Thursday, May 22, 2008

Life in a Peruvian University

I learned something new today….I learned that just because we are different culturally, educationally we are all linked. Today we got the chance to actually interact with Students from one of the State Universities in Peru named Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal
This was the greatest learning experience, in which we sat and had formal and in some cases informal discussions with future graduates, most of which spoke fluent American English. We sat around in a group and talked about world issues that not only affected us as Students, the general population as a whole. The students, mostly majoring in the various fields of Communication, Sociology, and Economics, shared with us there view on such political topics as immigration in the United States, Corrupt Government, and their personal views of their Governments Past, Present and Future in the globalized market.

We also exchanged differences in the process of our education backgrounds; how classes where run, interaction with the Professors, and the student body in general. Though we come from different cultures and background, both UNFV and the University of Nebraska, Omaha have the same common goal in educating young minds and preparing them for the world.
Today I learned what influences the young minds from a different part of the world. More shocking, was their thoughts and knowledge in world affairs, including that of the U.S, which proves more to the theory that other countries pay more attention to world news and government, than that of many Americans.

We where lavished with gifts that represented each students distinct culturally difference and where entertained with a traditional Peruvian Dance of Seduction. After the group interaction, we all exchanged contact information (E mail Addresses) and took plenty of pictures to remind us that we are linked in friendship and as Scholars no matter the distance we go.

This is by far the greatest experience that I have come into contact with since my arrival in Lima and I would not change it for the world.

DeSean Anthony Young (Future Ambassador)

Minibus Transportation

The first, most used, mode of transportation in Lima is the bus, particularly the minibus. Due to Lima’s rapid urban growth in its industrial development, there has been a need to efficiently transport people and goods through out the city. In the government’s attempt to satisfy the need for transportation, they hoped to build a public underground tram. That failed, however, as the federal government and the municipal government could not organize or work fast enough to make decisions to actualize their plan. Therefore, the fastest and most accessible type of transportation was and is the minibus. In 1989 there were 13 large bus companies, 94 firms of small buses, 39 businesses running minibuses, and 7 collective taxis. The rest of the transportation need, 10%, was filled by the private vehicle.

Little has changed now. All these vehicles, versus having a tram that uses less space, has caused grave congestion difficulties. Not only is the traffic bad, but there is also a likability to get into an accident. Not to mention, there is an accumulation of pollution that causes a danger though out the city and inevitably the environment.

When outside of the hotel a group of us were deciding whether or not to go to a store at about 10 o’ clock at night. The supermarket in front of us had closed and the nearest one was about 8 blocks away. Because of the busy schedule we have had through out the day, we were feeling a bit tired. We, however, did not want to flag a cab down and have to pay an overcharged amount just to go down the avenue. The doorman from our hotel began to advice us to get into a minibus because it would be quick and cheap. He told us to tell the man at the door of the bus where we were going and that it would only cost 50 centimos (about 25 cents).

The doormen of the bus hang at the edge of the door and yell out for people to come in when it reaches the curb. He rushes you into the bus, you find whatever seat or just make your way to the back and hold on. As soon as both of your feet are in the bus, they’re off! There are many minibuses running along the stretch along the street. They are competing against each other; they set the rates because they are private companies. They drive very fast and get people in and out as quickly as possible to make a profit. They ignore stop lights many times and drive at high velocities along any type of area whether they are residential or busy avenues, as in this case. I would say they drive about 60 miles an hour in a street that is full of other buses, cars, and people dodging them. In Lima, there is no such thing as pedestrian right of way.

When you reach your destination you pay the doorman and they’re off again as soon as your feet reach the pavement. For the students of UNO, the experience was more adventurous than a roller coaster ride...

By Diana Ariss Rogel

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Blue Market

Today our group visited the Blue Market. Upon attempting to find online research of operational strategies of this market of Lima I found little. As a result I feel that others should know the kinds of great things this small community is doing to improve their lives while remaining in a strong communal organization. Rather than discussing the thrifty values of many different products, I wish to discuss the manner in which this particular market operates. The icon of this community/market is an ant. When I heard how this particular market operates
I felt others should see what this group of merchants is doing. This is not just another market place in Lima. In the blue market local merchants, of whom would be unable to afford to purchase property for their own facilities, have come together in to establish, construct, and operate a communal shopping center. The current president of this shopping center explained to us that in the Blue Market, the merchants operate their individual booths with the aids of their families. These families pulled funds together, found partial outside investment and began constructing their dream.
It appears as a mall but is much more complex. Each family pays a community portion to the mortgage of their property, and in exchange each family posses what could be described as a Tenants in Common form of mortgage. Paying an evenly split portion of the mortgage and paying dues to facilitate to repairs and maintenance this market place thrives with business and appears to be accomplishing their agendas. The president explained that they were down to 1 million dollars in their mortgage. She concluded by explaining that they hoped to expand this facility three additional floors higher and perhaps one day take their business model into the global market place.

By Oscar Duran

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Gammara is a world famous textile market and production center which is world know for it's good quality and wholesale pricing. This gated community of merchants and producers, strives to mass produce and vend many kinds of textile products, but are renowned for their special deals on clothing.
It is an extremely busy area and possesses the highest sales transaction rates in all of Peru. The streets are filled with merchants and consumers all day long, but as the night arrives and the gates close this Lima market district becomes empty. In Gammara neither workers, merchants, nor customers are allowed to live within the districts boundaries. Unfortunately, due to commercial value of Gammara it is one of the most expensive places to buy or rent property. Some development companies go as far to say that it is even more expensive per ft/mt than New York 5th Ave.
Prices are currently increasing and there are many investment opportunities for import or export services in the area. Price per square meter ranges from $4000 - $5000 US Dollars.
There are large buildings with hundreds of 3x3 meter stands inside. Each stand is rented out to individuals at extremely high monthly rates for them to distribute their products to the product in this high traffic zone.

By Oscar Duran