Does anyone like Peru?

Answers to your qestions about moving to, and living in, Peru,
chante
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Does anyone like Peru?

Postby chante » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:26 pm

hi

In reading some of the threads it seems as if people have lots of issues about living in Peru - I've only been to Peru as a tourist and my husband & I are coming for a longer stay in February to see if it suits us. I don't expect Peru to be like home (Canada) but am willing to try it on.

Could people please give me some of the good things about living in Peru - especially outside Lima.

Thanks


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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby craig » Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:25 pm

I'm the only one here who actually likes Peru (as it is).

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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby Kelly » Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:46 pm

Don't be so sure of yourself, Craig. ;) You aren't the only one. I'm perfectly happy here and have even convinced my mom to move down here for half the year so I don't EVER have to return to the US if I don't want to.

I can't tell you any good things about living outside Lima, but if you read Chiclayo Gringo's blog, you'll see that he's very happy living in Peru also.

We're poor, but we're happy. I don't pretend our life is stress free, but I am a lot happier here than when I was in the US busting my butt doing a 9 to 5 in an office. I miss some things, but not much - mostly some comfort foods and my house on the beach. I'm raising 2 kids who seem to be doing pretty well in a state school (this year anyway). There are some cultural differences that grate on my nerves sometimes, but I also realize that I'm not easy to get along with for Peruvians, either (just ask the construction workers next door). My kids - unlike some others, I guess - do ride their bikes and walk the dogs and go to the park in our neighborhood. I like living in a city - I like having bakeries and bodegas and fruit stands and every thing within walking distance. I find most people are fairly friendly - our favorite restaurant used to yell back to the kitchen when i walked in so the cook could come out and say hi, and that was at a 4 sol menu. The lady that runs the bodega near my house knows me by name and asks about my mom and sister in the US when she sees me - the goth chick at the 7/11 back home could barely bring her self to tell me the total of my purchase. For whatever reason, I don't seem to get hit with 'gringo pricing' as much as other people say they have. I feel that I'm generally treated with more respect here by people than I was at home, which I return abundantly. I know other people have found the opposite to be true.

I think that if you're a generally happy and adventurous person, you will be happy here. There have been times when I've felt homesick, but there's never been a time when I disliked Peru.
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby Alpineprince » Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:16 pm

Peru sucks! stay home!
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby cajun jamie » Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:17 pm

I LOVE living in Peru. I have enjoyed my last 2 years here so much. There is never a shortage of things to do.

AMAZING place to live! :D
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby americorps » Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:39 pm

I have been here over 3 years and I am happy as a clam living here.

There are things that aggravate me, and as expats, we uniquely understand each other in many ways so we come here to comiserate, but that does not mean we do not love this country.

I travel a lot and every time I almost come to tears when I see young children learning traditional dances, how beautiful to keep the culture and history alive.

The Inca and pre-inca cultures fascinate me, especially building earthquake resistant structures that have lasted for over a thousand years.

The food is amazing once you learn to navigate it.

There is jungle, forest, desert, mountains, glaciers, ocean, Machu Picchu, Titicaca and so much more, you never run out of things to do, places to see.

The cost of living is great, especially if you have a good wage.

I think many of us, even some of us who have lived abroad are a bit shocked when we come to Peru because the culture is so deep and complicated and in many ways defies logic as we understand it, but to me, that is part of the fun of it all.

We poke fun sometimes, but we also poke fun at ourselves as we stumble around trying to figure it out.

I have never appreciated the business culture here, it is not conducive to any economically sound and ethical business practice I have ever encountered and I find it most rare to find someone I feel I can trust, and that was NOT the case when I was in Mexico, Costa Rica or Chile.

Perhaps we do spend more time griping than praising, and we could do better, but honestly, when things are well, we are out enjoying them and when things go wrong, we want a shoulder, an understanding ear or some experienced advice to help us out, so I think it makes perfect sense that the balance should be like that.

Still, it is always good to refresh and focus on the good things.
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby scott » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:34 am

I love Peru! I just became a resident. I have lived here for almost 3 years total. After 9 years of living back in the US, San Diego, my wife and I decided to move back home a few months ago, she is from Peru.

We spent about two years planning the move and making the final decision. In the end, the amount of hours we were both working and lack of time we got to spend together made the choice easier. Kelly's mom has been alone for almost 4 years, so that was a huge part of our decision.

