Saturday, December 12, 2015

Ley de Retorno: How the Peruvian Government is Trying to Get Peruvians to Come Back to Peru

One of my most popular posts of all time is how to get Peruvian citizenship. I thought this post might benefits Peruvians like me who have left. (I got citizenship in early 2009 and left in early 2010. I haven't been back since.) I saw a poster about the Ley de Retorno when I went to the embassy a bit ago here in Seoul. Since so many Peruvians have gone abroad and not come back, their human capital is diminishing. They're trying to do something to entice people to come back.

The complete name of the law is Ley de Reinsercion Economica y Social para el Migrante Retornado and is number 30001 and there are monetary and social benefits. For the monetary benefits there are no taxes on cars up to $30k, household goods up to $30k, instruments, machines, equipment, and capital assets up to $150k when you repatriate to Peru. For the social benefits, they will help you find loans, jobs, with certification, and assistance with psychological and social integration.

In order to qualify for the monetary benefits you must be a Peruvian who has lived abroad for at least 4 years. If you have to leave the foreign country due to immigration issues then they lower it to 2 years. For the social benefits you must be a Peruvian who has lived abroad for at least 3 years. If you have to leave the foreign country due to immigration issues then they lower it to 2 years.

You can find out more about this law on RREE, Ley de Retorno, Facebook, or


Monday, November 23, 2015

2015 Peru Inspired Gift Guide

If you're looking for Peru inspired gifts, you've come to the right place! Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Food and Drinks
Paneton and hot chocolate is a staple during the Christmas season. Don't forget a Peruvian mug. While some might snub their nose at fruitcake (paneton), Peruvians love it. Drinking hot chocolate during summer might seem odd, but hey, it's Christmas, so why not?

If you want to buy a unique non-alcoholic drink for someone, try Inca Kola. It's what Coca Cola is to the USA and what Irn Bru is to Scotland. Chicha morada is a drink made from purple corn. Although it sounds weird, it's really good and unique to Peru.

For the cook in your life, Peruvian cookbooks are the way to go. They'll find great recipes like ceviche, lomo saltado, aji de gallina, papa rellena, and much more.

Blankets and Throws
When people think of warm winter blankets, they often think of wool. Alpaca is superior than wool since it is softer, warmer, and has no lanolin which means it's hypoallergenic. It makes great blankets and throws with rich colours. It's great for cozying up on the couch and drinking hot cocoa, from a Peruvian mug, of course.

Pima Cotton 
Peru has quality material such as alpaca and pima cotton. When buying cloth, don't skimp on the price since you will get what you pay for. Although something might be more expensive, it will probably last much longer than the cheaper item and therefore save you money in the long-run.

Famous throughout the world, pima cotton is used to make many things such as sheets, clothing for kids and babies, as well as shirts for adults.

Shoes and Accessories
Inkkas is a great company that uses local resources and gives back to the community. Their shoes are handmade by artisans in Peru using ethically sourced material from South America. The result is sustainable footwear with rich colours and unique designs.

Peruvian jewelry ranges from fine jewelry to woven handicrafts. Bracelets featuring the Nazca Lines and a Tumi pendant make pretty, unique gifts.

More Gifts
If you're looking for more ideas, here are other Peru inspired gift guides I've written.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Renewing a Peruvian Passport vs Having a Peruvian Passport Issued

Image source
One of my most popular posts of all time is how to get Peruvian citizenship. Getting a Peruvian passport (once you get citizenship) is a fairly straightforward process and they are valid for 5 years. If you're in Peru, you can get it within a day. Once you get your first passport, there are two options for the next passport you get: you can renew your current passport or having a passport issued. I personally always make sure my passports are valid. You never know when you will travel to Peru! And being a Peruvian will get you discounts at Machu Picchu.

There are different steps and outcomes for renewing a Peruvian passport whether you're in Peru or abroad.
  • If you're in Peru, they will simply turn your passport over and open it up. On the last page they will add a new front page with your photo and data. 
  • If you're abroad they will find the first blank page and put an ink stamp it in, wrote down the necessary information, and then put some postal stamps in it that represent the fee you paid. 
  • The pros of this are that if you're abroad you don't have to wait 3 months for a new passport or get a new photo taken. This option is also a little bit cheaper than getting another passport. 
  • The cons are that when you travel, immigration officers open up your passport and think it's expired. 

