Carlos Navaro, a freshman here at Long Reach, moved when he was six from the South American country Peru, known for its famous archaeological sites like Machu Picchu of the ancient Inca Empire. Peru has high mountain ranges and dense tropical forests. Navaro has adjusted to American culture but still expresses his native Peruvian culture here in the US. Navaro moved here “because my parents think America offers more opportunities than in Peru.”
Some differences between the two countries include how “In Peru it’s a lot more crowded than here in America, and the weather is also a lot more warm and rainy,” explained Navaro.
One tradition held by Peruvians is when a girl turns 15 years old a large fiesta is thrown called a Quinceanera. Navaro said, “typically her entire family comes to her celebration and she wears a really nice dress. There’s plenty of food and everyone has a really nice time there. It’s really popular in Spanish culture-especially Peru.” However, such parties were not left behind. “I went to one of my friends Quinceanera one time and it was really fun, like it really brought me back to Spanish culture which I liked; not to mention I had a really good time,” said Navaro of a Quinceanera thrown here in the US.
Food is another cultural aspect that he continues to enjoy. One of the most popular Peruvian dishes is Lomo Saltado, a dish that has rib-eye steak, garlic, salt and pepper, red onions, tomatoes, vinegar, parsley, and steamed white rice. “It’s not too often we make Peruvian dishes, but occasionally my mom makes Lomo Saltado for the family. [It] brings out our Peruvian culture,” said Navaro.
Even though one would think that a country so far away would not be too similar, Navaro states that many holidays are similar. “There’s not too much of a difference between Christmas in Peru and America, except it’s a little more common for people in Peru to attend Church, mainly Roman Catholics.”
Peruvian culture at its core seems to be focused on fun, family, food, and faith.