Peruvians have been living in the United States since 1849. As with all other nations, the Peruvian contributions to the United States have been substantial. From sports champions, war heroes, writers, astronauts, photographers, activists, composers to Hollywood stars; it is commendable that a small Peruvian community has accomplished so much and contributed significantly to the greatness of America.
Here are only a few facts about Peruvian Americans.
1. Peruvians In the US- We Are A Small Community
The 2014 U.S census reported that there are approximately 626,000 people of Peruvian origin living in the United States. Peruvian Americans conform a rather tiny section of Latinos in the US. Pew Research revealed that Peruvians represent 1.1% of the entire U.S Hispanic population, which puts them in 11th place on the chart headed by Mexican Americans, who amount 33.5 million.
2. The Majority Of The Peruvian Community Was Born On Peruvian Soil
67% of Peruvians in the US were born in Peruvian territory. The rest were born in the United States. Before the 1960’s, US Censuses did not register Latinos by nationalities, making it harder to keep track of Peruvians.
3. The First Peruvian Immigrants In the US Came During The California Gold Rush Era
Gold Miners in California-Image Source: Southern Memories
The first Peruvians immigrated to the United States as laborers during the California Gold Rush in 1849. The Gold fever brought more than 300,000 gold seekers from America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America (mainly Peruvians and Chilean).
The Gold Rush era was particularly violent. Many Peruvian, Chilean and Chinese immigrants were racially targeted. According to historian Jill Cossley, one in every twelve immigrants were murdered by xenophobic vigilantes of the Wild, Wild West.
4. Daniel Alomia Robles: One Of the First Honorable Peruvians
Image Source: Radio Cumbre
Only a few Peruvian adventurers emigrated to America in the early 1900’s. One of them was the composer Daniel Alomia Robles, who arrived in New York City in 1919. Before coming to the US, Robles had been an “anomaly.” While many Peruvians despised musical folklore, Robles traveled around Peru and learned from indigenous musicians.
Once in New York, Robles applied his genius. Although he struggled financially, his compositions were performed in a series of concerts in the NYU in 1930. The New York Times wrote “Robles had a considerable natural talent” assuring that his music was based on “indigenous tunes which were about 3000 years old.” Robles is famous for his beautiful composition “El Condor Pasa”, which was later compiled by the American musician Paul Simon.
5. Yma Sumac, A Famous Peruvian Singer In The United States
Image Source: Pinterest
Zoila Chavarri del Castillo was born in Callao, Peru in 1923. She repeatedly said she was a direct descendant of Inca nobility. Zoila was gifted with an extraordinary voice and recorded an album of Peruvian folk songs which became a hit on the radio. However, in 1946, she moved to New York City with her husband, a band leader.
Zoila had already adopted her mother’s name, Ima Sumac, which in Quechua means “How beautiful!” In New York, Yma Sumac was signed by Capitol Records and became a success, with performances in the Carnegie Hall and starring in Hollywood films such as “The Secret of the Incas”, along Charlton Heston. She toured Europe and the Germans were particularly fond of her. Yma Sumac is the only Peruvian who has a star on the famous Hollywood Walk Of Fame
Image Source: Benjamin phillips
6. The Plight of the Peruvian Nisei: The Peruvian Japanese Were Placed In US Internment Camps During World War II
Group of Japanese Peruvians interred in the US during WWII-Image Source: Hawaii Herald
The Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor didn’t only affect Japanese Americans, but also the Japanese Peruvians. After Pearl Harbor, the United States ordered all Latin American countries to detain their Japanese residents and transfer them to the United States. Japanese Peruvians, an entrepreneurial and successful community, were stripped of their properties and arrested. 600 properties owned by the Japanese were burned to the ground by Peruvian bigots. Around 2,000 Peruvian Japanese citizens were sent to the United States and interned in camps in Texas and New Mexico.
Once the war was over, the Peruvian government refused to take them back. The majority of them stayed in the United States or were deported to Japan.
7. Arthur Chin, A Peruvian Hero In World War II
Image Source: Gallery Hip
During the Japanese Invasion of China, a group of American pilots was sent to fight against the Japanese. Peruvian American Arthur Chin was one of them. Chin was born in Oregon in 1913; his father was Cantonese and his mother Peruvian.
