I finally got the Peruvian resident visa, better known as carné de extranjería, so now I can live and work in Peru more easily. The entire process took over a year, first nearly 6 months to get legally married in Peru and then 6 months to obtain the “carne extranjeria”.
For me, obtaining this semi-permanent admission into the fine population of Peru was hopelessly complicated by the facts that (1) we were living in Cusco, not Lima where all the bureaucracy is and (2) I am a Belgian citizen who’s lived his entire adult life in the US, which made it more difficult to get original documents. You can read the first post on this blog for the silly-but-true story of how a Belgian guy met a Peruvian girl while living in the US, and ended up back in Peru!
OK, got to go now. I have to do some work to pay for all those fees we paid to the “Banco de la Nacion” over the last year or so 🙂
We made a trip to Bolivia last week to pick up my new Peruvian visa at the Peruvian consulate in La Paz. Archaic government rules mean that a visa typically grants permission to travel to a country, so in most cases you have to pick it up outside of the issuing country.
We took advantage of the opportunity to take a little vacation, stopping in La Paz, Copacabana (Bolivia) and Puno (Peru). La Paz is a fairly typical large Latin American city, located in a canyon made by the Rio Choqueyapu. The center of the city is at an elevation of over 3,600 meter (~12,000 feet) above sea level, but the outskirts of the city reach over 4,000 meter (13,000 feet) in El Alto. I’m not a huge fan of big cities, so I enjoyed Copacabana more than La Paz.
In Bolivia poverty is more visible and widespread than in Peru, and right now there is also civil unrest between the middle class and the poorer ethnic Indian population. La Paz is a stronghold of support for the ethnic Indian president Evo Morales, while the richer cities in Bolivia such as Santa Cruz are more opposed to him. Support for “Evo” is very visible in La Paz, on billboards, grafitti and public demonstrations.
– Ward Welvaert
“Evo SI” Billboard in La Paz
Presidential residence in La Paz, Bolivia
Civil unrest in La Paz, Bolivia