It’s been 5 days already in Peru. We spent 2 nights in Lima and then came to Chiclayo, another city in Peru where we are going to work helping develop premises, GMPs, SOPs for an educational food processing plant. People here are so warm, polite, welcome, and sweet. Undoubtedly, this is a great experience to get to know Peruvian culture and understand that we have more similarities than differences.
The professors of the IESTP Institute are so professional and very warm facilitators.
We did not imagine the scope that Centennial College had in Peru. I feel very proud of being a Centennial College student as I myself witnessed how hard Centennial College has worked and continue to work towards helping to build a more focused and efficient education system based on the local community’s needs. Even more inspirational is to know that Centennial College’s participation in this type of project had inspired other local and international institutions and organizations to take part in this project. The outcome? Well, more young local people with fewer resources, and otherwise not able to access superior education, are now on their way to college and building a professional career that will enhance their lives and their community in countless ways, and you can feel it when they look at us with grateful faces for us being here.
Hi all, this is Cindy (FLIP Peru, 2019). After 12 hours of travel time, we finally arrived at our hotel in Lima! It was 3am and we were all exhausted so it was straight to bed for us.
After breakfast in the morning, we departed for the Ministry of Education. Here, we were able to share our experiences, hopes, and excitement with the team. We specifically highlighted our diverse FLIP team, both culturally and academically. The purpose of our visit is to help a pilot plant in Illimo build their prerequisite plans and set them on the path to success. Moreover, my personal goal is to immerse myself in all of the Peruvian cultures, from food to customs and traditions. I not only want to share my experiences but to learn as much as I can about our Peruvian partners. After our Ministry visit, we spent the rest of the day immersing ourselves in the food culture and Peruvian markets surrounding our hotel.
Day 2 in Peru was spent exploring the Larcomar area, followed by our next flight out of Lima and into Chiclayo for the late evening.
We were all settled into Chiclayo for Day 3’s cultural day, spent visiting museums in Lambayeque and a historic dry jungle where we learned about and saw the impact of El Nino on their ecosystems and economy.
Today we are up bright and early to begin our first day in Illimo and are excited to meet with our Peruvian partners to begin a week full of work, sharing our knowledge and cultures.
At the end of day 1, I thought to share my day with all the readers. First, landing in Lima at midnight didn’t give me an opportunity to explore the city, but when I started my day wearing a professional attire to meet the Ministry of Education, Lima, I felt that I might have a big day today. Yes, I did. When we reached at the Ministry of Education, the Peruvian officials greeted and welcomed us with smiles and love. We (a group of 12 people from Centennial College Food Science Technology program) had exchanged the views on developing technical aspects for the partner institution in Chiclayo. After the meeting, we had an opportunity in clicking a picture with the Peruvian officials and ended our afternoon. Second, I had an amazing lunch at a local Chinese-Peruvian restaurant and moved ourselves to explore the city and adapt to the culture. Finally, at the end of the day, I have learned one thing – People have high values and they are always welcoming. With excitement to start day 2 and tiredness of day 1, the first night at Lima, Peru ends.
Getting ready for Peru has been quite the experience. For me, I haven’t travelled since 2016 and when I got the acceptance to participate I realized I had to renew my passport because it was expired. The next thing I had to worry about was a medical check. I felt healthy but I haven’t been to the doctor’s in a while so I wasn’t actually sure how healthy I was. The visit wasn’t too long but the doctor did give me a few shots and some take-home vaccines to protect me for when I was travelling and also gave me a clean bill of health to travel. I knew it would be hot in Peru so I decided to wear exclusively white shirts in order to combat the heat. I’m fully packed and ready to take on this global experience!!!
The reason why I have saluted in Spanish is we (a group of 10 students from food science technology) are going to a partner institution in Peru! Now as we are leaving from Toronto airport, I see some mixed feelings on all their faces, some with excitement and some with anxiety. But whatever faces we carry, we all had one thing back of our mind – Give our best to the partner institution and get something back what we can give to the Centennial Community!
Only 24 hours before leaving Toronto for the exciting adventure that awaits in Illimo, Peru. I never thought that in my last semester of Food Science Technology I would have the opportunity to apply the acquired knowledge at Centennial College and even more at an international level. Everything is almost packed up, and the expectations are only arising. There are no words to explain how grateful I am to be part of this journey that starts tomorrow. It does feel amazing being a Centennial College student and have been given the opportunity to explore another country and on top of that learning and adding professional as well as academic experiences that in the future will be interesting stories to tell. Although I am excited, I am trying to keep my assumptions to the limit, so that everything in Peru will be surprising rather than upsetting for not fulfilling any unrealistic assumptions I could have.
I am super excited about what are we going to live and learn in Peru, and will ever be grateful for being part of this Global Experience.
