Tuesday, January 3, 2017

San Jose’s 160th Anniversary

Though the area presently occupied by the city of San Jose was populated before written history, it was on January 2 1856 that a resolution was officially passed recognizing San Jose as a district. At that time San Jose was the only port city in the entire Lambayeque Region. And given Peruvian’s penchant for formality we can assume that a ceremony not too different from yesterday’s activity took place, perhaps on the same spot.

The day began with an 8:00 AM mass at the city’s only church, located directly across the street from city hall. The mayor, local dignitaries and invited officials from neighboring districts were in attendance.

Following mass the event location shifted to Miguel Grau park; the city’s main park, where an officer stiffly marched to the mayor’s front and asked permission to begin the day’s activities. Permission being granted, a band began playing martial music while officials were introduced, and citizens who had made contributions of some sort to San Jose during the past year were recognized.

Maribel and I were presented with a plaque in appreciation for Promesa Peru’s donation to the pronoei in the village of Bodegones last October. We are looking forward to working with the mayor and his staff this year to help other needy schools in the San Jose district.

Other attractions yesterday were displays of local artisan’s crafts, music by a band that had recently formed in the city, food – there is always lots of food at any Peruvian activity, and two very good marinera dancers, shown in the photo along with our friends Juanita and Mark who said they enjoyed the experience.  

San Jose has not seen much progress since that day in 1857, and it could be said that it has regressed as it is no longer a port city. New houses are not made of adobe anymore but they are of the same design and simplicity. There are no hotels or commercial enterprises. It is first and foremost still a fishing city, backed up by boat builders and net makers. Life is simple, and one gets the feeling San Joseans like it that way.

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