Between 1937 and 1939, Arthur, who was an extraordinary pilot, was able to destroy nine Japanese aircraft. After that, he continued fighting, flying a Gloster Gladiator plane that the British Royal Army facilitated him. However, in a 1939 battle, his plane was hit by the enemy and exploded. Arthur parachuted to safety but his body was seriously burned. He spent several years enduring painful surgery and rehab. When the war was over, Chin worked as a postal worker in Portland.
The US government awarded him the order of the Distinguished Flying Cross. After his death, Chin was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the American Airpower Heritage Museum.
8. After World War II, Another Wave Of Peruvians Emigrated To The United States
After World War II, upper-class Peruvians began traveling to the United States to enroll in American universities. Also, in 1950, a community of Andean women and peasants emigrated to the United States, according to professor Karten Paerregard. They were employed as domestic workers for middle and upper-class Americans and some Peruvian families.
9. A New Flow Of Peruvians Emigrated To The US Since 1960
Image Source: Listen Recovery Group
During the 1960’s, political instability at home convinced more Peruvians to migrate. President Fernando Belaunde made bad economic decisions: the Peruvian currency, El Sol, was drastically devaluated. Meanwhile, there were rumors Belaunde had set up paramilitary groups that had been wiping out indigenous and Amazonian villages.
Working class Peruvians emigrated to the United States and mainly settled in New Jersey (Paterson) and California to be employed in production factories. In addition, middle-class Peruvians, especially a community of doctors from Lima, emigrated to Miami to work in hospitals and setting up private clinics.
10. In The Late 1960’s, A Massive Wave Of Upper-Class Peruvians And The Elite Emigrated To The United States
Peruvian Dictator Juan Velasco Alvarado-Image Source: Cronica Viva
What happened then? President Fernando Belaunde was ousted by a military coup in 1968. General Juan Velasco Alvarado led a socialist regime that empowered the Peruvian peasants. Yet, his rule soon degenerated into a dictatorial regime which lasted until 1975. His successor, military president Francisco Morales Bermudez, continued with the repression, censoring the press and sending various politicians into exile.
In summary, the Peruvian elite was severely mistreated. This extended sense of danger provoked a massive flow of upper-class Peruvians into the United States, from 1968 to 1980. The majority settled in Coral Gables and Key Biscayne, in Florida.
11. 1980, the Real Terror Began
A car bomb in Lima-Image Source: Comision de la verdad
On March 17, 1980, in a desolate Andean town in Ayacucho, a group of extremists held a series of meetings. Guided by an obscure Marxist professor, these radicalized individuals conceived a plan to overthrow the government. If you are a Peruvian-American, there is a high probability that you live in America because of that meeting.
This unknown group evolved into “The Shining Path”, a terrorist militia that wreaked havoc throughout the entire nation. The massacres and violence, added to the economic chaos, caused the highest emigration of Peruvians ever recorded in history. A record number of half a million Peruvians emigrated to the US. Moreover, 15,000 Peruvians also emigrated to Canada during this period. The majority of Peruvian immigrants were middle and upper middle class. The poor stayed in Peru and dealt with the chaos as they could.
12. The US Selectivity Towards Peruvians
The Peruvian embassy in Lima-Image Source: La Republica
As scholar Alex Julca stated, during the 1960’s and 1970’s, “Peruvians arrived as tourist visitors. From the early to late 1980s, Peruvians arrived as undocumented immigrants, later becoming legal U.S. residents through the 1986 Amnesty laws.”
Peruvians who emigrated to the US first applied for U.S tourist visas in Lima. During this dark era, the US consulate in Lima turned very selective in granting tourist visas. The applicants needed to show proof of having several bank accounts, a secure job, ownership of many properties, etc. Also, the process to acquire a refugee visa was even harder. The US consulate required substantial evidence that you were targeted by terrorists. While gathering your evidence, many car bombs were exploding along the streets. Peruvians who failed to obtain their visas traveled to Mexico and crossed the border assisted by “coyotes”.
