Thursday, March 24, 2011

A new life: a new smile for Valeria II

A couple of days ago I shared with you the story of Valeria, the little girl who is waiting for a new heart to live, to smile again. I asked for help and was overwhelmed by the incredible response. People from many countries started to collaborate in many different ways, donating, spreading the word and giving support to the family. It was beautiful to seeing how people can get together, taking a minute in their lives to think about someone else. Besides, it gave me hope in this critical situation. I feel full of energy to continue looking for help.

Now I have good news for you, ESSALUD the health institution that gives health care to Peruvian employees contacted Valeria´s family to let them know that they are going to cover the heart transplant surgery. So right know their only need is to raise money for the transportation to the US in an air ambulance, post surgery medicines and other expenses calculated around $200,000. This is much more manageable than the huge price tag that was needed before. Of this amount the family has reported raising $70 000 from donations made through COTA, various bank accounts set up to assist and different activities ( collections, parties, soccer tournaments, etc).

I would like to thank everyone who has helped Valeria’s cause in any way and hope that you will help us finish this task. There are still some expenses to cover but it is wonderful to know that she is going to have a new heart, a new smile and a new life .

My special thanks to all friends in Twitter to helping me with this challenge through your mentions, efforts and thoughts. We are working right now on this: Of special note and thanks goes to @KitMcConnell who has agreed to to match any NEW Twitter donation made before Friday midnight up to $5000. The donor page is HERE. Please let me know if you make your donation so we can keep track.
I will continue to update everyone about the progress of this effort to help this little girl.

Please find a moment to continue helping us in your own way to make Valeria´s little girl full fill of smiles. Our thoughts and prayers are with Valeria and her family as well as all those in need.

Update: Got word late last night that Valeria is on her way to Minnesota . Awesome News!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A new life : a new smile for Valeria

Sometimes the world seems filled with so many problems some big like the issues our friends in Japan are facing and some small that we encounter every day as we live our lives. I am writing today about one of these problems that is bigger than is possible for any one person to handle alone and therefore I am sharing it with you through this blog post.

Valeria Vasquez is the young daughter of two young physicians I know in Lima Peru. She is very sick and needs a heart transplant to live because she is suffering from dilated caryomyopathy. There is hope, Dr Rebecca Amendari from University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital (@UofMChildrens on Twitter) has accepted her for advanced heart failure treatment and evaluation for a transplant.

However, this procedure is very expensive as follows:
Physician & Anesthesia $ 85,000.00
Out-Patient Pharmacy $ 10,500.00
Home Health Care $ 5,000.00
Home Infusion Services $ 15,000.00
Hospital facility fee $520,000.00

I am not even sure what the “Hospital facility fee” includes but that is the deal. Many are working working to raise this amount to give Valeria a new life and smile.

A Facebook page has been started currently with 23,200 members and both a Spanish (#salvemosavalita)and English (#HVal) twitter hash tag have started. Valeria’s aunt has started a contest on a blog and the television and newspapers have begun to cover it in Lima.

However, I fear it is not enough and time is running out. Now we have a challenge - and I ask for your help. Please let your Facebook and Twitter networks know about this effort. Only together will it ever be possible to raise this amount of money.

If you are able please be a part of this miracle and help us give Valeria a new life filled with huge smiles.

So please ACT now and make your contribution to this effort HERE
I have and I hope you will be able to as well.

Thank you so much for taking a moment to review this important effort. My thoughts and prayers are with Valeria and I know her parents will greatly appreciate any help you might provide.

Phabiola Herrera, MD.

Peruvian TV Report (Spanish)
Part I

Part II

Following are other ways people are helping:

Please if you know of any aid agencies email

Accounts in Peru:

Interbank (on behalf of Bruno Vásquez de Bracamonte)
288-3038206265 (in Soles).
288-3038206299 (in US Dollars).

For international transfers you must state the Swift code: BINPPEPL
Banco Internacional del Peru - Interbank

Accounts in Canada
TD Canada Trust Bank: 4028-6441416 (in CAD)

Account in US
Bank of America: 004614076264
ZIP: 0000, ABA: 026009593.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What are you in the mood for eat?

