Patricia’s status on Facebook:
Porque sera que para volvernos Fans de nuestro Peru o decir me siento orgullosa(o) de ser Peruana(o) tenemos que irnos a vivir a otros paises…si no me creen solo lean algunos comentarios del enlace A que Peru puede tener 1 millon de fans antes que otro pais…
un ejemplo: El Peru es lo maximo…saludos desde Miami …
So true, and also so sad. Many Peruvians just want to leave their country, “si o si quiero salir del pais” as they say. Unfortunately it is often the young, the educated, and the ambitious who end up leaving the country, exactly the kind of people who would be able to make Peru a better place.
Many Peruvians leave and then become the proudest advocates of Pisco, Ceviche and Machu Picchu….
UPDATE 2/15/2010: Ben shares the same idea in an unrelated post about Pedro Suarez Vertiz:
“… It’s a song about how truly awesome Peru is and even though many people have been deluded by bullshit hollywood or whatever to think they have a brighter future elsewhere…it’s only when Peruvians go abroad that they truly realize how great things are back at home …”
Brain drain. It happens here in the states, too. It’s so funny because I want to leave the states to visit Peru. Classic grass-is-greener. Although, from pics of Machu Picchu, the grass really does look greener. 😉
My husband loves his country. He would go back in a heart beat if he had the chance to; but we have educational and professional goals to accomplish State-side (and perhaps further abroad) before we settle our itchy feet down in Peru again.
Not everybody leaves Peru, because they don’t believe in opportunities there. Life sometimes takes them on an unexpected detour. If he hadn’t left, we would have never met.
Tell me about unexpected detours… The best part of life 😉
I know these type of generalizations are inherently flawed, however, I have seen many Peruvians who don’t believe in the opportunities in Peru, but believe life outside Peru is always easy and wonderful.
I left Peru 8 years ago and moved to the United States. I still want to go back exactly because of what you mention: it is often the educated and the ambitious who leave. I believe I can make a difference back in my country and I am actively trying to make that happen in a significant way. My family, most of whom live in Miami, act like the people you complain about. They miss ceviche and Machu Picchu (I can’t tell you how many email chains they have sent me with the “qué lindo es mi Perú” theme). They bring down the gringos for having “no real culture.” I feel that Peruvians who live in Peru tend to be the same way though. Every time I’ve been back and mention to my local friends how polluted Lima is, or what a political chaos we are entrenched in, or how shocking and insulting the disparity between the rich and the poor is, they take it as if I am insulting them. I’ve had many fights about this, and people think that I am not Peruvian enough because I am not in love with pisco and I don’t hate Chile enough. I personally feel that my criticism comes from love, from wanting my own country to be better than is. An excerpt from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ Love in the time of cholera comes to mind. A young doctor educated in Paris came back to his native caribbean country and found pestilence, injustice, and poverty: “Pero aún los más complacientes de sus amigos notables se compadecían de su pasión ilusoria. Así eran: se pasaban la vida proclamando el orgullo de su origen, los méritos históricos de la ciudad, el precio de sus reliquias, su heroísmo y su belleza, pero eran ciegos a la carcoma de los años. El Dr. Urbino, en cambio, LE TENÍA BASTANTE AMOR PARA VERLA CON LOS OJOS DE LA VERDAD.” Sorry if this was somewhat off-topic.
Thanks for the comment nath, you make some good points. There is a lot of pride in Peru, but at the same time a lot of indifference to some of the chronic issues like poverty, pollution and corruption.
No matter where you are, you can always make the best out of your own life.