Having a Peruvian passport issued is the same as when you get your first passport. You will get a whole new passport.
  • The pros are that you can update your photo and don't have to deal with confused immigration officers.
  • The cons are that it's more expensive (by just a little bit) and that if you're abroad be prepared for it to take 3 months (more if there are holidays). 


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Registering Your Peruvian Divorce Back Home

Image source
Updated 21 December 2016

Once you finish getting divorced in Peru, you're going to want to register your divorce back home. More likely than not you're going to have to do the same thing you did when you registered your Peruvian marriage back home.

If you get divorced in Peru it will not automatically show up on your records back home. What you do depends on where you're from.

When your divorce is finalised you will some official documents. I got a a "registro personal" and an "acta de concilacion extrajudicial". The first translates to a personal registration which basically says you're divorced. The second breaks down the division of property, custody, alimony, and child support.

You may think that with this you will be considered divorced and you might be, depending on your nationality. Some countries will accept an apostillised copy of these documents and you can register your Peruvian divorce back home.

Others won't. If you're Peruvian, these documents are NOT enough to show that you are divorced. You need to complete one more step in order to register your divorce in Peru. You need to take these documents to RENIEC and have them register your divorce. You can then get a copy of your divorce certificate. If you got married in Peru, then they will print out your marriage certificate and in the margins there will be a note stating that you got divorced. If you didn't get married in Peru, they will print out a document stating the details of your marriage and also include the divorce in the margins. This document is what you need if your country doesn't accept the other divorce documents you got from the courts. 

If you're from the US, they usually don't ask for official translations or apostillisations. Personally, I would still get my Peruvian documents notarised, apostillised, and translated. If your country is in the Hague Agreement, like the US and the UK, there's less paperwork for you to do. If your country isn't in the Hague Agreement, like Canada, then there are some extra steps you will have to do. Here's a guide on how to use Peruvian documents abroad. Double check and ask the embassy of that country if there are any other steps you need to take.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Machismo and Catcalls in Peru

Although some men and even women may consider catcalls and piropos (come-ons) to be compliments, many more would disagree. It's sexual harassment and sadly a big part of Latin culture. Here's a video showing why this is not ok.

Image source


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Reader Request: Registering a Foreign Marriage in Peru

Congrats on your marriage! I get a lot of emails asking me how to register a foreign marriage in Peru when one of the spouses is Peruvian. This information was originally posted here and I've re-posted it below.

Image source
You will have to register your marriage in the country where you got married (probably at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and then go to the Peruvian consulate or embassy and register it with them. Do this as quickly as possible because there may be a time limit. If possible, get a couple marriage certificates. You will need a new marriage certificate every year in order to renew residency.
After you register it at the consulate or embassy, they will then give you a Peruvian marriage certificate.

Ask them if your marriage will be registered with RENIEC. If it will not be registered with RENIEC, then you will also have to do that when you get here. When you come to Peru, you have between 30 and 90 days to register your marriage depending on the person you talk to.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Corruption Gone Wild in Peru

Someone recently sent me a link to this article which talks about political corruption in Peru. It's an eye-opening article which discusses three of the past presidents and other political figures in Peru. Although Peru has come a long way in recent years, it still has a long way to go. You can read the article at the CS Monitor or below.

Corruption gone wild? Peru's political indictments reach from top office down. From three former presidents under investigation for charges for money laundering to selling pardons, and over 90 percent of Peru's mayors accused of corruption, Peru is facing systemic corruption.

By Jeremy McDermott, InSight Crime Elyssa Pachico, InSight Crime September 10, 2014

• InSight Crime researches, analyzes, and investigates organized crime in the Americas. The views expressed are the author's own. 

One former Peruvian president is now facing charges of money laundering, another of selling pardons to drug traffickers, and a third is in prison, while a serving congressman has been linked to a Mexican drug smuggler, suggesting endemic corruption in Peru's political class.

In an unanimous vote, Congress approved a report by a congressional audit commission that proposes charging former President Alejandro Toledo (who was in office from 2001 to 2006) with money laundering and criminal conspiracy. Mr. Toledo is accused of using funds from a Costa Rican shell company in order to finance his mother-in-law's $5 million purchase of a home and office. Toledo, who has been under investigation since last year, has criticized the accusations, calling them a "political attack" as he plans to run for the presidency again in 2016.

Former president Alan Garcia (1985-90 and 2006-11) is facing possible indictment in the "narco-pardons" scandal, where he is accused of having been involved in selling pardons to convicts, including drug traffickers.

