Friday, April 9, 2010

Chiclayo’s 175th Anniversary

The celebration of Chiclayo’s 175th anniversary kicked off with a press conference and anniversary proclamation last Saturday April 3rd and will finish on Saturday April 17th with several activities, concluding with music in the park in the evening.

Today’s event was the typical artisan exposition in the Elias Aquirre Park preceded by visiting dignitary speeches, with Peru’s Minister of Tourism Martin Perez Monteverde giving the opening speech. He said he was born in Piura to the north, and though he now lives and works in Lima he still feels like a northerner. I’ve noticed that Chiclayo seems to be getting a lot of attention lately from Lima. Probably being one of the fastest growing cities in all of South America has something to do with that.

Surprising for me was the visitors from Chile. Relations between Chile and Peru can still occasionally get frosty, and yet here were artisans and tourism representatives from Chile displaying their wares alongside the Peruvians. It’s my understanding that people from Ecuador have been invited to take part in several of next week’s activities.

And then we have Susanne. She arrived in Chiclayo as I recall two months ago from her home country Germany via Ecuador. When we met her she was wearing on her back a pack slightly smaller than a refrigerator; had been in the same clothes for 25 hours and said she would ‘kill for a shower.’ We took her to our apartment where she showered, ate and took a brief nap. Then we promptly lost track of her until bumping into her today at the celebration. She has a job with a tour company and spends her off hours trying to improve her Spanish and partying – not necessarily in that order. She told me she’s been here longer than she’d expected and feels it’s time to move on, though she has no idea to where. She also thinks Peruvian men are too short.

Susanne was seated with Maribel and me during the opening ceremony. During a break the master of ceremonies came to me for a brief discussion. After leaving me he approached Susanne and asked “What is the name of your father?” Which pretty much dashed any hopes I might have been holding on to for playing a romantic leading man role. Susanne misunderstood him and, thinking he had asked what country she was from, replied “Alemania” (Germany). For the remainder of the festivities the master of ceremonies would occasionally refer to the “Americano, Señor Alemania” much to the delight of those present who know me. I didn’t bother to correct him.

This is Ivan Infante Chacon, the mayor of Pica, Chile. He gave a speech that, although I didn’t understand it, was apparently inspiring based on audience reaction. Either that or the Peruvians were doing their part to try to improve relations. The mayor is a likeable guy and didn’t seem to mind having his picture taken. After the photo he invited me to visit Pica, adding “bring Señora Alemania with you.” I didn’t bother to correct him.

Señor Alemania


  1. lol!! This part better be in that book you aren't writing. ;)

  2. Good comments and photos. We would love to have you submit a photo (max 600px) and blurb on our new site, Get a nice link back to your blogs! Our readers will enjoy your submissions.

    David and Lin

  3. Or could I just include an excerpt and one of your photos and a link to you?

    Que le vaya bien,

    Los Organos, Piura

  4. LOL, we are still laughing, Senor Alemania.

  5. David - I just sent an email to you. Sorry for the delay.