Mixed feelings among Cadiz’s Peruvian community. The celebration in the capital of the IX Congress of the Spanish Language, which would take place in Arequipa, gives them the opportunity to return in some way to their roots and even to the origins of their ancestors, but it is a circumstance that at the same time worries them because the convulsive political and social situation in Peru was the trigger for the change of headquarters which was forged in the month of December. A congress, then, that they will live among the sadness knowing that far away their compatriots are trying to correct the social imbalance and, almost at the same time, with the emotion which means the arrival of a good number of compatriots in Cádiz.
we talked to three Peruvians or people of Peruvian origin residing in Cádiz and his province for several years and whose trajectories are radically different. Martin FloresFor example, he is a playwright, he was born in Trujillo (northern Peru), studied in Lima and has been in Cádiz for 16 years. Achilles Marcelo Born in Lima, he is a doctor – in charge of a health center in El Puerto de Santa María – and has been in the province since he was almost five years old. TRUEFinally, she is an artisan, since 2011 she has been in Cádiz, where her children were born. Originally from Pucallpa, in the Peruvian jungle, she grew up in Huánuco, in the country’s central highlands, and then lived for ten years in Arequipa, the birthplace of Vargas Llosa, who would host the Congress.
All three are aware of the unstable situation in Peruwhere last week the total number of dead since the beginning of the riots and clashes was 77, and they live worried from a distance, immense distance, for their relatives and friends who live there.
“The political and social crisis affects us all. There in Peru they work informally, day after day. And, for example, the Government Palace area is very touristy and fenced; around it there are shops dedicated to Peruvian culture and handicrafts, but now no one can enter there. There are people who want to work and cannot enter your business. This hurts us as Peruvians, one way or another,” explained Martín Flores to this newspaper.
Director in Cádiz of the theater group The Black Heralds, this playwright who is preparing a tribute to García Lorca with his next work, ‘Camino a Viznar’, well represents that mixed feeling of great concern for his country, to which some close friends asked him for help, and of satisfaction for residing in the city which will host the important international linguistic event: “Cádiz was the most suitable city for this congress, port whose flag is the entire region of America. Many left here and America arrived here; Cádiz has been a port of departure and entry”.
Martín Flores will try to go to the congress, to some of its sessions or to the exhibitions, in order to somehow encounter the roots of that Peru that runs through his veins and, as happened years ago, coincide with compatriots of the stature of Vargas Llosa, who could meet when he received the Cádiz Cortes Award, but this time, unfortunately, he will not be in Cádiz.
The history of Dr. Achilles Marcellus it is very different. His father, Peruvian, came to Cádiz to study Medicine. Here he met his mother, a Cádiz who worked at the Hospital de Mora. They got married and went on their honeymoon to Peru, where Aquiles was born. Just five years later, his parents returned to Cádiz with the aim of residing in the city. And so it was.
In peruvian traitsAquiles Marcelo, who obviously has Spanish nationality, However, he does not have the characteristic accent of his native country.. This circumstance was of concern to his Peruvian relatives when many years ago, in the early 1990s, when he was already studying medicine in Cádiz, he spent a short period in Lima to meet them. Until then, the Sendero Luminoso terrorism he was very active and his accent could make him believe he was a foreigner, making him a possible kidnapping target.
“Lima – explains the doctor – seemed to me a very beautiful city, but also with a great social difference. This impressed me a lot. There was a huge gap. From very rich neighborhoods to extreme poverty. My uncles told me to be very careful; I wasn’t used to it, I didn’t see the danger. There were kidnappings, murders… I’m brunette, but I don’t have an accent”.
He recognizes that his sisters have more to do with their uncles and cousins who live in Peru than he does, but he also points out that they usually talk about the country with their family, with their children, and that their goal is to travel to the country in the future. Of course, when the situation allows it: “My feelings towards Peru are one of sadness and longing, because my mother speaks very highly of the years she lived there, although her Spanish status caused her some minimal problems”.
The fact that Cádiz is hosting the Language Congress, a meeting in which it will try to be present in some way, produces “sadness and emotion”lamenting the instability of the continent where he was born: “The whole of America is very rich, it has a lot of potential, but something always happens, there is always something that spoils everything”.
In case of TRUEThe artisan specializing in fansHis sister was the first to travel to Spain, to El Puerto. About five years later it was Vero’s turn, who also chose the city of Porto first and, at the age of three, moved to Cádiz, where he has lived since 2011. Your accent is curious, very mixed and with touches of Peru and even Cadiz. “At home, my partner is Spanish and my children say I speak Peruvian, because there are some expressions from there that I still use; I don’t lose my roots, but they also tell me I have a La Viña accent (laughs). In Peru, in Huánuco, I have my mother, who visited us for a while in Spain, and some sisters: there are seven of us. My older brother lives in Lima,” she explains.
The situation in your country is worrying and very remote: “Do you live with worry, because you don’t know what you’re going to find. This is my concern. We send economic aid, but there is insecurity. Where they are doesn’t affect much, there are no demonstrations or commotions. The food arrives, but it starts to go up in price. It’s a concern. What is experienced in Arequipa, in Lima, in Puno… is more dangerous. There are riots.”
Vero found out about the Language Congress through a friend who works with Philosophy and Letters. “I thought it was great –he says–, although unfortunately it cannot be done there. I will try to follow the congress, although I have to see the complete program, the exhibitions. At home we are always talking about Peru, and this is another opportunity”. Upon learning that one of the exhibitions will cover the viceroyalty period, and that he will be in Cádiz for several months, Vero recognizes that it will be a “very interesting” way of delving into his roots.
Three stories originating in Peru, the Spanish-American country that from today will have a special role in Cádiz through the common language that unites its inhabitants, the words who understand each other naturally and who, as the playwright Martín Flores explains, they must have soul: “On stage there should be no soulless, meaningless words. That the word can excite the five senses, that we have the Spanish language at its root, and it is important that the word on stage has soul”.