For my intercultural interview I ended up reaching out to my high school Spanish teacher to help connect me. I had originally planed on interviewing someone else, but that fell through on me, so FaceTime was the best that I could get to an actual face to face interview. I ended up interviewing a person from my home state named Daniela, who grew up in southern Peru before moving to the United States for college. In the short time that we had, her stories really showed me more than I thought I would ever know about Peru and Peruvian culture/beliefs.
To initiate conversation and really get an idea of where Daniela has come from, I started out by asking her about her childhood, where she grew up, and what life was like for her during that time. Daniela was born in Lima, and lived in Lima until she moved to the United States to go to school in 1983. Growing up, Daniela was part of an upper-middle class family, and thus lived differently than people from people who were not as well off. Daniela explained to me that the wealth in Peru is spread out geographically, so there is more money in the larger cities and extreme poverty in the rural areas. Life for people in the Amazon basin in still considered very tribal, and many of their beliefs and ways of lives reflect their environment. She also said that in Peru, the people that live in the Amazon basin are considered to be the poorest people in Peru, and only recently did the government of Peru officially recognize and attempt to protect their heritage.
Next, Daniela told me about the people that live in Peru’s mountainous regions; in cities such as Ayacucho and Cuzco. Here the population is largely of Quechua or Aymara descent, and most of these people still speak native languages. In Peru, Daniela explained to me that the level of education varies depending again upon your geographic location and social status. This to me seems to be both similar and different to the American education system. People are afforded different opportunities depending upon where they are from; but, people are able to and must go to school. In Peru, Daniela explained that people that are from the rural areas may not be able to go to school because of their geographic location. Daniela also said that for people of higher social status who live in more populous areas of the country are able to have a choice in which schools they go to and what sorts of things are taught at these schools. I would almost compare this to the various means of primary education in the United States. There are various types of schools, and not every school teaches the same things. Also, the Peruvian school system is very similar to that of the United States because they believe in free compulsory education, which in Peru is 11 years. Overall, It can be said that Peruvian schools are very dependent upon population to operate, and without enough of a population there is no school.
While discussing Daniela’s childhood, I...