Former President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) is in prison, serving sentences for human rights abuses and embezzlement.

Alongside these scandals involving former presidents, a sitting congressman has found himself mired in controversy. Investigative news magazine Caretas recently revealed that a spokesperson for Toledo's political party, Jose Leon Rivera, rented a beach house to a man police say is a Mexican drug trafficker responsible for the largest seizure of cocaine ever confiscated in Peru.

While the congressman initially denied knowing the alleged trafficker, Rodrigo Torres, a police surveillance video released by Caretas purportedly shows the two meeting outside the house. After the video's release, Mr. Leon admitted that he did meet with his tenant on several occasions, but did not know of his involvement in drug trafficking.

InSight Crime Analysis 
The ongoing probe into Toledo's financial affairs may soon accompany a deeper investigation into Leon's dealings with the Mexicans. Added to this is the fact that over 90 percent of the country's mayors are under investigation for corruption and you have what appears to be systematic corruption in Peru's political world, reaching the highest levels.

Another current challenge for this Andean nation is cleaning up the pool of candidates who plan to run during the upcoming gubernatorial and mayoral elections scheduled for Oct. 5. The Interior Minister has previously said they've identified 115 candidates who are linked to drug trafficking cases, as well as 345 candidates who've already been convicted of a crime.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Reader Request: Proxy Marriage in Peru

From Weare
Updated 12 September 2015

I've had people ask me if they can do a proxy marriage in while living in Peru. To start with, a proxy marriage is when one person gives someone POA* to get married on their behalf. A double proxy marriage is when both people give other people POA* to get married on their behalf. Here's another article I wrote with more information about proxy marriages and common questions about them, such as whether they're legal.

The short answer is yes, you can do a proxy marriage while living in Peru. I know the US does them and does not require people to be US citizens. Here are some companies which perform proxy marriages in the US. One of you (unless one of you is active duty US military) will have to actually go to Montana and the other person can sign over power of attorney. You'll have to pay the company about $600-$800, which seems like a lot, but it's cheaper than an actual wedding. If you plan on using the American marriage certificate in Peru then you will have to register your foreign marriage in Peru. Here are steps telling you what to do. You can check with your home country to see if they allow them and what you would have to do.

Proxy marriages at Peruvian municipalities
Contact the nearest muncipality and ask if they allow proxy marriages. In addition to all the regular documents you need to get married, you would need to give someone POA*. You might need to hire a lawyer and get the correct POA* drafted up. It will be in Spanish so if you don't understand Spanish make sure you give the POA* to someone you trust. You could give the power to a friend in Peru or to a lawyer. You would then have to sign it at the Peruvian embassy or consulate nearest you and send it to Peru where it would be registered. Then you can do everything that is required in order to get married.

Non-proxy marriages in Peru
If you just want to get married in Peru and not live there, you might want to look at having a destination wedding in Peru.

If you want to get married in Peru and live there, then should look at the following articles:
* power of attorney


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The 1-2-3’s of Adapting to Life in Lima

The following is a guest post by Alan LaRue. He is the founder of the website and the online school. He has lived in Peru since 1995. There are a number of good books about Peruvian history, such as the New York Times Best Seller: Turn Right at Machu Picchu and The Last Day of the Incas.  

The 1-2-3’s of Adapting to Life in Lima
So, you have decided to relocate to Lima, Peru and you are doing your research to smooth your transition. Good for you! This webpage is a great source of information and I was pleased to be asked to contribute a guest post with some advice for newcomers.

I have lived in Lima for more than 20 years now, and over the past two decades I have seen countless foreigners move here, and I see how some adapted much better than others. Based on their experiences - and my own lessons learned – I´d like to offer you a few shortcuts to adapting to life here. After all, the faster you adapt, the faster you can get on with the chore of making a living, raising your kids, or just living the adventure of a new life in an exciting country, all despair of culture shock.

Step One – Do Your Research 
There are three web pages that stand out from the crowd in terms of providing advice for foreigners relocating to Peru. These are The Ultimate Peru List, Expat Peru and Lima Easy. Take some time and read all that these web pages have to offer; they are all based on personal and collective experience, and while some of the information you find might be out-dated, these three webpages are a tremendous resource.