I have to echo the sentiment on the culture. I have been fascinated by it since I was in high school. As luck would have it, work brought me here in the late 90s and I had the great fortune of meeting my wife here. We are still very happily married after 11 wonderful years.

The Per-Inca Mochica civilization and the tomb of Sipan, only saw that in the National Museum in Lima, not been to the actual site. Ica and the Nazca Lines. Cuzco blows me away, every time there is an earthquake, the only things not damaged are the Inca structures. Macchu Picchu is amazing, the various sites in and around Cuzco, the Sacred Valley. Crossing Lake Titicaca on a barge going to Bolivia is a great experience. If you really want to push your luck, try a bus trip from Puno to Arequipa. Puno is a bit depressing, but the Reed Islands of Lake Titicaca are cool, on the Bolivian side, The Isla del Sol is really worth a visit. Arequipa is fascinating, if you like mummies and volcanoes.

We live in the jungle, Pucallpa to be exact, and I see new insect or animal I have never seen before almost every day. I have been to many parts of the jungle, Puerto Inca by far was the most challenging to get to.
I don't know about Iquitos, never had the desire to go there. I have only a few more Peruvian cities I need to see to make my list complete. Kelly has been pretty much everywhere there is worth going to in Peru.

Life here moves at a slower pace and it suits me just fine. There are no fast food chains here, none. No supermarkets, unless you consider Los Andes a supermarket. There are of course all the major banks and a few of the Lima chain stores have small branch outlets here.

Each region of the country has amazing local foods and traditions, which make Peru so special.

It can be challenging and frustrating at times, but where in the world isn't. I have spent extended periods of time in other countries and by far enjoy Peru the most. All that and I didn't even mention Lima 8)

I blog about life here, so you can check that out too :)
Visit my blog: http://www.saboraselva.com
Life in the Peruvian Amazon...
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby naturegirl » Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:36 am

If you're living outside of LIma, you should like Peru.
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby mahou123 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:03 am

We live on the North coast, in Chiclayo, and love it. It´s pretty much similar to Lima in terms of infrastructure, shopping and entertainment. Everything is pretty much available here. And Lima is a 1.2 hour flight or 12 hours bus ride away, easy to go there.

The good points, compared to Lima, climate is much better and it is not overcrowded. Speed of development is visibly higher here, and judging by the progress in the last five years, I think in the next five years it will get way better than it is now. But stil it shouldn´t grow to several million people.

We get many days with clear blue sky even in winter, and as the place is quite windy, there is no problem with air pollution, as it is in Lima. Very good tropical beaches are about 4 hours drive north, but local beach is ok too, I went even in July.

Organic food is easily available on the markets, plenty of good fruit is coming from Selva (there is a road to Tarapoto from here) and fish is as good as it gets.

Also, native people of the North Coast and Selva, dominant here, are somewhat more friendly than Amerindians from the central Andes, who also dominate Lima and the South. They don´t call Chiclayo ´Capital of Friendship´ for nothing. You are less likely to get killed for fat here :lol:
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby tupacperu » Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:11 pm

We do not only like Peru. We love Peru!

Comparing the positives and negative of the USA and Peru, Peru wins hands down for us. I can soo live comfortable here. IN Los Angeles there are 2 really upscale neighborhoods (Belaire and Beverly Hills). In Peru, I feel like I am living in the later. Miraflores is the second most expensive Neighborhood in Lima and I can so afford it. I can have the life here I could only dream about in the USA. In the USA I could barely afford my life with one home. We now have a home on the beach (Pimentel), an apartment in Miraflores and a House in the USA. Planning to buy a home in Lima soon.

I guess the major part of feeling comfortable is to learn spanish, with english only it may be a bit frustrating. But all in all, my family enjoys life here, we have lived in the USA 2 years out of 7, 5 years in Peru and would not trade our life here for the grind in the USA. We travel to Miami about every 6 months for supplies, so we have the products we lack. so all in all we plan to live here and maintain a second home in the USA.
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby tupacperu » Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:16 pm

We second that emotion!!!

Viva El Norte! Viva Chiclayo!!!! Viva Pimentel!!!

mahou123 wrote:We live on the North coast, in Chiclayo, and love it. It´s pretty much similar to Lima in terms of infrastructure, shopping and entertainment. Everything is pretty much available here. And Lima is a 1.2 hour flight or 12 hours bus ride away, easy to go there.

The good points, compared to Lima, climate is much better and it is not overcrowded. Speed of development is visibly higher here, and judging by the progress in the last five years, I think in the next five years it will get way better than it is now. But stil it shouldn´t grow to several million people.

