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July 27, 2011 13:45:08

Video of the Week: Corso Wong 2011

See what you missed at this year's Corso Wong, Lima's big Fiestas Patrias parade

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July 18, 2011 13:13:58

Manos Unidas launches fundraising campaign to help special needs children

One of Manos Unidas' students


Manos Unidas — a non-profit organization for special needs children in Cusco, Peru — kicked off its fundraising campaign for July in order to raise funds for financial aid to support its special needs children.

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July 18, 2011 12:48:58

Marking Nelson Mandela Day in Peru

Nelson Mandela statue in San Isidro, Lima. Photos by author 

By Marie Meyer

I have found Nelson Mandela to be a very, very handy man since moving to Lima almost a year ago.

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May 21, 2010 12:11:16

Wives of ambassadors in Peru join for Ayuda Con Amor gala lunch

Wives of ambassadors in Peru join for Ayuda Con Amor charity event.
Guests of Fatima McKinley, wife of U.S. Ambassador to Peru (sitting, middle), at the Ayuda con Amor charity lunch in Lima, Peru.

Photos by Carsten Korch

Yesterday wives of diplomats, their friends and celebrities gathered to celebrate the annual fundraising event Ayuda con Amor. Several hundred women attended at the South Korean ambassador's residence, where national dishes were served buffet-style and entertainment included a fashion show by designer Michelle Belau and jewelery by Ilaria, and music by singer Jean Paul Strauss.

This year's event was presided by Christine Müller, wife of the German ambassador. Last year's Ayuda con Amor raised $120,000 for local charities, said Fatima McKinley, wife of U.S. ambassador. See photos from the event below.

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May 6, 2010 14:00:03

Crime in northern Peru: Small business owners are also victims of blackmail

El Comercio
Adapted from Spanish by Diana Schwalb

Last Friday night, the Mayor of Aguas Verdes (Tumbes) parked his motorcycle in front of the coliseum where he was going to be part of the jury in a beauty contest. Minutes later his cellphone rang: they were asking 700 soles in return for his bike, which had been stolen.
A common tactic is to rob a car then demand payment from the owner. If the owner doesn't pay, the car is burned. (Photo: El Comercio)
Insecurity in the north of the country is becoming democratic. It is not only important entrepreneurs who receive calls in which strange voices demand ransom to recover a stolen vehicle or an allegedly abducted family member anymore; now, even the authorities are victims. But also the medium, small and micro entrepreneurs. Organized crime is expanding their operations in all sectors of society.

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March 29, 2010 16:07:23

Arrested on the way to college: Two stories of Peruvians detained by U.S. immigration

By Enrique Flor Zapler for El Comercio
Adapted from Spanish by Diana Schwalb

On Friday, March 12, Leslie Cocche was arrested by immigration agents while waiting for the local train in a Fort Lauderdale station.

Arrested on the way to college: Two stories of Peruvians detains by U.S. immigration
Leslie Cocche, shown in her high school graduation photo, was arrested by U.S. immigration officials while going to class at Miami Dade College.
Cocche, 18 years old and Peruvian, arrived with her family to the U.S. in 2001 when she had just turned 10. During her school years, she was an outstanding student with no criminal record, but that morning, while heading to her classes in the criminal justice career at Miami Dade College in downtown Miami, the young woman ended up handcuffed for being undocumented and detained in a prison for immigrants in Broward County.

Although the Obama administration says that immigration agencies focus on intelligent operations to catch illegal immigrants with criminal records, in practice these raids are a growing phenomenon and occur in public places like local trains or soccer fields, places often used by Hispanics.

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March 23, 2010 11:44:05

A Tale of Three Thefts, from Texas to Lima

By Marie Alvarez-Calderon

A Tale of Three Thefts, from Texas to Lima
Three thefts — one in Texas and two in Peru — shed light upon the justice system for victims of robbery in both countries.
“Help! Someone stole my laptop!” a local businessman yelled. “It was there less than a minute ago.” Although the Starbucks was filled with people enjoying their mid-morning cup of joe, no one saw the sly thief. The startled laptop owner asked for a replay of the security recording, but there was none. An outside camera showed a portly, middle-aged man walking out of the shop and approaching another man, who got into a car and drove away. That was it. The beloved laptop had vanished into thin air. The owner could only wonder whether he would see his laptop again, and if found, the process he might face to retrieve it. The story brought to mind stories of earlier thefts: one in the U.S. and two in Peru.