Besides reading these pages, my advice is that you spend some time reading up on Peru´s economy. The best source I have found is the data rich Peru Business and Investment Guide. Follow the link and download the PDF: you will be amazed at how much information is included here. This guide book is chock-full of charts and graphs gleaned from the World Bank, the Central Bank of Peru, the Peruvian statistical agency INEN, and a host of other reputable sources. When you read it you will gain an overview of the Government of Peru, and the country´s geography, demographics, trade agreements, economic sectors, taxation rules, investment laws, visas, and an up-to-date directory of the main government and regulatory agencies.

Then, round off your reading with the well-written “Lima: A Cultural History”, by James Higgins. I have read dozens of books on Peru and this one stands out as one of my favorites! The book includes a brief history of Lima, a description of its modernization and change, an overview of colonial houses and monuments, an explanation of the historical center and nice descriptions of the neighborhoods where foreigners most often settle, such as Surco, San Isidro, Pueblo Libre, Callao and Miraflores.

So in conclusion: Do your research. You will feel more confident upon arrival and you will have developed some criteria to help you conduct your own analysis of your new-found home.

Step Two: Connect With People
Ask any psychologist - or your mother for that matter - and you will be told that one of the best ways to keep up your spirits is to surround yourself with friends. This holds especially true when you move to a new country or city because - besides giving emotional support - friends will give you the basic information and tips you need when settling in. With this in mind, I´d like to recommend a few networks where you can find people who want to get to know you, and who are happy to help.

Do you use Facebook? If so, the two must-joins are Expatriates in Peru and Living in Lima – Expat Support. Both have a large community of people who have already relocated to Peru. If you are an entrepreneur, you can also consider joining Expat Entrepreneurs in Lima. These guys organize regular face-to-face meetings where entrepreneurs share their experience and network. If joining a forum is more your thing, I invite you to join the Expat Peru forum (I am the founder) where you will find an archive of thousands of questions and answers.

Besides virtual communities, there are other groups where expats and Peruvians meet in an English-speaking environment. Visit the Lima Toastmasters Club and hone your public speaking skills over a hot lunch and camaraderie. For the religious minded, check out the Union Church of Lima and the Anglican Cathedral of the Good Shepherd. Both are large communities that bring together a wide mix of people from all kinds of backgrounds.

You already know that learning Spanish is a crucial ingredient to your success in Lima, but did you know that you can begin studying Spanish online with a teacher from Lima before you travel? Studying with a teacher from Lima gives you the added benefit of receiving Spanish lessons from someone who also serves as a cultural guide, and who can give you all kinds of practical advice about living in Lima. Allow me to pitch my online Spanish school Web Spanish. Web Spanish is a pioneer in offering private classes online. Opened in 2005, Web Spanish has some of the best Spanish teachers you can hope to find online.

Step Three – Get Your Bearings
One of the best things you can do in your first few weeks in Lima is to treat yourself to a tour of Lima. Clarification: I am not talking about the classic, touristic city tour, but a down-to-earth excursion where you venture into the 4 corners of Lima. Only by doing this can you fully grasp what it means to live in a city of 10 million people, and begin to understand what life if for most of the city´s inhabitants.

 This sounds daunting, but in practice, it is very doable. Taxis are relatively inexpensive here, so ask around and find a reputable driver who can give you an hourly or day rate and explain to him that you want to see Lima up and down, the good and the bad. A full-day tour should cost you around US$60, a small price to pay for such an incredible educational experience. Make sure your driver takes you up to the top of Morro Solar and the Cerro San Cristobal where you can get a bird´s eye view of the city. If you are on a tight budget, you can do the same with using the bus system, but my suggestion here is that you go accompanied by someone who already knows the city well.

Lima is full of museums - some much better than others - but for a newcomer trying to get her bearings, I´d like to recommend three. The first is the Museo de la Gastronomia. There is no other single place where you can get such a good understanding of Lima´s varied and rich cuisine. Then, there is the Cathedral of Lima, which gives you a sense of the important role played by the Catholic Church in Lima´s colonial and republican history. These two museums are within walking distance of one another and can be visited on the same day. Then, go to Miraflores and tour the Huaca Pucclana, a pre-colonial pyramid made of mud bricks with a small site museum. It´s a beautiful location and it will give you a sense of Lima´s pre-colonial history.

I hope this short guide will help you as you relocate. Lima is a fun, exiting city, but not without its challenges. Taking your adaptation process seriously will help you settle in faster and better. Good luck, and enjoy!


