Category: Peru

Celebrating Peru’s Independence Day


July 28 marks Peru’s Independence Day also known as Las Fiestas Patrias. To celebrate this day,  I am honored to share with you a lovely essay from my friend, and author Mariana Llanos.  It’s a short essay on her love for Peru.

You will also find some quick historical facts, and activities to do with your kids for Peru’s Independence Day.


Peru in the Heart by Mariana Llanos 

Not long ago, an acquaintance who doesn’t have any ties to other cultures  besides the United States told me how he didn’t mind people migrating to this country for a better life.  However, he truly didn’t like these people celebrating their culture.

“They’re in America.” he said, “They should celebrate what Americans celebrate.”

Imagine my face as he said this to a Peruvian immigrant who proudly celebrates her traditions and culture. The conversation could have turned sour; instead, I chose to understand his point of view and explain mine.

“The fact that we celebrate our traditions doesn’t mean that we don’t love the United States or its culture. It just means that we want to keep our cultural identity alive. We’re merely adding another ingredient to the melting pot. Celebrating keeps us connected with the world we left behind, and helps us bear with this constant adaptation process. I imagine if you lived abroad, no matter how much you loved your new country, you would be the first in line to celebrate 4th of July.”

“Well, that’s true.” he said cocking his head, but we quickly changed subjects. I only hope that some of what I said had an impact in him.

In spite of my acquaintance, this July 28th, as Peruvians around the world commemorate the anniversary of our independence from Spain, I’m planning on celebrating with my friends as I do every year. We’ll cook our food, we’ll listen to some “música criolla”, and just rejoice in the fact that are lucky to had been born in a country with such richness of culture, history, and traditions. We’ll cherish our red and white flag, while we’ll remain grateful to the land that fosters us and allows us to be free to embrace our cultural identity.


Historical Facts about Perú:

  • One of the most important civilizations of the American continent developed in Perú: The Inca Empire. It extended from the south of what is now known as Colombia through Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Chile and the north of Argentina. It was called TAHUANTINSUYO. The capital of the Tahuantinsuyo was the city of Qosqo, or Cusco, now in Perú. One of the most impressive remains of the Inca Empire is located in Cusco. Machu Picchu attracts tourists from all around the world who rejoice in the mysticism of its history.
  • The story of Perú doesn’t start with the Incas. Prior to the Inca expansion, an array of cultures lived in what is now the Peruvian territory, including Nazca, Moche, Tiahuanaco, Wari, Recuay, Chimu among others. These cultures were absorbed by the dominant warrior spirit of the Quechuas, giving origin to the Inca Empire founded by Manco Capac, the first Inca.
  • The Inca Empire was conquered and invaded by Spanish conquistadores around 1532, when they captured Inca Atahualpa. The Spanish brought horses, swords, guns, and diseases the natives had never known.
  • The Spanish conquistadores, led by Francisco Pizarro chose the valley of Lima (called Rimaq at that moment) for the capital of the Spanish Viceroyalty. The city of Lima was founded by Pizarro on January 18th, 1535. It became the capital of Perú after the War of Independence.
  • In the late 1700’s, Tupac Amaru an indigenous leader, descendant of one of the Incas, led a rebellion that shook the core of the Spanish Viceroyalty. Tupac Amaru was not successful, and eventually him and his followers were decimated, but his rebellion left open an important window for future independence movements.
  • On July 28th, 1821, José de San Martín, an Argentinian general and prime leader of the independence movement in South America, declared the Independence of Perú (after declaring the Independence of Chile and Argentina). His words were: “From this moment Perú is free and independent by the general will of its people and by the justice of its cause defended by God. Long live our Land! Long live our Freedom! Long live our Independence!”
  • After several wars led by valiant Peruvians and their allies, Perú was finally free from the almost 300 years of Spanish occupation. A new Republic was born, one as diverse, rich, and culturally colorful as the flag of the Tahuantinsuyo.

Mariana Llanos is a Peruvian writer who has published several children’s books in English and in Spanish. She studied acting and has worked as a preschool music and art teacher for the past years. She advocates for literacy and the inclusion of multicultural characters in children’s literature. Mariana visits schools around the world through virtual technology.

