Justice for Trayvon Martin

Black boys you are not permitted to walk down the street at night silently, with your hands in your pocket, while you are eating skittles. And neighborhood watch you have the right to find him suspicious, follow him, and shoot him in the face with your NRA approved gun.


17 year old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed while walking home from a convenience store on the evening of February 26th. The shooter, George Zimmerman, was the neighborhood watch captain. Zimmerman, a 200 pound 28 year old with a history of violence,  claimed self defense although Trayvon Martin, with no criminal history, had nothing more than candy and an iced tea in his hands. George Zimmerman remains free.

That’s why I signed a petition to Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General and Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General, which says:

“George Zimmerman’s shooting of Trayvon Martin, an African American teenager, reveals a history of racism in Sanford, FL that has stubbornly refused to die. Weeks after the shooting, the Sanford police department is slow to release details of the shooting and, more surprisingly, has not arrested George Zimmerman, a man who has a history of violence.

We urge you to sign this petition to protect private citizens from gun violence and inept law enforcement. Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi must step in and provide justice for Trayvon Martin, his family, and the community.”

Will you sign this petition? Click here:



Please read the following articles

The Curious Case of Trayvon Martin: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/17/opinion/blow-the-curious-case-of-trayvon-martin.html?_r=1&src=tp&smid=fb-share

911 Audio http://globalgrind.com/news/trayvon-martin-911-tape-released-video

Dancing with my Ancestors-From the Andes to New York, and Back ~: Peruvian Times

I had a very strong connection to the Pallas. For me, they represented such a different image of women than my mother. She was very traditional Andean woman who always stayed at home, always working, never with a social life. The Pallas, in contrast, played the role of women who appeared to be so free, in a social context. When I was growing up, I didn’t know anything about the history of the Pallas. They just appeared, twice a year. Like a mystery.

An excerpt from Dancing with my Ancestors : Peruvian Times, by Wilma Doris Lozyza.

Read this colorful, detailed, and vibrant story Dancing with my Ancestors, and learn about Wilma’s journey from New York to become a Palla during the Fiesta Patronal in December in her home town of Llamellín in the North Central Andes.

Click here: Dancing with my Ancestors : Peruvian Times


Hi everyone! Just wanted to do a quick summary of a few things that have gone on in our lives here in Peru that I haven’t blogged about.

  1. My in-laws visited (mother, father, and brother). We had a great time together, and we even got my mother-in-law on a bus trip to see the Ballestas Islands, my father-in-law on a doon buggy ride….. and my father-in-law to lie down on a sand board face forward down a sand doon! More pics: click here.

    The guys with the doonbuggy
  2. Two of my classmates Alex Figuerola and Jennifer Nelson from D.A.S.H. (Design and Architecture Senior High) have come to Peru (separate trips, and not to visit me lol), and I got the opportunity to hang out with them. Thanks to facebook for the connection.  More pics with Alex: click here.

    Night out with Alex and my Peruvian friends.
  3. I’ve gotten to visit a few AMAZING restaurants (in no particular order):
    1. Manifiesto: A fabulous gourmet experience that will dazzle your taste buds and eyes with Peruvian flavors. The plus: you can talk to the chef! http://www.manifiesto.pe/ We attended with the meetup group http://www.meetup.com/limasocialclub/ More pictures: click here!
    2. Panchitas: Amazing Peruvian food brought to us by Peru’s famous chef Gaston Acurio! We had the best anticuchos I’ve ever had and I ordered arroz con pollo with lamb, and the Ariquipeno dessert queso helado (DELICIOUS) . Big thanks to Ursula and Miguel to introducing us to this restaurant. I couldn’t find the website but this one has great pics>  http://www.cucharasbravas.com.pe/panchita/
    3. El Rincon Que No Conoces: Another wonderful restaurant featuring Peruvian food. We got to go to this restaurant with the lovely Ericka Madrid of www.delectableperu.com. The restaurant typically has a buffet on Wednesday, our group went on Saturday; however, Ericka was able to get the restaurant to do fabulous tasting menu for our group. It included 3 types of causa, anticuchos, papas rellanas, arroz con pata, seco de res, and picarones all for S/.45!!  http://www.elrinconquenoconoces.pe/

      The "Chef and I" at Manifiesto
  4. I can’t believe I never finished my blog post about Machu Pichu with my friend Keisha, since then Matthew has gone. Machu Pichu is everything what everyone has written and said about it. It is an absolutely breath-taking place. But just a note, on our way back from Machu Pichu Keisha and I got lost on the side of a mountain and rescued by 9pm. Yes, I found the one patch of cell phone service next to a bat cave and a suspension bridge. HA.. Long story; hence it hasn’t been written.
    Keisha and Erica

    The Bridge
  5. One of Matthew’s best friends from college Jared just visited us last week. We had a great time and even went to a pena, De Rompe Y Raja http://www.derompeyraja.pe. Jared got to dance with the criolla dancers and got lit on fire! More pictures: click here.

    Jared and Matthew
  6. As the summer winds down and Matthew was away climbing Huana Pichu and visiting Machu Pichu, I got to spend the day at the beach with my friend Candice and our own United Nations group =); the girls were from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Korea. More pics: click here!

    Beach day

That’s all folks!

