City Discovery: The Many Facets of Lima

Discover Lima

Food in Lima

While many of Lima’s stately manors have given way to glass-enclosed apartment buildings, high-rise business towers and hotels, at least one part of Peruvian culture is returning to its roots: the cuisine. Lima natives — Limeños — are obsessed with food. A documentary Cooking Up Dreams (De Ollas y Sueños) profiles the emergence of Peru’s national cuisine on the world stage.

Desert Coast

Lima is a special city for a number of reasons! Despite being one of the biggest cities in Latin America, Lima is composed of 43 districts which provide visitors an opportunity to explore all of the great characteristics that make up each distinct piece of the city. Lima, although built in the desert, is known as the “Garden City,” as it has one of the largest fountain parks in the world!

Don’t miss these Discovery Compass activities in Lima!

Intercultural experiences highlight exposure with the local culture, promoting a multilateral exchange of ideas, language and opinions.

Enjoy lunch in Lima’s Chinatown. This area of the city highlights the Peruvian-Chinese culture, the result of a significant Chinese migration during the fourteenth century. The Peruvian-Chinese created new versions of traditional dishes to fit the foods available in their new home and the delicious result is available on almost every corner of Chinatown.

Take a Peruvian drum-box class, which showcases another piece of Lima’s varied culture—African heritage. Originally brought to the country as slaves on the large ranches (haciendas), the Afro-Peruvian population created a particular style of music using the drum-box or cajón, as well as many other unique instruments still played around Lima today.

ISA excursions and cultural activities highlight historical parts of the local culture to help students better understand their new environment.

Take a walking tour of historic downtown Lima. This beautiful city, founded by Francisco Pizarro in January of 1535, is home to grand palaces and churches, revealing the varied history of Lima.

Visit the Huaca Pucllana archeological site, a working excavation area in the city’s upscale Miraflores district. Built around 500 A.D., the adobe ceremonial pyramid is only one of the many areas of excavated ruins in the city. This location, however, boasts creative illumination at night and an up-scale restaurant serving elaborately prepared and presented dishes for visitors to enjoy while admiring the 1,500-year-old view.

Sociopolitical discovery highlights social and political activities or experiences.

Visit the Presidential Palace and Congress to see Peruvian government at work and admire these historic buildings and the 500 years of governing they represent from the arrival of Spanish colonizers in the sixteenth century to the President Fujimori Government Shutdown of Congress in the early 1990s. Stop by the nearby Inquisition Museum to discover the gruesome history of the Spanish Inquisition.

Learn about the Peruvian civil war, which occurred between 1980 and 2000, by visiting the Yunayapa photo exhibit. This exhibit, the name of which means “to remember,” was created by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Over 200 photos tell the stories of the deaths of over 70,000 people during this tragic period of Peru’s history.

Professional experiences provide exposure to professional development opportunities during an ISA program.

Learn about Peruvian business and its connections to Peruvian culture at the business school of the Universidad del Pacifico. This highly accredited and prestigious program is known for its 100% employability rate of graduates as well as exciting programs in entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility.

Environmental experiences expose students to different environmental aspects of the host country.

Spend a day at the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon Jungle and Rainforest. In addition to seeing the wealth of protected wildlife including pink and gray dolphins, sloths, Taricaya river turtles and a variety of birds, visitors also have a chance to support the local communities who are working on various projects in order to protect natural resources and improve their quality of life.

Volunteer with a number of local organizations committed to social responsibility. Among these organizations many social concerns is helping the descendants of the indigenous people (Kukama Kukamiria in the Community of San Jorge), by seeking to discover their culture through the expression of art and preservation of their language.  Volunteers can participate in a variety of activities with the local community including helping with the release of the river turtles, playing soccer with the children from San Jorge, or making handicrafts with the local women.

Learn more about Lima before spending a semester abroad in the Peruvian capital!

The 2015 City Discovery Series aims to showcase one of ISA’s program locations each week. Facts about each location and Discovery Compass activity examples are given, highlighting the areas of Intercultural, Historical, Sociopolitical, Professional and Environmental discovery. The Discovery Compass aims to help students have the best possible study abroad experience by helping them to gain a better understanding of the local environment, customs and people through a variety of experiences.

Author: International Studies Abroad (ISA)

Since 1987, International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided college students in the United States and Canada the opportunity to explore the world. ISA offers a wide variety of study abroad programs at accredited schools and universities in 73 program locations throughout the world.

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