The Afro-Peruvian Capital of Peru

Journal Entry:

Moving to a new place is never easy. However, one of the best ways to integrate culturally is to become part of the community. Have you ever moved to a new neighborhood and didn’t know any other kids to play with? Or maybe you had to try a new food that you didn’t want to? Or play a new sport, or go to an event that you didn’t feel comfortable in? This is all part of the process of being abroad and learning about a new culture.

When I first moved to Peru, I barely spoke any Spanish and didn’t know anyone here. I had no idea what food Peruvians ate, how to get around on public transportation, how to greet people, and many other things. Luckily, I arrived with a group of other volunteers as part of the Peace Corps. We received three months of training about Peruvian culture and how to speak Spanish. After three months, I moved to my site on the southern coast of Peru and lived with a host family. We have a fluffy white dog named Lyka, who became my new best friend. My host family gave me lots of advice on how to get to the market, what typical prices of food should be, how to find the bank and the post office, and practice Spanish with me. They helped me become part of the community by bringing me to birthday parties, teaching me how to dance festejo (a festive form of Afro-Peruvian music), and how to cook some traditional Peruvian plates.