However, things changed when Peruvians crossed the frontier. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 granted a legal status to many Peruvians.
If you wonder why the majority of the war victims were the Peruvian poor, now you have your answer.
13. The Popular Peruvian “Juntas” In the United States
Image Source: Getty Images
If you are a Peruvian immigrant in the US, it is likely you have been invited to participate in a “junta”. A junta is a saving system organized by a group of eight or ten Peruvians. Every member deposits a certain amount of money every week or month, and one member has the right to use the money gathered. Some Peruvians still participate in this credit rotating system, because it is considered a good way to save money.
Juntas are still widely practiced in Peru, and it is something we brought to the US.
14. Florida Has The Highest Amount Of Peruvian Residents
According to the Statista, the Miami-Dade County in Florida has the highest amount of Peruvian American residents, with over 41,000. Los Angeles County, in California, follows in second place with 34,135 residents. Who is next? Broward county, again in Florida, takes the third spot with 23,600 residents while Queens county in New York is fourth with 22,886 residents.
Where is the famous Paterson?
Passaic county, the place known for the Patterson Peruvian community is in fifth place, with only 20,000 residents.
Related Content: Why Everyone Should Go To Peru At Least Once
15. The Procession Of Our Lord Of Miracles: El Señor de los Milagros
Image Source: Miami Archidiocesis
If you are Peruvian, you must know about the procession 0f “Our Lord Of Miracles”; and their popular hymn: Señor de los Milagros, a ti venimos en procesion (Lord of our miracles, we come to you in procession). The tradition consists in carrying a mural of Jesus on the cross along various stations situated in separate neighborhoods. The mural itself was painted by an Angolan slave in Lima, in the 17th century. People attribute many miracles to it. A cataclysmic earthquake in 1655 practically destroyed the entire city of Lima, tearing various buildings to the dust. Surprisingly, the sacred mural remained standing.
The procession is celebrated in Lima in October every year. Likewise, Peruvians in Miami-Dade celebrate their own procession. This is undoubtedly one of the most popular Catholic celebrations for Peruvians around the world.
16. Turron De Doña Pepa, The Most Desirable Dessert For Peruvians
Image Source: Lilia Vanini
In October, there is a high demand for seasonal Peruvian desserts. Such is the case of Turron de Doña Pepa, a layered anise flavored nougat drizzled with syrup and covered with sprinkles and candy. What syrup do they use? Peruvians call it chancaca, a syrup made from cane sugar.
And who was Doña Pepa? She was a handicapped African slave in colonial Lima who, according to legend, was healed after worshiping “Our Lord of Miracles.” The saints also appeared to her and handed her the recipe for Turron. Doña Pepa shared her recipe and the Turron has been enjoyed in Lima ever since.
Years ago, it was pretty hard to find Turron in the United States. Nowadays, it can be ordered online. According to the latest reports, Peruvian Americans spend 68,000 dollars per year in purchasing Turron.
17. October, “The Purple Month”, Is Generally A Season For Cravings Of Particular Desserts
Image Source: Vida Huancaina
October is known as “Mes Morado” (the Purple Month) among Peruvians. It is rather peculiar because it opens a range of seasonal cultural traditions which are only practiced during October. It also marks the opening of the Peruvian Bullfighting season (although it appears such tradition is dying). Other popular craves in October are the”Picarones”(Peruvian donuts glazed in Chancaca) and “Mazamorra Morada con Arroz con leche” (Purple corn flour jello with rice pudding). Other Peruvians prefer Champus, a warm drink made of guanabana, apple, and cinnamon.
Peruvian Restaurants in the US seasonally introduce these items on their menu. Homesick Peruvians taste them and reminisce about their glorious homeland.
18. The Thriving Peruvian Community In Miami Dade County
Image Source: Downtown Miami
The Peruvians of Miami-Dade county are very entrepreneurial, and some made a fortune investing in real state. Although there are also smaller businesses. Restaurants, for example, have increased dramatically in the area. In the last decade, the amount of Peruvian restaurants in Miami-Dade went from 100 to more than 300.