We get many days with clear blue sky even in winter, and as the place is quite windy, there is no problem with air pollution, as it is in Lima. Very good tropical beaches are about 4 hours drive north, but local beach is ok too, I went even in July.

Organic food is easily available on the markets, plenty of good fruit is coming from Selva (there is a road to Tarapoto from here) and fish is as good as it gets.

Also, native people of the North Coast and Selva, dominant here, are somewhat more friendly than Amerindians from the central Andes, who also dominate Lima and the South. They don´t call Chiclayo ´Capital of Friendship´ for nothing. You are less likely to get killed for fat here :lol:
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby tupacperu » Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:22 pm

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Kelly
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby Kelly » Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:11 pm

lol... I have to love your enthusiasm :D
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby Claudia1973 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:14 pm

After one year, I dislike Lima - no sun for 8-9 months per year; no rain to wash the daily accumulation of pollution and desert dust; people are rude in public - bump into you with no "excuse me", come after you in their car/bus/motorcycle, petty theft, pi$$ing in the streets, and the garbage and graffiti almost everywhere; little or no style - most all the homes are designed like a prison with low construction standards; expensive appliances compared to USA - about 150% higher, electronics - about 250% higher, cars about 50% higher, and homes - no heating, air conditioning, basement, of garage but start at $300k; corporate jobs pay poorly and work you hard; no variety of food;

The good things - Peruvian food tastes great and healthy (maybe); in private Peruvians are warm and friendly; rent is inexpensive; learn Spanish quickly; serve the poor easily - they are everywhere, and truly poor (not American poor like I have a house and two cars poor); it’s OK to be a Catholic/Christian publicly (no mocking like America), among other things.
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby Howard Studstill » Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:02 am

I have only been in lima for a couple of weeks so I can't say anything about outside Lima. I guess I can take Naturgirls' word that it is better. That being said, Lima is an interesting place but I do not think I could call it home. I am not a city person so you people from the city may feel quite differently.
The pollution is terrible, no one seems to trust anyone else(Peruvians), the traffic is insane and I am surprised to see that no one mentioned, you cannot drink the water. Maybe citizens of the USA just take clean water for granted. Personally, I do not understand why any modern city in any part of the world does not have clean water to drink. For any government, this should be on top of the to-do list, especially since those French folks came up with that new water filtration system. I am not accustomed to being so careful about water consumption. I remember when I was in Spain and people told me not to drink the water. Well I forgot that I wasn't supposed to brush my teeth with it or use the ice, etc. At least I remembered this time! Didn't stop me from getting the "Poofy" as my Peruvian girlfriend calls it! It must have been the food. Just some things to think about. If I were to move here and purchase a home, I would definitely invest in a reverse-osmosis water purification system, like my friend who moved to Mexico. Also, back to the "Poofy", you do have to excercise some care as restaurants do not have the same standards of sanitation as in the US. There are other food issues as well but all in all I like most of the Peruvian food I have had. It is cheap too! The irony is that restaurants originating from the USA are actually better here than at home! I do not understand this.
Someone on this forum also mentioned appliances, certain ones like washers and especially dryers, just suck. They work but they are low-capacity and weak. You can find some bargains on electronics if you look in the right place. At the right store you can get a Mac Pro for a two thirds the price you would pay in the states.
Knowing fluent Spanish is definitely a plus, especially when job-hunting. I only have basic Spanish skills but I can get around.
All those other great places to see in Peru would be nice but if you don't have cash-flow, forget it. All in all, living in Peru is like anywhere in the world, if you have cash, it is great, if you do not, it sucks! If you can get a job before coming here, do it, unless of course you do not need one! In which case you can stretch your dollar or euro or whatever!
I gotta say my favorite thing about Peru, so far, is my girlfriend, if we split up, it is back to the States for me! Of course, if I could take her there, I would do that as well.
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby cafeandino » Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:47 am

I like Peru. I have lived in Huaraz for nearly 14 years. Every day is still an adventure.
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby Kelly » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:07 pm

I've been drinking the water here for 5 years.

A lot (not all, but a lot) of things people mention that they don't like are simply things that 'aren't like they are back home'. I've never let things like that bother me much, because I realize - I'm NOT back home. There are certain things you have to expect when you move to a 3rd world country, and things like dirt, incompetent government and less than sanitary conditions are some of those things that I expected. I knew I was moving to a desert, so I don't see a point in complaining about the lack of rain (although being from Florida, I do miss it terribly, especially at nights).