300 nude cyclists hit streets in Peru – CBC News

I couldn’t make it out this morning to take pictures of the cyclist for you because I had to deal with a little bit of food poisoning (recovering now- no worries).  But I heard from a friend and reliable source that there weren’t that many nude cyclist out there today. Here is a pic that’s been published in the news. I should mention that this was to bring attention to cyclist safety, that there are not cycling lanes here in Lima, and that thousands of cyclist die every year here in Lima because of this.

Click here to read the story: 300 nude cyclists hit streets in Peru – CBC News.

Verano Negro & Carnival Negro- Chincha and El Carmen!

Last weekend, Matthew, my friend Catherine and I headed down to Chincha for Verano Negro translation “Black Summer”. We took the bus-line Ormeno (I will never ride that dirty bus again). I originally heard about Verano Negro in my trusty “Lonely Planet” book then heard about it over and over again from friends here in Lima. It is the biggest month-long celebration of the year in Chincha, celebrating its Beautiful Blackness! It was an amazing weekend! A beauty pageant, grape stomping, Cajon classes, concerts, dancing and delicious Raspadillas. Click here to read about our first trip to Chincha.
Pageant group dance
It seemed there wasn’t much going on in the Plaza de Armas of Chincha our first night there so we headed to El Carmen. This was the right move!  Because we got to watch El Carmen’s annual Carnival Negro Beauty Pageant.
It was not your typical pageant with the host in a nice suit giving details and statistics of beautiful young ladies as they paraded around the stage at prime time. No, this show started at 10:30 PM (scheduled 9:30 PM) and opened with comedian telling quite a few explicit jokes despite of all the kids in the crowd. The contestants came out dancing to Afro Peruvian music and had to introduce themselves all the while panting in the middle of their choreographed dance routine.
Fabiola's Cheering Section
Cheering section sign
A few of the contestants had cheering sections. All carried large poster pictures of beauty they were supporting. One group of about 20  had long pink balloons that they waved in the air every time their contestant came out. And another group set off mini fireworks for their favorite!
There were also concert performances between each act, including bands and dance groups from other cities in Peru, and even a band from Peru’s rivaling country Chile.
While we were there the pageant had the following sections: a group dance, introductions, another group dance, carnival costumes, swimsuit competition, and the infamous question and answer portion. By 2:00 AM, weary and not sure if they were going to have the evening gown portion of the competition or if they were going to announce the winner- we decided to leave!
"Bienvenidas" - "Carnival Negro"
My favorite contestant was Fabiola who had the large cheering section waving pink balloons. She earned my applaud during the carnival section of the competition. She wore a white carnival costume with feathers and a large Nefertiti style hat, and held a white sign sprinkled with silver glitter in each hand that read “Bienvenidas” – “Carnival Negro” with a white helium balloon attached to each that she let float away as she reached the end of the stage. I learned the next night that she was the winner!!.
Matthew in the spot light with the band
The festivities for Verano Negro in Chincha began the next day. There was a great program schedule of the next two weeks that outlined everything that we could participate in. We decided to attend a grape stomping at the Naldo Navarro bodega (vineyard) and Cajon classes (an Afro-Peruvian drum that is a wooden box with a whole in the back of it) that evening. The grape stomping was supposed to start at high noon so we decided to eat lunch first and arrived with perfect timing at 1:00 PM !  We had a wonderful time, the host was very welcoming. We drank lots of wine and pisco (a Peruvian hard liquor made from grapes), made new friends, enjoyed an Afro-Peruvian band and dance. And yes, of course we got to dance on the grapes!
Dancing on grapes
Afro Peruvian dance and the Criolla Band
After all the dancing, eating and drinking we headed back to the main plaza for the Raspadilla Fair and to meet up with my friend Patricia who is originally from Chincha. A Raspadilla is similar to a snow cone, but with finer shaved ice, and they use a super thick syrup in Peruvian fruit flavors of coconut, passion fruit, cherimoya, peach, strawberry, chicha morado, and more.
The Girls
Cajon Class

Around 6:30 PM we head to the 5:00 PM Cajon classes at SOCIAL CREATIVA – again perfect timing. But I did not plan well for drumming, wearing my short green dress. But I didn’t let that stop me, I just wrapped my Vamo ‘pa Chincha t-shirt around me like a diaper and I was ready to go! LOL. We had a great time at a the class, check out this video from the school which also features a great dancer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTqyTSoKIj4&feature=relmfu

La Reina de El Carmen- Fabiola
That night we headed back to El Carmen for Carnival Negro. We got to see the Queen of Carnival Negro, a great concert put on by local and international bands from Cuba and Chile. The closing act was – the internationally acclaimed band/group Peru Negro! If you ever have the opportunity to see Peru Negro, you must it is truly is a treat! Then there was a big dance competition hosted by a fabulous “queen” with braids down his back. He brought girls of all racial backgrounds and from all over Peru on stage, to see who could dance to the Afro Peruvian music the best. They all had moves far better than me or any of my friends back home! The girl from Ica won.

The other queen =) - He had a great voice! (photo via Catherine Ntube)
Peru Negro- (photo via Catherine Ntube)

It was truly great to see how everyone came out to support Verano Negro and Carnival Negro. People of all races came out to appreciate and celebrate Peru’s African culture.It was a weekend filled will love, music, beauty and culture, one we will always remember.

To view the rest of our photo album please click here Verano Negro Photo Album

The following are a few of my favorite photos from the Verano Negro facebook page. (It’s time for me to get a new camera) You can view their albums here: Official Verano Negro albums