19. The Peruvian Chicken Festival In Miami
Image Source: Miami Herald
Miami Dade County also holds popular events such as the “Chicken Festival.” “El Festival del Pollo” is usually celebrated a week before the anniversary of Peruvian Independence, on July 28. After the Chicken festival is over, Peruvians then have a reason to continue partying even harder.
The festival consists of a culinary exhibition, and a show of traditional music and folkloric dance performances, while Peruvians indulge in tasting the mouthwatering samples of Peruvian cuisine.
20. Hernando de Soto, A Widely Recognized Peruvian Economist
Image Source: Daily News
If you ever visit Peru, you would be staggered by the amount of informal vendors on the streets. Peruvians call them “Los Ambulantes.” Economist Hernando de Soto says Ambulantes are the proof, if we ever needed any, that Peruvians are very entrepreneurial. If Peruvians love business, why is there still so much poverty? De Soto believes the fault lies in their legal structures, which keep the Peruvian poor in the shadows. If the government grants them access to the system, the poor will obtain loans to quickly grow their businesses. De Soto is convinced: “the entrepreneurial spirit of the poor could create wealth on a vast scale”
Time magazine and Forbes named De Soto as one of greatest innovators of the new Millennium. Bill Clinton said De Soto is “the greatest living economist.” After all the innovations and changes produced by the Internet, his book “the Mystery of Capital” is still a fabulous read.
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21. Paterson, New Jersey: A Piece Of Peru In US Soil
Image Source: Quazoo
Paterson does not have the highest amount of Peruvian population. Yet, it is considered to be the capital of the Peruvian Diaspora in the US. Why? It’s rather a matter of quality versus quantity.
Peruvians in Paterson are possessed by an intense patriotism, and they probably feel more Peruvian than many Peruvians living in Peru. In Paterson, residents talk about Peru, eat Peruvian food, listen to Peruvian music, and the slang is widely used. Words such as Paja (cool), chongeando (hang out), cofla (skinny guy), choche (friend), lechero (lucky guy), chibolero (cradle robber), manyas? (you got it?) are still heard in Paterson streets.
They are so patriotic that, during the Peruvian celebrations, they even take the trouble to bring llamas, yes Llamas! to their parades.
Enjoy This Video From RevelacionPeru Of The Peruvian Parade In Paterson New Jersey
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22. The Peruvian Parade In Paterson
Image Source: El Diario NY
The Paterson Parade is the most exciting event for Peruvian Americans. The parade begins on July 28 at noon and runs from Main street to Market Street, in the heart of the Peruvian neighborhood called “Little Lima”. Market Street is itself peculiar for its several Peruvian bodegas, markets, and restaurants where guinea pig dishes are served.
The event itself is expensive. The parade costs the city 75,000 dollars just to provide enough security, police, ambulance and sanitation workers to clean after the event. The Peruvian organizers pay the city 20,000 dollars to obtain the permission to hold the parade. People eat Peruvian food, drink Pisco and have so much fun. If pisco sour is heavily drunk then it is all worth it, right?
23. In Regards Of Home Ownership, No Latino Compares To Peruvians
Pew Research reports that “the rate of Peruvian homeownership (50%) is higher than the rate for all Hispanics (46%) but lower than the 65% rate for the U.S. population as a whole.
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24. Carlos Noriega, The Peruvian Astrounat
Image Source: Flickr
Carlos Noriega is a reputed Peruvian American Astronaut. Noriega was born in Lima in 1959 but emigrated to the US when he was five. After obtaining two master degrees, in computer science and space system operations, Noriega was selected as an Astronaut Corp by the NASA in 1994. He went on his first space mission on board of the shuttle Atlantis in 1997. Noriega went back to space in the year 2000, with the task of building the International Space Station.
Noriega is known by his quote: “Space is the next frontier, and you must know how to work in that environment before you ever want to go any farther.” He enjoys a celebrity status whenever he visits Peru and has delivered many lectures in Peruvian universities. So far, Noriega is the only Peruvian who has been in space.