Hi, I’m Cindy and I will be travelling to Illimo, Peru from February 21 – March 3 for a Faculty Lead International Program (FLIP). I am in my final semester of Food Science Technology and look forward to working with our Peruvian partners to develop their prerequisite plans, as well as getting an insight on the Peruvian Food Industry through planned site visits. Our group has been working hard to prepare, and with just a few days before departure, I am feeling more and more excited. I can’t wait for ten days of new experiences, culture, and most importantly – food!
Since we are food science students, it was only natural for our first priority in Peru to be “arroz con pollo” (rice with chicken) and “juga de piña” (pineapple juice)!
After sleeping in a little (we got to our hotel at 4 am! A good sleep-in was earned) we hoofed it to the beach area of Miraflores where a stunning view of the Pacific waited for us.
Our group leaders led us to Tanta’s Restaurant where we feasted on beef stir fry, Tuca Tuca (beef filet in a coating and fried, with rice, beans and a fried egg) and fresh seafood. And of course, as much fresh juice as we could handle.
After such a delicious lunch we were rejuvenated and ready for exploring the rest of Miraflores, like a cat park that had no cats (beautiful, but I was told there would be cats ready for petting and scritches) and buying lovely crafts from the local market. There were more culinary delights, such as “Chicha morada” (a sweet drink made from corn) and “Picarones” (a fried doughnut-like pastry made with sweet potato). But the most important was a hot churro filled with dulce de leche that affected me deeply. My life is now divided into two: BC (Before Churro) and AC (After Churro). Nothing from BC matters; all that matters is finding more churros filled with dulce de leche.
Or until I find something even more delicious that consumes my entire being. We’ve barely scratched the Peruvian culinary experience!
Since being in Peru I have noticed that there are similarities between Peruvians and Canadians as well as lessons we Canadians can take from Peruvians.
First I would like to point out the similarities:
In Cusco, Saturday mornings are set aside for lawn care maintenance. Up the street from where we are staying you can find a guy who is cutting his grass with the assistance of four of his neighbors, who offer him sage lawn care advise or active criticisms. Each of these grass gurus are standing around with their hands in their pockets or holding a drink as they watch their compatriot battle the notoriously evil crab grass (yes they have it here too!) with a pair of scissors because lawns are very small here in Cusco. With a hard edge to his grass cutting technique he takes no prisoners ( or leaves any crab grass intact!) as each of his buddies look on, knowing it will be his turn at the next house to offer his advise or criticisms. Those of us in Canada with lawns are familiar with this type of urban peer pressure, except here in Canada the group offering the advise is also measuring the amount of torque used in their weapon of choice or the power of the poison, as they reach for another cold one.
Another similarity between Peruvians and Canadians is in regard to the “tax man”. In Canada we have been known to refer to these members of our society as snakes. In Peru they have a particular name for them…Cobras. Need I say more?
The lessons I feel we as Canadians could learn from Peruvians are:
Make our history accessable to all, for free. Granted Canada does not have a long history when compared to Peru, but the little bit we have available should be accessable to all Canadian citizens for free. Peruvians live with their history everyday, cities that were built by the Incas are still being occupied and are thriving such as the beautiful city of Ollantaytambo, and unlike Canadians Peruvians have free access to all of their museums and archeological sites when ever they want to reconnect with their past and do so regularly. If we as Canadians want to know where we are going, we need to know where we have been…I’m just saying.
Another lesson Canadians could learn from Peruvians is, enjoy life. In the country of Peru there are more than 300 festivals happening throughout the year for people to choose from. The longest lasting and most elaborate of which is the Candaleria Festival. Groups of people come from all over the country to participate in the numerous parades happening throughout the city of Puno for 18 days, dressed in ornate beautiful costumes that are similar (there’s that word again) to the costumes worn at Toronto’s Caribana.
If we Canadians had a festival every day, week, or month of the year (including the horrendous months of January, February and March) we may find our mental health improving as a whole across the country.
It has officially been over a month and a half here in Cusco, Peru. I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel to Peru. If there’s one thing that comes to most people’s mind when they think of Peru is Machu Pichu, and certainly not wrong about that but there is much more to Peru than just this historic site. From the people, the culture, their history and the diversity in both their climate and abundance of fresh produce. The lush greenery that consists of Sacred Valley and the high peaks that surround Cusco is a marvellous sight itself. As part of my placement here we have been working with a group at a local orphanage doing activities like mandala drawings which are more so a form of art therapy for the girls 3 days a week and the other 2 days the girls spend a few hours learning or excelling their knitting skills. But its not so much the activities that we have been doing but more so the relationship we have started building with a few of the girls is the more rewarding part of this experience. We also teach English two days a week to a group of girls. Although there is a language barrier at times I have certainly learned to read body language and to read faces.
And I will conclude with this short clip of a baby Alpaca, which are native to Peru.