To learn more about author Mariana Llanos you can visit her website Maria Llanos and her Amazon author page for more information. Follow Mariana on Facebook and Twitter!
You can also read my review on her newest poetry book Poesía Alada here.

Books about Peru (aff.links)

Kusikiy a Child from Taquile, Peru

Maria Had a Little Llama / María Tenía Una Llamita

The Children’s Book of Machu Picchu: The Amazing Story of the Mysterious Inca City in the Clouds

Kids activities and resources:

Discovering Peru with Kids


Peruvian Bird Gourd Craft for Kids


Lomo Saltado: Beef Stir Fry from Peru


Sprouted Quinoa Milk and Resources to Study about Peru {Around the World in 12 Dishes}

Machu Picchu with Kids: Step by Step Tips

History of Peruvian Potatoes, A Recipe + Link-Up

Llamellín, Peru’s Colorful “Fiestas Patronales”

Peru with Kids: 10 Things to Do with Kids in The Sacred Valley





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Peruvian Bird Gourd Craft for Kids

During this month little one, and I have been discovering Peru.  We learned about the ocarina musical instrument, played with hand-made finger puppets, and even cooked a tasty pollo a la brasa, and lomo saltado
Today, we’re sharing with you an easy Peruvian Bird Gourd Craft for kids! 

In this book you can find many activities to do with your children.  One of the activities to learn about Peru was a gourd.  A Peruvian gourd is usually carved and it’s an art tradition practiced for many generations.  Andean people used gourds to store their food, and today they have many uses. Artisans use these for storage and decorative pieces.
Gourd carving in Peru has  been practiced for more than 4,000 years.  They would be used for story telling, and it also served as a record of celebrations, oral traditions, rituals, myths, and weddings.
Little one didn’t carve the gourd. We actually used paint to color it.  The suggested colors were a deep red, and brown; but my 7 year old insisted he wanted blue! Anyways, I think it was an awesome activity to learn about a centuries old tradition in Peru. 
All month long you’ll be able to see some awesome posts on crafts from around the world from a group of crafy mamas! Click on the image below to see the other countries from around the world. 

Discovering Peru with Kids

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I love participating in Multicultural Kid Blogs Global Learning for Kids Series. It gives us as an opportunity as a familia to research, and learn about another country.  
This month’s country is Peru.  
We’re thrilled to learn about Peru. A beautiful country in South America, surrounded by Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile. 

Official name is Republic of Peru with a Constitutional republic government.  The capital is Lima, and it has a population of  30,147,935.  The official languages are Spanish, and Quechua.  Currency is Nuevo Sol, and the country is well known for it’s Andes mountain range. 
The people of Peru are a mix of many different cultures, including Indians, Spaniards and other Europeans, descendants of African slaves, and Asians. 
As an introduction to the music we listened to Daria’s Cancioncitas De Los Andes / Little Songs of the Andes.  Music in as excellent way to expose children to another culture. Luckily for me, during last year’s visit to the International Festival I purchased a Peruvian ocarina, and a gourd ornament. Little one enjoyed playing the Peruvian ocarina an ancient musical instrument. 
Multicultural toys are hard to come by but are a wonderful resource to introduce your child to a country’s culture.  I totally scored big time when I was able to purchase these adorable animal finger puppets from Daria’s Little Village Store.  These are finger puppets hand crocheted by women artisans in Peru.  Little one played with them for hours on end, and it gave us an opportunity to learn about the animals in Peru.
Now the most exciting part on learning about Peru was making Pollo a la Brasa! It’s a Peruvian-style roast chicken.  So yummy, and delish! I used the recipe found here, but instead of roasting a whole chicken marinated pieces of chicken breast, thighs, and legs.  We let the chicken sit in the marinade for 24 hours, and popped it in the oven the following day.  I must say the aroma was heavenly, and delicious! 
After dinner, we watched this short video “Introduction to Peru.” 
For more interesting facts on Peru check these resources out: 

Peru Facts Printable from

Make a puzzle out of an image of statue of Antonio Jose de Sucre and obelisk near Qinua, Peru

Peruvian Bead Necklace

Making a Simple Arpillera with Kids

All About Peru

Kid’s Activities About the Country of Peru

Be on the look-out for our next post on Peru with a wonderful craft that the kids are sure to love!