25. Peruvians Were Also Victims Of the 9/11 Attacks
Family of Kenneth Lira with governor Christie-Image Source: La Voz Nj
On September 11 2001, more than 3,000 people lost their lives victims of the terrorist attacks. Five of those victims were Peruvian Americans Julio Fernández Ramírez, Luis Revilla Mier, Kenneth Lira, Iván Carpio Bautista y Roberto Martínez Escanel.
Perhaps the most tragic story relates to Peruvian Kenneth Lira. Kenneth was an engineer working for a technology company in the south tower of the World Trade Center. On the morning of the attack, Kenneth’s mother and brother, both residents of Paterson, drove to the city to rescue him. All the roads were blocked, and his family watched how the building where Kenneth was in collapsed in a matter of seconds.
One of Paterson’s street is named after him and also, a memorial site was built in his honor. His mother, Marina Arevalo, said: “I think my life ended on September 11, 2001. My son’s memory left us totally changed…We couldn’t find peace, we miss him a lot.”
26. Peruvians Have The Highest Level Of Education Among Latinos
Image Source: Huffington Post
The Pew study also found that Peruvian Americans are highly educated among all Latinos in the US. Twenty-nine percent of Peruvians aged 25 and older obtained at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with only 13% of all US Hispanics. This has an explanation. As mentioned earlier, many Peruvian immigrants were middle and upper middle class. Therefore, their level of education was higher compared to that of Central American immigrants.
27. Peruvians Are The Oldest Of The Youngest Community In the United States
Image Source: Peruvian Parade Inc
Latinos are, by far, the youngest community in the United States. But what about Peruvians? The average age of Peruvian Americans is 35 years old. Interesting trends: although they are younger than the average American (37), Peruvians are the oldest of Latinos. However, this is not too bad. Let’s not forget that if the US Latino population were its own country, it would be the youngest nation in the world.
28. In 1970, A Peruvian Song Became A Hit On American and UK Radio Stations
Image Source: Cd and LP
The Peruvian Daniel Alomia Robles composed the tune, “El Condor Pasa”. This is perhaps the most popular Peruvian song around the world. More than 4000 versions of the song have been released. El Condor Pasa, however, had never been popular in America. This changed when Paul Simon listened to the song during a music festival in Paris, 1965. Simon instantly fell in love with it. He made a cover of the song adding new lyrics and retitled it “If I Could”. Simon released it in 1970 and the song became an instant hit in the US and the UK.
Simon was one of the first who introduced non-western tunes into worldwide massive audiences, thus breaking the racial and cultural barriers in music. Simon is undoubtedly indebted to Peruvian-American Daniel Alomia Robles.
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Related Content: Huayno: How Important Is The Old Inca Music To Peru’s History?
29. A Peruvian Also Translated The American National Anthem Into Spanish
Clotilde Arias-Image Source: BBC
After their victories in World War II, the US sought to strengthen their imperialistic aims. The State department believed that introducing their American National Anthem into Latin America might get them some appeal. The first obstacle, though, was to translate The Star-Spangled Banner into Spanish.
Accordingly, the government opened a contest seeking the best Spanish translation of the Star Spangled Banner. Clotilde Arias, a Peruvian from Iquitos had been living in New York since 1923. She studied music and was an accomplished composer. Clotilde Arias submitted her version of the anthem and won the contest, in 1945. Until this day, Clotilde’s translation remains as the official version of the American National Anthem.
In 2013, the American Museum of Natural History honored Clotilde Arias in an exhibition. The museum displayed Arias’ pictures and also her compositions, praising her uncanny ability for obtaining a “precise translation, which was a difficult task.”
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30. John Wayne, One Of The Greatest American Icons, Fell Madly In Love With A Peruvian Lady
Image Source: Live Journal
And who wouldn’t? In 1953, John Wayne traveled to Lima searching for landscapes to shoot his next film: Los Alamos. During this trip, Wayne casually met Peruvian actress Pilar Pallete. The American legend felt hypnotized by the charm of the Peruvian woman.
