Peru: Beyond Politics: ‘Chelita’, Chicharrón and Chess

For most of the year, Peruvian citizens have been dealing with electoral processes. On October 3, 2010, Peruvians went to the polls to elect mayors and regional representatives. Only six months later, on April 10, 2011, the presidential election was held, including a second electoral round which took place last June 5.

Fortunately, Peru has more than elections and politics to offer. Let's take a look at some of the other topics that have been discussed in the Peruvian blogosphere.

The passing of ‘Chelita’

A sad news broke the morning of Tuesday, June 21. The popular and beloved artist Analí Cabrera [es] succumbed to the breast cancer she had been fighting for the past years. She was known as ‘Chelita’ for her character on a popular television show from the 1980s called ‘Risas y Salsa [es]’ (Laughs and Salsa), where she played the role of a secretary whose boss tried uselessly to seduce her.

During the 1990s, she had an aerobics TV show, and after it was revealed that she had cancer, Chelita gave motivational speeches to women struggling with the same disease. This is how some bloggers shared the news:

Luis Vigil, the blogger of Mejor hablar de ciertas cosas… [es] (It's better to talk about some things…) republishes:

La actriz Analí Cabrera, quien padecía de cáncer, falleció esta madrugada a los 51 años de edad, causando una gran consternación entre quienes disfrutaron de su talento y de un personaje que tenía impregnado en la piel y la memoria de todos los peruanos: “Chelita”.


Su personaje, la dulce secretaria “Chelita”, se ha convertido en uno de los clásicos de la televisión peruana y seguramente, volverá eterno, el recuerdo de Analí Cabrera, una batalladora mujer que lucho a brazo partido contra la muerte.

51 year old actress Analí Cabrera, who was a cancer patient, passed away this morning, causing profound consternation among those who enjoyed her talent and that character she had impregnated on her skin and in the memories of every Peruvian: “Chelita”.


Her character, sweet secretary “Chelita”, has become a classic of Peruvian TV and will surely become a timeless  memory of Analí Cabrera, a fighting woman who struggled tooth and nail against death.

President Alan García went to her funeral and said “she was the girlfriend everyone wished to have”. On Twitter, hashtags #Chelita and #AnaliCabrera have been created for updates.


In other news, the Ministry of Agriculture declared the third Saturday of June as ‘Chicharrón Day’. Chicharrón is made out of pork rinds and is very popular in Peru, especially as part of what is called a ‘criollo breakfast’. Group blog Paradero Perú reports [es]:

Chicharrón. Image by Derrick S. on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Chicharrón. Image by Derrick S. on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Mediante una Resolución Ministerial publicada el día de hoy en el diario “El Peruano”, se ha declarado el tercer sábado de junio de cada año como el “Día del Chicharrón de Cerdo Peruano”.


El Ministro de Agricultura, Jorge Villasante, ha dado luz verde a la solicitud de la Asociación Peruana de Porcicultores, quienes en el marco de su 25 aniversario, hicieron la petición de nombrar un día como el “Día del Chicharrón de Cerdo Peruano”, al ser un plato típico de nuestras tres regiones, y símbolo de nuestra gastronomía.

Through a ministerial resolution published today in newspaper “El Peruano”, [the Government] has declared the third Saturday of June as “Day of Peruvian Pork Chicharrón”.


The Minister of Agriculture, Jorge Villasante, gave the green light to the request from the Peruvian Association of Pigfarmers, who because their 25th anniversary, asked to appoint a date as the “Day of Peruvian Pork Chicharrón”, as it is a typical dish of our three regions, and a symbol of our gastronomy.

As another token of how fond Peruvians are of their food, the country is about to celebrate “National Day of Cebiche”. Cebiche is considered one of the main seafood dishes in Peru.

The blog Peru Inside [es] writes about this important member of Peruvian gastronomy:

Peruvian Cebiche, with choclo and cancha. Image by David and Katarina on Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Peruvian Cebiche, with choclo and cancha. Image by David and Katarina on Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

El 28 de Junio es el Dia Nacional del Cebiche, la asociación ARMAP y Javier Vargas gestor del día, invita a compartir este momento en familia.


No olvides la fecha 28 de Junio del 2011 en el Centro Comercial MEGA PLAZA.


June 28 is National Day of Cebiche, association ARMAP and Javier Vargas, driving force behind the date, invite you to share this moment along with the family.


Don't forget the date, June 28, 2011 at MEGA PLAZA Shopping Center.



On the subject of sports, we have good news coming from the Female Junior National Volleyball team: on Tuesday, June 22, they were crowned champions of the Panamerican games for their category. The games were held in Lima.

Ver fútbol en vivo [es] leaves aside football for a while and says:

En un comienzo las dirigidas por Natalia Málaga se vieron superadas por las visitantes, que fueron más rápidas y contundentes y se llevaron el primer set por 25-18, sin embargo en el segundo set las cosas cambiaron, las peruanas mejoraron su juego y lograron llevárselo por 29-27 en un emocionante final.

At first, the girls lead by [the team's coach] Natalia Málaga were being beaten by their [Dominican] opponents, who were faster and more forceful and took the first set by 25-18. However, during the second set things changed, the Peruvians improved their play and won [the fourth and last set] by 29-27 in an exciting ending.

Finally, teen chess player Deysi Cori won the Women's Continental Chess Championship, held in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The blog Brú [es] quoted Deysi:

“Estoy muy contenta y orgullosa. Esta victoria es producto del esfuerzo y la preparación que vengo recibiendo. La preparación con Grandes Maestros en Argentina viene siendo muy importante para mi carrera y la de mi hermano. Hemos mejorado nuestro juego y sé que puedo lograr más victorias. Quiero dejar el nombre del Perú en alto y traerles más triunfos”, expresó la ajedrecista peruana tras el triunfo.

“I am very happy and proud. This victory is a product of the effort and the training I've been receiving. The training with Grandmasters in Argentina is very important for my career and my brother's. We've been improving our skills and I know we can get more victories. I want to give a good name to Peru and bring on more triumphs”, expressed the Peruvian chess player after the victory.
Image of Deysi Cori from July 2010, by Federació d'Escacs Valls d'Andorra on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Image of Deysi Cori from July 2010, by Federació d'Escacs Valls d'Andorra on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Not everything has been politics (nor football) in Peru lately.

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