Friday, May 22, 2015

A Timeline for Getting Divorced in Peru

Many people email me and ask about getting divorced in Peru. There is no clear-cut answer on how long it will take. My divorce took about 8 months start to finish. We had a child involved and agreed on everything. I believe it would have been faster if my ex hadn't dragged his feet on signing docs.

Image source
There are a lot of factors involved, such as whether you and your spouse agree on things, if you have communal property, and if you have children. Even if your divorce is amicable it's a stressful time for everyone involved. Here are some guides to help you get through the process and keep your sanity.
There are a few things you should keep in mind:
  • You may be able to do a divorcio rapido. If you have communal property or children you will have to do a post-nup. 
  • If you get divorced in a foreign country you can either get divorced again in Peruor register your foreign divorce (exequatur). 
  • You can also hire a lawyer and give them power of attorney.
  • Here is some information about the steps and how long it should take. They say 6-8 months, but plan on it taking longer and costing more since there are always some documents missing. 


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Registering a Foreign Divorce in Peru (Exequatur)

If either of you are Peruvian and you got divorced outside of Peru you can either re-do the divorce in Peru or register your foreign divorce (called exequatur). Depending on your situation it may be easier to get divorced again.

Registering a foreign divorce can take up to 2 years. The Peruvian Consulate in AtlantaDivorcios por Internet, Exequatur Peru, and Mi Divorcio have more info. Both my ex and I are both Peruvians. We got divorced in Korea and decided to get divorced again in Peru rather than register our foreign divorce. Re-doing our divorce from scratch took about 8 months.

Image source
There are a lot of factors involved, such as whether you and your spouse agree on things, if you have communal property, and if you have children. Even if your divorce is amicable it's a stressful time for everyone involved. Here are some guides to help you get through the process and keep your sanity.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Reader Request: Can you Buy Property in Peru without a CE?

From Rederij
People are looking to invest in Peru and one way to do so is to buy property. The housing market in Peru is taking off and many people want to get in on it. For those of you who don't have a CE or Peruvian citizenship, you have to go through an extra step to buy property in Peru. It is illegal to buy property as a tourist, since contracts you sign aren't legally bounding. Make sure you read the fine print and know what you're getting into when you buy property abroad.

The good news is that you just need to get a visa that gives you permission to sign contracts. Once you have that you're good to go and can sign on the dotted line. 


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Voting in Peru, Padron Electoral, and Fines for Not Voting

From Elecciones en Peru
Updated 2 March 2017

All Peruvian citizens living in Peru are required by law to vote; it's compulsory. If you don't vote, you will be fined. Another law concerning voting is Ley Seca, which forbids the sale of alcohol shortly before and after elections.

Peru does 4 things:
  • Requires people to vote
  • Makes the sale of alcohol illegal
  • Has short-term proof of voting
  • Has long-term proof of voting
By doing this, Peru is trying to cut down on corruption and become more transparent.

Changing your address
You MUST vote in the district that is reflected on your DNI. Many people don't bother changing their DNI because it's such a pain to do so. This means that if you live in Lima but your DNI has an address for Arequipa, you will have to travel back to Arequipa to vote. Transportation companies really take advantage of this and jack up their prices.

I highly recommend you change your DNI to reflect your new address so you won't get fined. It usually takes about 3 months to change addresses and they cannot be done about 4 months before any election or 1 month after any election. 

There are exceptions to being fined such as illness, death of a family member, losing yor DNI, natural disasters, and more. ONPE has a complete list of the exceptions. If you're a miembro de mesa you will have to pay more than those who aren't. Different areas of Peru will pay less depending on whether they are classified as a poor area or not. Elecciones en Peru also has more info about different fees for fines. For the October 2014 Elections the maximum fines were S/. 76.

Here is the website to find out if you have any fines. You can also find the form here. There is a guide on YouTube showing you how to check if you have fines. Terra also has a guide telling you how to check if you have fines.

If you live abroad, you don't have to vote, but if you are a miembro de mesa you will have to participate in the elections or get fined. Currently for those living abroad the fines can be up to $64. 

Proof of voting
There are two things that Peru does to prove that you have voted: one is short-term and one is long-term. The day of the elections you're going to see people with ink on their index fingers. This is done in order to prevent double voting.

