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These Books By Peruvian Authors Spoke To Me In A Way No Others Could

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When I was a kid, my father always told me that two things would expand my mind: traveling and books. I figured I could just read way to other countries and kill two birds with one stone (right?!). I’ve read most of the American classics like “To Kill A Mockingbird,” “The Great Gatsby,” “The Catcher In The Rye,” and “Of Mice And Men.” But it wasn’t until I was about 18 that my father began introducing me to Peruvian classics. He told me these were our authentic stories…

1. “La Ciudad Y Los Perros” (The Time Of The Hero) by Mario Vargas Llosa

Mario Vargas Llosa is one of the most famous Peruvian authors. This story focuses around a group of teens that attend the same military school my dad went to in his teens, so this is especially close to his heart. This is a coming-of-age story for teenage boys who had to face what every teen boy deals with – on top of racism and white privilege in 1950s Peru. In the book we follow how these young boys had to cope with being outcasts and outsiders in their own country.

2. “Un Mundo Para Julius” (A World For Julius) by Alfredo Bryce Echenique

I’ll try not to be a cornball, but this story really does have the power to remind a reader about the true riches in life: family, people, time spent. “Un Mundo Para Julius” is a daring story that exposes high society’s priorities in 1960s Peru. Julius is a little boy growing up in a wealthy family. His dad is too busy working and his mom is too busy socializing so he becomes incredibly close to his nanny. This hits close to home for a lot of us, because while our parents may not have been high society, they were busy working so some of us were raised by our abuelitas.

 3. “El Mundo Es Ancho y Ajeno” (Broad and Alien Is The World) by Ciro Alegria

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Author, Ciro Alegria, was an advocate for indigenous rights and the protection of native land. The story is about the perseverance of the main character and his fight to protect his land from landowners of European descent. The book explores the exploitation of Peruvian Indians, and the racism and discrimination the poor townspeople experienced. We follow the unfortunate road of Indians who tried to repair their lives and cultures with the very little they were left with. While this story was written in 1941, the similarities we can see in America and shocking and a true eye opener.

 4. “Los Ríos Profundos” (Deep Rivers) by José María Arguedas

This story follows an Indian teenage boy who travels to the Andes (Cuzco, to be exact) with his father in hopes of finding a job for his dad. There, the boy enrolls in a Catholic school and lives through suffering, violence, discrimination and pain. The book questions Catholicism in Peru while encouraging the determination and individualism of self-awareness, power, and decision-making. It is a rebellious and unconventional story, a symbolism for growing up and sometimes having to go against society’s standards.

5. “Los Heraldos Negros” (The Black Heralds) by César Vallejo

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If you’re a poet, enjoy poetry or have simply ever been in love and heartbroken, you should probably check this guy out. César Vallejo was considered one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. His work was known for making pain and suffering poetic. As a poet, he dared to explore the darkness of a human being without ever admitting to further understanding or insight on it. After every stanza and line, he questions existence, pain and evolution, only to end up with no answered questions at the end of each poem. This signified the road a human must take in life, we may search the meaning in things forever, only to be left with more questions. His poems were dark, honest, and one of the most vulnerable pieces in Peru at the time.

READ: This Boricua Is Bringing An Indie Bookstore To Her Neighborhood Of 1.4 Million

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A Trump Voter Is Likely Losing Her Husband To Deportation

things that matter

A Trump Voter Is Likely Losing Her Husband To Deportation

Univision Noticias / YouTube

Helen Beristain is having a bit of voter’s remorse. The Indianan was all in on her vote for President Trump back in November. Now, her undocumented husband, Roberto, who owns a restaurant in northern Indiana, is up for deportation and she can’t believe it.

Roberto Beristain is facing deportation from the U.S. and his wife Helen, who voted for President Trump, can’t believe it.

https://twitter.com/TrumpNewssGOP/status/845273778003181568


“Trump did say the good people would not be deported, the good people would be checked,” Helen Beristain told Indiana Public Media. Helen Beristain admitted to IPM that she voted for Trump specifically because she agreed with his hard line stance on illegal immigration.

According to WTIU, Roberto’s detention took place in February during a check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Indianapolis.


Roberto, who entered the U.S. illegally in 1998, was detained by immigration officials during his check-in due to an incident that took place in 2000. Helen and Roberto were on a road trip to Niagara Falls when, according to WTIU, they accidentally crossed into Canada. Roberto was detained in Canada because he did not have the proper documentation.

ICE gave WTIU a statement about Roberto’s case. They said he was given a voluntary departure date after he accidentally crossed into Canada without proper documentation, which he ignored.

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CREDIT: WTIU / YouTube

Helen Beristain was pregnant at the time and instead of following the voluntary departure order, he chose to stay in the U.S. to be with his wife and growing family. That decision would ultimately lead the family to the problems they are facing today. With the detention of Roberto in Konesha, Wis., the family is struggling to maintain Eddies Steak Shed, a restaurant owned by the Granger, Indiana resident.

Roberto’s family is trying everything they can to keep him in the country, including a petition on change.org.


“Roberto has been married to Helen for 17 years and they have 3 children. Maria (15), Jasmine (14) and Demetri (8) all U.S. citizens. He also has a stepson, Phil Kolliopoulos (wife Ashley), and is a (step) grandfather to Kolten Kolliopoulos,” Roberto’s stepson, Phil Kolliopoulos, wrote on the petition. “Roberto has always been a family oriented father. Trying to explain to the kids why this is happening to their father is not an easy thing to do.”

The community, including the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, have come to support Roberto to save him from deportation.


“Meeting with his family and friends at his business, Eddie’s Steak Shed, in the town of Granger, I am struck by many things: the tenderness of his wife’s love for him, the innocence of his four American children (especially the teenage daughters who are now being taunted at school over his case), the loyalty of his 20 employees, and the pride and affection of his gathered friends and acquaintances as they rally to show their support,” Mayor Pete Buttigieg told Indiana Public Media.

Mayor Buttigieg continued: “But most striking of all is how many of the people now sticking up for Roberto are politically conservative. These are small-town Indiana residents, veterans and grandparents who come to his restaurant after Mass or Rotary. They vigorously defend him as a man they are proud to call a friend. And the more I think about it, the more clearly it is consistent with their conservative values that they stand up for Roberto.”

You can watch the full news story below.


READ: L.A., Home To More Than 1M Undocumented Immigrants, Is Preparing For Trump’s Threat Of Deportations With New Fund

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