Unfortunately for Wayne, Pilar was already married. That same year, though, Pilar traveled to California and met Wayne again. This time their passion was so intense that Pilar didn’t return to Peru. She filed for divorce and married John Wayne a year later in Hawaii. Their marriage lasted 25 years, by far the longest of Wayne’s three marriages. Although they separated in 1975, Wayne never filed for divorce. Pilar remained his legal wife until the day he died, of cancer, in 1979. They had three Peruvian American children: Aissa, Ethan and Marisa.
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31. Daniel Alarcon, The Peruvian American Writer
Image Source: Sf Gate
Alarcon was born in Lima, Peru in 1977. When he was three years old, his family emigrated to Birmingham, Alabama. Alarcon’s family was obliged to abandon their homeland. His uncle Javier, a socialist who criticized terrorism, was murdered by the Shining Path.
After graduating with an Anthropology degree, Alarcon returned to Lima in 2001 as a Fulbright scholar. He interviewed the victims of the war and compiled enough data to write a book of short stories: War by Candlelight.
His stories depict the agony of Peruvians who dealt with poverty and the violence imposed by the Shining Path. Alarcon said: “Peru is a country where more than half the people would emigrate if given the chance… willing to abandon everything for the uncertainty of a life in a foreign land.” Alarcon also believes Peru has made great strides in overcoming racism: “the new generation of immigrants in Lima does not feel the need to deny its Indigenous roots to achieve success. This is something new.”
32. Miami: The “Festival De La Vendimia” Is Another Great Celebration For Peruvians
Vendimia in Surco, Peru-Image Source: La Prensa
Although not celebrated in the same scale as Independence Day, the Festival de la Vendimia is another memorable event. It is held during March to commemorate the grape harvesting season. It consists of a wine tasting event that evolves into a lively dancing and musical festival. The main event happens when the “Wine Queen” beauty pageant and the finalists take their shoes off and tread grapes in a vat to extract the juice. This juice will ferment and eventually turn into wine.
Peruvian Americans in Miami have celebrated this festival since 2014. The last 2015 event gathered more than 2,500 Peruvians.
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33. Alex Olmedo “The Chief”, The Greatest Peruvian Sportsman
Image Source: Histoire du tennis
Alex Olmedo was born in Arequipa, Peru, in 1936. His father was a tennis coach, and Alex often accompanied him to the court. As a five-year-old, Alex enjoyed watching tennis matches and often grabbed the balls flying over the tribune. As a teenager, his victories in small competitions caught the eye of the Peruvian Tennis Federation. At age 18, the Peruvian federation granted him a scholarship to the University of Southern California.
In the United States, Olmedo would become a tennis star. In 1958, Olmedo was recruited to play for the US team in the Davis Cup. The US required a great player since they were to match against the unbeatable Australians. Accordingly, Olmedo won both in the singles and doubles matches, obtaining 2 of the 3 points required to obtain the title.
Sadly, Olmedo’s participation was lambasted by the American press: “This would seem to be the saddest day in the history of American tennis… stooping to borrow a little player from Peru to win the Cup.”
34. Two Peruvians Were Selected As “Playmates Of The Millennium”
Image Source: Pagina Ciudadana
Serious academics have written extensively about the contributions Playboy magazine has made in American culture. The rise of feminism came along other trends that liberated both men and women. Playboy, besides promoting openness and sexual liberation, also shattered the rigid conventions of the religious, hard-working, strict, conservative middle-class family of the 1950’s. Among other factors, Playboy opened possibilities for gender equality and the liberalization of the American family.
Two beautiful Peruvians, Carol and Darlene Bernaola, were selected as “Playmates of the Millennium” in the year 2000.
35. The Majority of Peruvians In The US Has Health Insurance
Health is the greatest wealth. And the majority of Peruvians know it. According to Pew Research, “almost three-in-ten Peruvians (28%) do not have health insurance compared with 30% of all Hispanics.“
36. Most Peruvians Support The Democratic Party
Image Source: Buzzfeed
Before the 2008 U.S Presidential elections, a group of Peruvian Shamans in Seattle forecasted that Obama would be elected President. Their personal favoritism may have influenced their prediction. There is actually no detailed record of the political affiliation of Peruvians in the US. However, in the 2012 Presidential election, Obama obtained an 82% of the Peruvian Vote in Florida, the state with the highest amount of Peruvian Americans.
