The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Peruvian students speaks about her traditions and culture

Maria Fernandez, 48, Spanish major, speaks about her culture and provides insight about her country. She said every Sept. her country celebrates ‘Mother Earth,’ and they do so by cooking food under the ground. They dig holes in the ground and heat up stones to be able to cook. Photo credit: Selvin Rodas

In South America there are 12 countries, which includes Peru. This country is surrounded by Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Bolivia.

Maria Fernandez, 48, Spanish major, is from Lima, the capital of Peru, and she has been an El Camino student for about seven years.

Question: Can you tell me a little bit about your culture?

Answer: The Peruvian culture is based on the Incas. We believe a lot in the Catholicism and we celebrate the Indigenous’ culture. We also celebrate the Mother Earth in the Sierra, Peru. In order to celebrate this we make ‘Pachamancas,’ it is when the food is made in the ground, so we make a big hole and we heat a lot of stones. Then, we put the food there like chicken, green beans, potatoes, and corns. The last step is to close the hole and we wait for two to three hours. This is a way to show how we celebrate Mother Earth because we are eating food from the Earth. We celebrate it every September.

Q: Where do you like more? Here in the U.S. or your home country?

A: Peru is beautiful but it is still an undeveloped country. It has a lot of limitations, you can study and you can be a professional but you don’t have the ability to succeed like here (in the states). I like it more here because I can have a better life than (when I was) in Peru.

Q: Do you think El Camino is a welcoming campus?

A: I think EC is a very good college and I feel safe here. Also, EC has good professors and most of them have a PhD, which is better because you can learn more (from them).

Q: Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone who has a different culture?

A: I have met students from Egypt and they are very different. They have different beliefs and culture. I have a friend that I met in my English class and she told me that they don’t celebrate Christmas or New Years. It was great meeting her because we both were trying to learn English and learn a little bit of the American culture. It was funny too because we suffered trying to communicate (with) each other because we didn’t speak English at the moment.

Q: What is the most typical Peruvian food?

A: “Lomo Saltado” is one of the most typical foods from my country and it’s famous (worldwide). This dish consist of fried steak with onions, tomatoes, cilantro and French fries. Then, you can add white rice.

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