As far as rude people - it's true, people do have a tendency to keep walking without a word after they've bumped into you, but here, they don't see that as rude. It's a crowded city, with often narrow sidewalks, people are jammed into buses like sardines - they're accustomed to being bumped and jostled, and just moving on, and assume the other person meant no harm. However, in the US I've had people bark at me, oink at me, throw things at me from moving cars and had complete strangers call me terribly ugly names in public simply because I'm overweight. To me, that's a lot more rude than somebody bumping me on the sidewalk. Nothing even remotely similar has ever happened in Peru. I've never been insulted by anyone for anything (ok, excluding my husband's ex), and am usually complimented profusely on my blue eyes instead.

Like I said before - I think if people come here with an open mind and don't expect it to be like home, they can be very happy here. And I do think there is a sequence of events that happens - you first come to Peru, and you're very excited and everything's great. Then, you start to get worn down by the differences and homesickness - some people give up and go home in this time frame. But if you stick it out, you start to become accustomed to the things that are different, and with more time you start to love them - or at least are able to laugh at them.
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby Alan » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:55 pm

Apart from the nay-saying and whining, I think most expats are pretty happy here... After all, they have chosen to come and to stay, unlike the majority of Peruvians who, given the option, would prefer to leave Peru to go live somewhere else. Like you, I am Canadian, but after 15 years here, I have not found one compelling reason to return "home"; as much as I love Canada, life is just so much more interesting here.

So come to Peru and check it out. Don`t burn your bridges though, because it isn`t for everyone. I also echo the sentiments about the difference between living in Lima and elsewhere. It really depends on how you plan to make your living.

Alan

ps. I have the tremendous fortune of living 3 blocks away from my workplace and only need to take my car out a couple times a week. I have a friend who needs to do the daily commute and I have seen how this has affected his mental health for the worse. In short, the life you are able to build for yourself here will have a lot to do with your happiness... but I suppose that´s pretty obvious.
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby jontul » Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:45 pm

This question strikes me as similar to asking "Does anyone like fish"? It is completely dependent on the individuals preferences.

In Los Angeles in the USA, one can live lavishly in Beverly Hills and hate it or East LA and love it. In New York City, I might choose to live in poverty in Manhattan or comfortably in Queens. I might even decide the big city isn't for me and move to Oklahoma. I see Peru as being no different. It is what one makes it and, like anywhere, attitude influences the experience greatly.

It's probably a good thing we all have different needs and preferences.
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby chante » Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:55 pm

Thanks for all the replies - it's good to get others' perspective on living in Peru. Kelly - I agree that much will depend on our expectations; when we've been in Peru as tourists we've rented apartments so have a taste of shopping, getting around with taxis and buses. I realize there are major differences from home and that a few weeks or month as a tourist is different than living here long term. Both my husband and I are retired and don't need to work in Peru so won't need to deal with issues around different work expectations.

We're both fairly open to differences and don't expect life in Peru to be the same as it is here
(if we were looking for life to be the same we wouldn't want to live elsewhere). I also realize that those things I fell in love with about Peru might end up being frustrating when I'm there long term.

All the comments have been helpful - I hope they keep coming.
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Re: Does anyone like Peru?

Postby calledtoperu2009 » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:20 am

I love it here, and I have had some VERY TOUGH days.

A lot of the things that have been said are very true. For me, if you know nationals before you arrive it makes the transition much easier. You can find out all the best places to go, how to get around, the right prices for things, what to eat, what not to eat, etc. It is definitely different from America but in a good way.

I think Peruvians are extremely loving and affectionate. However, I do not think that they respect each other a great deal. (Check out broken-window syndrome on wikipedia). I think that this attitude reigns true for many Peruvians.

My suggestion is to try and learn the culture. Learn about the people that you are going to be sharing time with. Ask deep questions, and expect deep answers. Sometimes I have noticed that we as internationals do not take the time to get to know the people we are living around. We have a dollar/euro bubble that makes us feel just a bit more civilized. You will reap immediate benefits by making Peruvian friends...

I just purchased everything to furnish an apartment and overall I spent a third of what I would have in the States. For a washer, dryer, fridge, and microwave (all name brand) I only spent $850-900. Try doing that at Home Depot or Sears... Also don't take getting ripped off personally. It is going to happen. Budget for it. You will still spend half of what you would in the States for the same thing.

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