Promoting Peruvian culture and traditions in the UK are the objectives of an organisation, not only to maintain relations between the countries, but also to allow new residents to discover the country.
Portobello’s carnivals, which every year adorn the streets with colour, an atmosphere which oozes into Elephant and Castle’s establishments and music which is part of everyday life for Brixton’s residents are examples of the Latino presence in the city.
Groups, individuals and organisations are involved; thus becoming increasingly more recognisable, this community has started to create a ‘space’ for itself in the country.
One of those organisations is the Anglo Peruvian Society, which like the others, promotes everything related to Peruvian culture in the United Kingdom.
Beatriz Barclay, a member of this association, grew up in England and defines her fellow compatriots as ‘adventurous’.
“They are everywhere. Recently young, trained people, who are skilled labour employees, are arriving. Many are employed by companies based in the United Kingdom. They no longer face the work or linguistic problems of previous generations.”
The Anglo-Peruvian society organises a series of cultural activities throughout the year, hoping to spread the cultural, social and historical richness of Peru in Great Britain.
“Nowadays England and London are culturally more diverse. I have lived here since I was a child and back then, there wasn’t the Cosmopolitan atmosphere that there is today. There were not many of us.”
“Those who decided to create the organisation did so because they did not want to lose their ties with the country. There were lots of British people who had lived in Peru during the construction of the railway, or because of businesses” she said.
“Economic growth has helped to make Peru more well know here. It is experiencing a ‘boom’ period, there is dynamism, the middle class is growing, and this is because the growth of the country is more evenly distributed.”
Regarding the British, they claim that they are loyal and serious, and that “Once you get to know them, they are open and friendly.”
New communication platforms have opened a new door to for people to maintain relationships and are a solution to the problems that immigrants use to face when they came to the UK. Additionally, she states that “Many immigrants arrive informed about the possible problems that they may encounter in their new country. The majority of people have prior contacts and friendships. This avoids problems.”
A new immigrant’s attitude is considered fundamental in order to have a pleasant experience in the new country. “You will be very unhappy if you are always yearning for your home country and your family. You have to make an effort to adapt, otherwise you will not be happy and things will not get better.”
Translated by Emma O’Toole