built them, wondrous.

To read about this reporter’s journey to Peru, and to get her great traveler’s tips, click here.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 26, 2009 at 11:05 pm