I remember this question from my childhood and cannot remember ever having as many options as now in Lima. Lima is a new city for food with a mixture of flavors, cusine and unique environments: resulting in an exotic, innovative and diverse variety of resturants. However, the classic optins remain, unforgettable and with a traditional flare. Places from our memories anchored from their walls.
I'm making a list of my favorites along with recommendations from my friends as a way to remember and ensure I do not miss any of the new experiences and flavors from Lima's revitalized resturant scene. Let me know if I miss any places that you know that I should try. I will update after first trying them out.

Restaurant Huaca Pucllana
Peruvian and International Cuisine with a magnificent view of an Pre-Inca archaelogical temple.
General Borgoño cdra. 8, Huaca Pucllana - Miraflores
Reservation: 445 4042 Fax: 445 2630

La Rosa Nautica
Peruvian & International Cuisine in a great atmosphere with a magic of the ocean view.
Espigon 4 Circuito de Playas, Miraflores
Reservation 4450149 4470057 4475450

La Vista Restaurant Hotel Marriot
Delicious Peruvian/International Buffet: Winner of the World’s Best Marriot Restaurant
Peruvian/International Buffet
Malecon De La Reserva 615, Miraflores
Reservation 2177000

Astrid & Gaston
International & Peruvian food. Chef Gaston Acuri’s first restaurant - he is considered one of the most influencial Peruvian Chefs.
Calle Cantuarias 175, Miraflores, Lima, Perú.
Reservation 242 5387

Señorio de Sulco
Peruvian cuisine with a great ocean view.
Malecón Cisneros 1470, Miraflores
Reservations 441 0183 - 441 0389

Brujas de Cachiche
Enjoy a great diversity of Creole, Peruvian and Seafood cuisine in this local favorite.
Calle Bolognesi 472, Miraflores
Phone 447-1133, 447-1883

Pescados Capitales
This restaurant is known for its great variety of seafood always a great choice
La Mar 1337, Miraflores
Phone 421 8808 / 222 5731

La Mar
Gaston Acurio’s creativity coupled with delicious seafood dishes.
Av. La mar 770 -miraflores.
Reservations. 421 3365

El Mercado
Rafael Osterling owns this establishment with a great variety of seafood dishes for you to enjoy.
Hipólito Unanue 203 (with Mendiburu, one block from Av. La Mar), Miraflores, Lima,
Reservations 221-1322.

Huaringas Bar
Enjoy a variety of Pisco based drinks (Peru’s national drink) in a great atmosphere.
Calle Bolognesi 460, Miraflores
Phone: 467-5210

Fusion and Mediterranean cuisine from Chef Rafael Osterling known for his creativity and outstanding quality of his unique creations.
Calle San Martin 300 Miraflores, Lima
Reservation 2424149

La Trattoria di Mambrino
A great place to have an Italian dinner and enjoy amazing desserts. If you are dessert person, you should definitely plan a visit.
Manuel Bonilla 106 - 108 - 112, Miraflores
Reservations 446-7002 / 446-1192

La Carreta
In the mood for parrillada( BBQ)? This is considered the best joint in Lima.
Av. Rivera Navarrete 740
San Isidro Lima, PERU
Reservations: 442.2690 , 441.4742

Wa Lok
Food from many regions of China with a specialty in Cantonese food.
Av Angamos Oeste 700 Miraflores
Reservations 4471329

Chinese and oriental cuisine in a great atmosphere. Peruvian Chinese is a very different experience from that found in the States - definitely worth a try.
Av. Prescott 231. San Isidro. Lima - Perú
Reservations 422 9547 /421 0814

Edo Sushi Bar
A delicate balance between Japanese tradition offerings and Peruvian taste.
Calle Berlin 601
Reservation 2432448

Toshiro Sushi Bar
Traditional Japanese Cuisine from Toshiri Konishi who preserves time honored tradition in his sophisticated dishes.
Av. Conquistadores 450, San Isidro
Reservation (01) 221-7243.