37. Mario Testino, The Gifted Peruvian Photographer
Image Source: People
“Everyone is aware of the Peruvian Andes and the Incas, but I’m very aware in promoting Lima because it’s a city people should discover”, says Mario Testino, a famous New York-based Peruvian photographer. Born in Lima in 1954, Testino traveled to the United States to study international affairs at the University of San Diego.
Thereafter, Testino moved to London and inclined for a career in photography. His fabulous photos began to appear in Vogue Magazine and Vanity Fair; but he probably gained a further recognition after taking portraits of Princess Diana. Vogue’s international editor said that “Testino’s skill is first and foremost to catch the moment and to bring out the humanity in his subjects”
Testino is the subject of numerous books, and he was the official photographer for the engagement of Prince Willian and Catherine Middleton in 2010.
38. Emmanuel Piqueras: The Chef Of “Panca”, A Fabulous Peruvian Restaurant In New York
Image Source: Alejandra Martins
Peruvian Chef Emmanuel Piqueras has the greatest of schools. Piqueras worked alongside the world-renowned Master Chef Juan Maria Arzac in Spain for a few years. Afterward, Piqueras moved to New York and opened Panca Restaurant, with the purpose of presenting “the wide diversity of Peruvian food, using the best and most authentic ingredients.”
Panca is located in the heart of Greenwich Village in New York. In the unforgiving market of New York, where many restaurants open and rapidly shut down, Panca has succeeded due to the quality of its dishes and a loyal clientele.
39. Roberto Carcelen, The Olympic Peruvian Skier
Image Source: Geek Wire
Roberto Carcelen is a Peruvian who emigrated to the US in 2002. Working as a consultant for Microsoft, one day his American wife introduced him to the sport of cross-country skying. He displayed a natural talent and soon found himself competing in international tournaments. Carcelen classified to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia to compete in the Men’s 15 km classic.
Unfortunately, a week before the competition, Carcelen suffered an accident during training. He broke two of his ribs and the doctors advised him not to participate. However, with the natural perseverance of Peruvians, Carcelen decided to compete. The overbearing pain he felt during the race forced him to stop a few times. But in the last turn, before crossing the finish line, he waved the Peruvian flag and received a standing ovation.
40. Q’orianka Kilcher, The Courageous Peruvian Activist
Image Source: Listal
Q’orianka Kilcher was born in Germany in 1990, from a Peruvian father and a German mother. Her family moved to Hawaii when she was two, and has been living in the United States ever since. Her mother is a committed activist and Q’orianka grew up under her example. Q’orianka is also an actress who has starred in various Hollywood films. But Q’orianka is more serious about activism and has devoted her life to seek justice in this world.
When the Peruvian government murdered 41 Amazonian natives in 2009, Q’orianka traveled to Peru to support Amazonians. She said: “I wish I had Obama’s cell phone number because my people are getting massacred over there”. Months later, Peruvian President Alan Garcia visited Obama in the White House. Q’orianka protested outdoors, covering her body with oil and chaining herself to the White House fence. Q’orianka has been arrested several times. But she doesn’t care: “Yes, I’m very proud to be indigenous..and I draw my courage from my love for justice and truth, and I calm my fears by comforting those who are more scared than me.”
41. Some Peruvians Take Huayno Classes In Massachuttes, United States
Image Source: Veronica Robles
It is encouraging when Peruvians who immigrate into this land are determined to preserve our great cultural heritage. Peruvian Americans in Massachutes are an example to follow. After a thorough search, The Veronica Robles Cultural Center is the only place in the United States that gives Huayno classes. Peruvian Americans take their children for them to learn Huayno steps and display their abilities during a show.
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XpatNation is a Social News and Lifestyle magazine, focusing on the insights and experiences on ex-patriots living in The United States. XpatNation brings together the voices, thoughts, perceptions and experiences of the people of the world who have made the USA their home. Using their insight and unique understanding of the global world we live in to discuss culture, lifestyle, Geo politics and the day to day on-goings of this proud and powerful nation.