A week before Peru\‘s Fiestas Patrias, we asked our readers what Peru means to them. Below are some of the responses that we received.
“I SALUTE YOU, my beloved country, in the month of our independence. Living far from you is painful. I can see your wonderfully diverse people in my mind, your magnificent geography, your archeological wonders, your history, your admired traditions, your PISCO and your food. I can really smell and taste it in my mind. Nobody and nowhere are comparable to you. You are great, among the greatest! HAPPY 28th OF JULY! And like our very famous pilot, JORGE CHAVEZ, THE FIRST EVER TO FLY OVER THE ALPS, once said: ARRIBA, SIEMPRE ARRIBA HASTA LAS ESTRELLAS!!! My devotion to you is eternal.”
“Peru is where I grew up … It is my first home — first in Lima and then in Yarinacocha near Pucallpa. I arrived with my parents in 1950 — was in and out of the country until 1967 — Then 20 years later returned for the first time — and have been back several time since. I celebrate my years in Peru with other "Peruites" — Canadians, Brits, Americans, and others — the children of those that worked with El Instituto de Verano in Peru — every year as close to el 28 as we can get — We sing the national anthem and eat the many Peruvian foods and beverages that we all bring and share….
I adore Peru- not a perfect country – but who is? But perfectly beautiful; beautiful diversity in peoples, cultures, languages, landscapes.
I have always thought myself to be "media peruana". ¡Viva el Peru!"
"What does Peru mean to me?
Peru means my roots, my family, part of my identity. After having lived the last 20 years of my life in London and being back in Peru only over a year ago, I realise how much I had forgotten about my experiences of childhood, those memories in the highlands near Tarma, the countryside, the nice smell of flowers…
Unfortunately, the big social differences still exist, the economic growth can be seen in many nice places in Lima but not in Huancavelica, Cañete or Tayabamba…
What is nice is that all Peruvians are proud of our gastronomy, our Pisco, our diverse musical tradition. I am proud of being Peruvian and I am back working in my field, education, I aspire to a better quality state education and I am here to contribute with "a granito de arena".
I see myself as a mediator of Peruvian and British cultures, and just like other Peruvians coming back to Peru after living many years abroad, we can make a contribution to our dear country."
"1. Peru means new and loved family members via my wife, Pilar.
2. Peru means new friends and acquaintances.
3. Peru means Cieneguilla where our new home will soon be finished.
4. Peru means Mesa de Piedra where I enjoy relaxing at lunch with my brother-in-law, Moises, eating and drinking Tacama Seleccion Especiale.
5. Peru means I can\‘t wait to get back and try some of the restaurants I\‘ve been reading about in Living in Peru!
6. Peru means Iquitos and Pucallpa where I have enjoyed many meals at the various restaurants and at the homes of new friends.
7. Peru means a wonderful country, culture and a wonderful people with whom I want to immerse myself in."
"Even though, I was not born in Peru, I consider myself Peruvian because my mother is Arequipeña. I look forward to each time I travel to Peru to visit family and friends, and I am due, because my last visit was in 2004. Everyone should visit Peru with its culture, people, food, and a beautiful country to see so many beautiful sights. Once they visit, they will to declare themselves Peruvians.
Yes, I am proud to be Peurvian….Yo soy americano, pero mi corazón es peruano."
"Peru means the country where I was born and I feel proud of, a place that I keep in my heart because it holds many, many great memories of the most beautiful times of my childhood. A place where you can expose all human\’ senses to the best things God ever created. The food is super-delicious and I can\‘t wait to visit Peru again."
Note: Entries have been edited for brevity and clarity.