Years ago in Austin, Texas, a U.T. student’s apartment was robbed. Returning from class he found that his few possessions, including a recently-purchased RCA color TV, had been stolen. He asked his neighbors if they had seen anything, and to his surprise, one of them had noted the car’s license plate number and details.

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March 22, 2010 12:07:13

Love is in the Air: Public affection abounds in the streets of Lima is in the Air: Lima, the capitol of public affection
Lovey dovey in Lima. click to enlarge is in the Air: Lima, the capitol of public affection
"I love you Tessy." click to enlarge
Essay and photos by Rodney L. Dodig

Love can be seen everywhere, whether you are in New York, Paris, Lima or any other place in the world. Be it the mating dance of a couple of birds or the sweet embrace of lovers in a park, you see it where ever you go.

Peruvians seem to take amour even more seriously than the French. You can’t walk though a park or down a street without seeing people holding hands, hugging or kissing. Low secret conversations are whispered in lover’s ears accompanied by long soulful stares into each other’s eyes. Young men possessively drape their arms either over their girlfriend’s shoulders or hold them by their waste as they walk down the street. The young ladies shyly avert eye contact and giggle at any comments made by the young man. Older couples hold hands and give each other loving looks, sharing the occasional kiss as they walk along the street. Their lifetime together is a testament to everlasting love.

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March 22, 2010 11:23:28

The Peruvian Art of Rocking: An essay by Mario Vargas Llosa

By Mario Vargas Llosa
Originally published in Spanish in  
Translation by Kenneth Hermse

This morning, at lunchtime, I listened to my daughter Morgana retell the tales that they were told, her and Stefan, her husband, by Cable Magico to justify their delay in installing their cable television system. They swore that they would come this afternoon, tomorrow, tomorrow afternoon, and never do.  Sick of so many tales, they have decided to pass themselves onto the competition, Direct TV, to see if they are more punctual.

Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian writer and public intellectual
Mario Vargas Llosa, writer and public intellectual.
What happened to Stefan and Morgana has had me recalling over several hours the astonishing story of Ventilaciones Rodriguez S.A. that I lived and endured for almost twelve months, here in Lima, like a thirty-year-old joke. We had bought a house in the corner of the city that we wanted, in front of the sea in Barranco, and an architect friend, Cartucho Miró Quesada, had designed the studio of my dreams on the entire second floor: bookstands, a huge desk with a very thick surface, a set of armchairs where I could converse with my friends, and a chimney, alongside which there would be a comfortable sofa and a good reading lamp.

Circumstances dictated that the most memorable piece of the study was, with time and for unforeseen reasons, the chimney. It was metal, airy and cylindrical and Cartucho had designed it like a sculpture. Who would make it? Someone, perhaps Cartucho himself, recommended that indescribable company of the air-conditioned appellative: Ventilaciones Rodriguez S.A. I remember that afternoon perfectly, at the hour of sundown, in which the owner and manager, the engineer Rodriguez, appeared in my still non-existent studio to sign the contract. He was young, energetic, talkative, ferociously likeable. He listened to the architect’s explanations, surveyed the plans with a seer’s vision, commented on two or three details with the sureness of an expert and sentenced: “The chimney will be ready in two weeks.”

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March 10, 2010 10:05:06

Meeting up on Peruvian time

By Mike McGhee

I thoroughly enjoy the people, lifestyle, food, history and everything Peru has offered me in the past. The people are very nice and they always try to help you and make you feel comfortable. As a gringo with limited Spanish skills, I am always pleased with how willing people are to try to understand you and help you accomplish your needs. I look forward to more experiences and adventures and I enjoy living in Peru.

Let's meet up in Peru. On Peruvian timeOne of the things I learned very early in my visits to Peru was that the meaning of time has a different definition than in the USA. In this essay time will be defined as when you agree to meet someone.

My experience in Peru has been that whenever you agree to meet someone at a specific time there usually is a grace period of up to two hours, which is always subject to the mode of transportation and traffic. In Lima, the traffic may be challenging (ask anyone…or everyone). Each person and situation will be different. When my friend met his wife for the first time, he waited over two hours for her to arrive and he still says he would wait two days in the rain for her.

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