You will also be given a hologram sticker that will be put on the back of your DNI as proof of voting (sufragio). If you are fined, you will have to go to the Banco de la Nacion en Peru and pay the fine. Someone can pay the fine on your behalf if you give them your DNI. They will not give that person a sticker though. The sticker can only be given to the person whose fine is being paid.

I've heard that some embassies and consulates may allow you to pay the fine there. Someone told me that you can do this at the New York Consulate. I know the Seoul embassy will not allow you to pay. Without the sticker on the back of your DNI, legally you are not able to use it for any transactions in Peru, such as at the bank, at a notary, etc so it's best to pay the fines. Every once in a while they're forgiven, but it's not guaranteed.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Racism on Peruvian TV

From Fotolog
Peru is a melting pot of different cultures and customs, but unfortunately sometimes they clash. La Paisana (Peasant) Jacinta, was a Peruvian woman portrayed by a man. She would dress in typical Peruvian clothing. Toothless, dirty, and uneducated, she did not portray cholos (typical Peruvians) in a positive light. The character was pulled but not before people starting shaming Frequencia Latina.

You can read more about this issue at The Malay Mail Online.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

5 Fantastic Peruvian Drinks

Updated 27 October 2017

Peru has some amazing drinks, both alcoholic and non. Here are 5 drinks that you definitely have to drink if you're going to visit Peru.

From Oster Haztelo Facil
Algarrobina Cocktail
This alcoholic drink is commonly drunk in the north of Peru. Made from pods of algarrobina trees and is similar to molasses. Take that and mix it with whisky or pisco, milk, egg whites, sugar, and vanilla, and you're in for a sweet treat. It's absolutely amazing. You definitely have to try it. It reminds me a bit of Bailey's. It's got that rich, creamy taste to it.

Chicha Morada Juice
From Peru Delights
Made from purple corn, this non-alcoholic drink is enjoyed by children and adults alike. You'll need apples, pineapple, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and lime juice. I've never made it since you can buy it cheaply enough in Peru ready made.Yes, I know. It looks weird. Purple corn. Sounds weird to be drinking corn juice. But I swear chicha morada tastes good, especially when you can get it freshly made with a bit of cinnamon.

From Coca Cola
Inca Kola
Inca Kola is to Peru as Iron Bru is to Scotland. This yellow soft drink beats Coca Cola and Pepsi in sales. It tastes similar to cream soda. Although it's now under the Coca Cola company, Peruvians still love it. If you're in Peru, you definitely have to try it! It's not something I'd drink all the time because it's jammed packed full of sugar, but hey, when in Peru, you gotta do what the Peruvians do. And they drink Inca Kola, so don't fight it.

Maracuya Juice
From Spanish in Peru
As I mentioned in the post about Peruvian fruits, maracuya is also known as passion fruit. When I first got to Peru I heard people rave about how delicious maracuya juice was, so I went out and bought a bagful. At home I patiently tried to peel them. After a while I called a friend who couldn't stop laughing at me. She told me to cut them in half and scoop the inside out. I've always put them in a blender with sugar and water to make juice. Be sure to strain the seeds off before drinking.

From Wall Graf

Pisco Sour
For many years Peruvians and Chileans have argued over the creation of Pisco, but as any Peruvian knows, Pisco is Peruvian. So what better place to try a Pisco Sour than Peru? Made with pisco, eggs, lime juice, angostura bitters, it has a real kick to it. I personally am not a fan of Pisco Sours, but that's just me. With that being said, I still gave it a shot (slight pun, forgive me).

More Info
Here are some more posts that might interest you.
If you're interested in finding out more about Peruvian gastronomy, check out The Fire of Peru and Gaston Acurio's cookbook. There are also lots of Peruvian remedies that use traditional Peruvian foods.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

5 Fantastic Peruvian Grains

Updated 27 October 2017

With all the diets and super food information out there, you've probably heard of some famous Peruvian grains, such as quinoa. Grain is technically a misnomer since they're seeds, legumes, and roots. Affordable and healthy, they're much better than rice. People believe that these grains are anti-aging, anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-hypertensive, and anti-lipedemic. 

Believed to be eaten by people long ago, they invoke thoughts of the ancient Incas. These grains were a staple in their diet. Wonderment and amazement surrounds the Incan culture, similar to that around the ancient Romans and Greeks. To this day scientists still can't figure out how Manchu Picchu was formed, or how the rocks were moved there since that area of Peru doesn't contain any massive rocks. You'll notice that the names of these grains aren't Spanish. They're Quechua. One of the languages spoken by the indigenous people of Peru.