New Peruvian Oriental Cuisine fusion. Try the addition of Peruvian ingredients such as avocado, passion fruit in their dishes making a different and great taste mixed with traditional Oriental tastes.
Conquistadores 999 San Isidro
Reservation 222 0405

" Peru Mucho Gusto "

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pisco the Alpaca from the Andes surfs the wave

Before summer ends in Peru everybody wants to enjoy water sports before the fall weather returns. During the last days of summer, Pisco the adventurous alpaca accepts the challenge to ride the Pacific waves. Domingo Pianezzi is his teacher and partner on this journey. Domingo, a Peruvian surfer has helped dogs for many years on their incursion into the surf waves. He has also surfed at various times with a cat, hamster and parrot. This time, he has taken it to the next level. His new surfing companion is Pisco the Alpaca. Domingo loves to ride the waves now that he is joined by this emblematic Peruvian animal.

Alpacas are known worldwide for their incredible yarn that makes warm and exclusive clothing and their exquisite flavor for cooking.Now they are working on joining the surfer elite – so watch for them soon at a surfing competition near you. If Pisco can surf maybe it is time for you to take some surfing lessons. What do you think?

EMBED-Alpaca Learns How to Surf - Watch more free videos

Guinea Pig: Do you accept the challenge?

In many countries Guinea Pigs are pets but for many Peruvians it is a source of protein and a delicious food. People have eaten Guinea pig for thousands of years – they are known for a high amount of protein and low fat. I know it sounds weird but I have tried it and it’s delicious!

Throughout Peru it is a very common dish but especially in Cuzco, Arequipa and Huaraz among other cities. If you are in Lima you can also try Guinea Pig at many great restaurants like El Tarwi , El Rocoto and Malabar. Malabar is one of my favorite places to try new gourmet dishes. It is characterized by its unique use of native Andean products mixed with other cuisines. The result: great flavor with every dish a delicacy.

If you decided to try this new dish –especially at one of these great restaurants- let me know your impressions. Of course, if I have not convinced you there is always the option to adopt a Guinea pig and save it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Which month is the best to travel to Peru?

Why pick just one? If you are planning a vacation consider Peru in your plans for year round travel! You can visit anytime but can you leave? Be prepared to stay up all night long if you like to party. The food year round is delicious & inexpensive if you are a foodie. Of course Peru and its cities like Lima, Cusco and Iquitos can’t be beat for a sample of unique history, architecture and nature. From the highlands to coast and through the jungles of the Amazon Peru is a treat for every taste.

Here are some seasonal suggestions to help you decide:

Pacific Coast: December to March is the warmest season with beautiful blue skies and crystal clear waters. Like any beach you might need a light jacket to be comfortable during the breezy summer nights. Many secluded and romantic beaches are hidden for you to discover as you explore this 1,500 miles of secluded coastline – most of the best finds aren’t on any tourist maps.

Andes mountain highlands: The Andes experience 2 seasons. The rainy season between November and March is filled with heavy rains and cold temperatures. Many backpackers choose the season of rain to visit because of the lower cost of the slow season. However, most travelers plan their visit to the Andes during the dry season from April to October. Vivid mountain landscapes are framed by blue skies and sun. In the Andes the sun is the key, in the shade of the mountains it is chilly but you can warm up under Inca sun.

The Rainforest Jungle of the Amazon: A visit to the Amazon Rainforest is the experience of a lifetime. One of the last pristine and untouched landscapes on earth, the virgin jungle is a gift for those who love nature in all its glory. Unique species extinct in other latitudes still thrive in this land. It rains a lot in the Rainforest so plan on bringing your rain gear. The wet season runs from November to May with many choosing to visit during the dry season of June through October. Just remember both seasons are HOT and humid with an average daily temperature of 82 F. If you are brave enough you can sleep in a nature preserve and return home with exotic tales for your family and friends.

Peru:Land of the Inkas

Monday, March 15, 2010

ExpoRock 2010: Such a blast!!

More than 20,000 people celebrated during the 45th Vintage Ica Festival at the ExpoRock 2010 concert with a explosion of lights, fireworks and LCD screens. The party lasted all night long with most of the famous Peruvian singers and rock bands played to the crowds.

Locals and visitors alike enjoyed the variety of wines, pisco and cachina (the sweet drink of the Icas). All the big Peruvian wineries: Tacama, Tabernero and Ocucaje were there in full force.

So, if you are tempted by this news… Mark your calendar, make your plans and be ready for next year’s festival in 2011.

ExpoRock 2010 Concert