Archive for Ian Shay

I am a Spanish major, peace studies minor at Gustavus Adolphus College, currently studying at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and staying with a host family in Miraflores, Lima.


Cementerio de Nueva Esperanza

The hills are alive with the bright colors graves. Millions of graves ranging from piles of stones to full-out cement altars with stairs, as people have been able to afford. It started out as an appropriation of unused land, the squatting dead, so to speak, and it has become a veritable unplanned city of the […]

Pictures of a Minority of Lima

Welcome to a minority of Lima. All these pictures are from la Costa Verde in Miraflores. The tourist track will lead you here, and most CIEE Lima host family placements aren’t far away either. For this post I draw largely on our Peruvian Social Reality class with Juan Carlos Callirgos, an Anthropology prof at la […]

Comparing PUCP and GAC

Going to school at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (la Católica) is a little bit different than Gustavus. Some things I like less, and some things I like more. If you’re curious about student life here, here’s a bit of comparison: Before I get ahead of myself, I should let you know where I’m […]

Little things

  I don’t have any big news, but here’s some little news. Winter in Lima is cold, damp, and cloudy, nearly always gray. But we’re getting into spring now, which means that the sun peeks out every now and then to warm us up. Everything is suddenly brighter, warmer, more colorful, more alive. In case […]


One of the best things about studying abroad is the opportunity to travel. When you’re staying in hostels and paying guides, it’s much cheaper to travel in a group. So, some gringo friends and I decided to go to Huaraz. Huaraz, being situated right between the Cordillera Blanca (white mountain range, named for its snowy […]


“Lima: Gastronomic Capital of the World,” say the posters in town. Its a brag, of course, but it’s not without substance. The restaurant scene in Lima is kicking, full of cebicherías, chifas (chinese-peruvian fusion), parrilleras (grills), anticucherías (grills specialized in anticuchos. See photo) and I’ve been told it’s the home to a number of world-famous […]

Reflections of a Vegetarian in Lima

Since last fall in the U.S. I was eating vegetarian, mostly for political and environmental reasons.  I am not morally opposed to eating meat, and I enjoy eating it particularly if it has come from a sustainable source, where the animals were treated well. Eating vegetarian in the U.S. was great because I largely had […]

Introduction to Lima and PUCP

Hello! I suppose I haven’t yet given an introduction to where I’m living, which might have been a more logical place to start this blog. Lima is a huge coastal city, the capital of Peru. The concrete jungle stretches miles along the bay. The weather here, being winter, is cold, gray and damp. 60 degrees […]

Polvos Azules

Welcome to Polvos Azules (blue dusts/powders), the treasure chest of the informal market of Lima. Make a voyage through the corridors of millions of “original” items: navegate the sea of Nike shoes bathed in white light, plunder Barcelona fútbol jerseys at 20 soles, unearth the Rosetta Stone or the Pirates of the Caribbean series, next […]

Ruralman vs. the Urban Micro

Hello! This is Ian Shay, a sophomore Spanish Major at Gustavus, writing from Lima, Perú. I’m here for a year with the CIEE Liberal Arts program, studying at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and staying with a host family. I arrived a couple weeks ago, and we are just finishing our Intensive Spanish in […]