Your local health food store will probably have them, if not you can always order them off iHerb (and get up to $10 off your first order by using code: LNQ216).

Source: Allyson Kramer
This is similar to quinoa, this seed is high in protein and amino acids. It's also a great source of iron and is gluten-free. Make sure you rinse kañiwa thoroughly before cooking. The grains are covered with a bitter coating that must be removed before cooking. Some people say that it's better to lightly toast it and then cover it with water. You'll want to use 1 part kañiwa to 2 parts water and drain thoroughly.

Source: Peru this Week

Better known as amaranth and sometimes referred to as the mini-quinoa, this is also a gluten-free seed. Kiwicha is red, gold, and purple. It's high in fiber and protein and has a number of essential minerals. During the Day of the Dead celebrations, kiwicha is popped and sugar is added to make alegria, a candy.

Source: Veg Kitchen
Technically a herb, since maca has a flour-like consistency, it is often referred to as a grain. Commonly known as Peruvian ginseng, this root has been used as a supplement to help with energy, libido, and hormone balance. You can add maca to cold dishes or drinks, but be careful about adding it to anything hot as the heat can cause it to lose its health benefits. 

Source: The Kitchn
Technically not a grain, quinoa is a seed that is high in protein and doesn't contain gluten. It's easy to cook. Rinse thoroughly! The seeds have a coating on them and if you don't rinse it off the quinoa will taste very bitter. You add 1 part quinoa to 2 parts of water and boil. Once the water reaches a boil, cover the pot, and turn the heat down low. Wait until the quinoa is soft. It should take about 15 minutes. Drain and put back into the pot. This will help it dry out more and make sure the quinoa is fluffy and not soggy. Wait about 15 minutes and serve.

Source: Cuzco Eats
Better than soybeans, this legume is high in protein and amino acids. Sometimes called chocho, it takes longer to make than quinoa, kiwicha, or kañiwa. You'll have to soak it in water for about a day before using. You can eat it whole or mash it, similar to potatoes.

More Info
Here are some more posts that might interest you.
If you're interested in finding out more about Peruvian gastronomy, check out The Fire of Peru and Gaston Acurio's cookbook. There are also lots of Peruvian remedies that use traditional Peruvian foods.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Why Peruvians Put Things Off Until Tomorrow

Growing up I hear the story of the grasshopper and the ants. During the summer the ants worked hard and stored food for the upcoming winter. The grasshopper, on the other hand, played all summer. When winter came he had nothing. Luckily, the ants took pity on him and gave him food. It reminds me a lot of the Peruvian mentality.

Latin America is known for its laid back lifestyle, but this could be too much of a good thing. This lackadaisical attitude meaning that planning is thrown out the window and things are done in a slipshod manner. This goes for roads, bridges, buildings as well as the future, such as planning for retirement. However, you have to take things into stride and try to understand more about Peruvian culture.

Because Peru is generally a warm country, planning really isn't needed and the country can't move forward. There are a lot of theories (source) about why this may be true. If you're really interested in this topic, I recommend reading Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty and How Rich Countries Got Rich and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor.
1. Cold air makes people more vigorous and increases the size of their brain. (Source)

2. Frost makes the soil fertile and crops grow better in places further from the equator.

3. Due to the fact that there are a lot of diseases around the equator people have to spend more time and effort trying to prevent the diseases and can't use their time to do other things.

4. Animals were domesticated away from the equator so those countries have had a head start.

5. People in warmer climates have year-long access to food and can live day by day.

6. Heat makes people lazy. No one wants to work when it's really hot.

7. In cold climates you can't do much during the winter except think.

What do you think?


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Poll Results 2014: How much is your monthly salary?

The 2014 poll was "How much is your monthly salary?" Here are the results.
  • less than $500: 14% with 17 votes
  • $501-$1000: 9% with 11 votes
  • $1001-$2000: 20% with 24 votes
  • $2001-$3000: 13% with 16 votes
  • $3001-$4000: 10% with 12 votes
  • $4001-$5000: 9% with 11 votes
  • more than $5001: 21% with 25 votes
I wonder if they people who voted actually live in Peru. Peru is a developing country and most people there certainly aren't earning more than $5000 a month. Teachers in Peru make less than those in China. You can read the comparison here. I'd say most people living in Peru make about $1000-$2000. People on expat packages would make more, but they're in the minority.


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