Slang and Salud (Health)

As we begin settling into a routine here in Trujillo, we’ve enjoyed a more laid back day than the busy days we’ve experienced in Peru so far. During our morning of classes, we made a list of the new words we had learned and talked about the day before and added new words to the list that we learned today. Sandra, one of our energetic professors, loves exposing us to more of the Peruvian culture and language in this way, as well as learning and making comparisons to our American ways herself. Today, we learned many Peruvian slang words, such as juerga, slang for fiesta (party); pata, slang for amigo (friend), and al toque, slang for ahora (now). We practiced using these slang words by creating commercials for Peruvian products. Some of the commercials advertised Coca tea, mineral water, and doña pepa (a popular chocolate treat/candy). Some of us recorded them and shared the videos with the class while others performed them live. It was a really fun way to practice our Spanish and use Peruvian slang. Sandra thought they were very amusing!

For lunch, half of us went to a restaurant called the Hattrick, a typical Peruvian restaurant close to our school. It is very common for these restaurants to have a set lunch menu that includes 3 courses, with a few choices for each course. The menus at these restaurants change almost every day. Today, we weren’t feeling that adventurous with our choices. Almost all of us ate taqueños (wontons), chicharrón de pollo (popcorn chicken) and arroz zambita (rice dessert).  

In the afternoon, we attended a lecture in the library of our school about the improvements in the Peruvian quality of health over time, presented by an experienced Peruvian doctor, Luis Arteaga Temoche. Temoche has served as a doctor and physiology professor in North and South America and is currently the head of the physiology department at National University in Trujillo. It was very interesting to learn about the healthcare system in Peru as well as some statistics about how the health of Peruvians has changed over the years. We learned that the access to health care and the presence of various diseases and health conditions vary across the country depending on the different climates and landscapes. For example, the people that live in the rainforest and mountains have limited access to healthcare because the population is smaller and less dense, and they also are more susceptible to diseases due to the colder climate. We also learned that the percentage of Peruvians with health problems have increased recently (it is now approximately 38%), and so has the number of doctors and medical institutions. Peru’s goal is to have universal healthcare for every citizen, and they have taken significant steps to accomplish this goal, such as providing better prenatal care, sex education, and providing limited access to free healthcare for people in extreme poverty.

Throughout our time in Peru we are continuously experiencing and learning about the societal systems and cultural differences in our classes, our home stays, and our interactions with the people and landscape. These experiences have led me to develop new perspectives and deeper understandings of the Peruvian culture and way of life, as I absorb and reflect on the impact of these enriching opportunities in relation to my own comfortable American lifestyle.

Search the links to see the two commercials.