Taos welcomed Peruvian Consul General Roland Denegri on Saturday, (Sept. 1) with a reception at Quechua Peruvian Restaurant.Denegri, along with vice-consul Freddie Martinez and other …
Taos welcomed Peruvian Consul General Roland Denegri on Saturday, (Sept. 1) with a reception at Quechua Peruvian Restaurant.
Denegri, along with vice-consul Freddie Martinez and other members of the delegation, visited Taos at the invitation of Trotsky Barreto, owner of Quechua. The group plans to visit annually to build ties with the Southwest and to offer services to Peruvian citizens in the area. They will return in October to establish a mobile consul in Santa Fe.
A multicultural group of almost 70 people gathered to welcome the consul delegation, which is based in Denver. Barreto said "We are trying to bring the community together. You see all the faces. We are a different kind of community with people from the Pueblo, Latinos, and others from Taos."
The speakers welcoming the delegation echoed themes of unity and respect for the deep cultural and indigenous roots of both New Mexico and Peru. Mayor Dan Barrone invited the delegation to spend time visiting Taos and to learn about the community's rich history and cultural diversity.
He recognized Barreto for bringing his Peruvian restaurant to Taos and for the ways he supports and gives back to the community. Quechua has brought food to the Taos Men's Shelter and invited DreamTree Project youth to their kitchen to learn about Peruvian food and culture.
Lucille Gallegos-Jaramillo, president of the Rotary Club, welcomed the delegation in Spanish and English and presented the consul with a rotary flag and mug. Mary Bernal of Taos Pueblo welcomed the group first in Tiwa and afterward in English, which she translated as "I'm very thankful for everyone being here and for all of us coming together as one people, one culture and one generation. In Taos, our cultures are richly entwined with each other."
Other dignitaries at the event included Judges Ernie Ortega and Jeff Shannon, as well as writer John Nichols, and town councilor Pascualito Maestas.
The delegation members appreciated the charm of Taos and the good feelings of welcome expressed to them as they arrived. Consul Denegri congratulated the citizens for the town that they had created and thanked Barreto as an example of a Peruvian citizen sharing the friendly spirit of the Peruvian people with the community.
Denegri said "I was amazed at the beauty of Taos and its surrounding environments with the mountains and the style of the architecture. We would like to learn as much as we can while we are here. We recognize that there are deep cultural roots here, very much like Peru."
Denegri said that Peru is a country of 32 million people with 10 percent of them living abroad and several hundred thousand living in the U.S. The Denver office is one of 13 consulates in the country, with the main embassy in Washington, D.C. The mobile consulate in Santa Fe will serve the estimated 2,000 Peruvian citizens in New Mexico, providing passport, identification and citizenship services.
Vice-consul Martinez confirmed plans for the consul to visit New Mexico at least once a year. Martinez has been at his post in Denver for three months, and it is his first post abroad. He noticed the adobe construction, which was also used in early Peruvian architecture. "It is very different than any place else in the states," he said. "I congratulate the community for the hospitality we have received and for this beautiful well-maintained city."
The delegation visited Taos Pueblo and the Río Grande Sunday (Sept. 2).
Santa Fe resident Ricardo Chumpitazi attended the event and spoke about the multicultural character of Peru and sang "El Cóndor Pasa," a Peruvian song based on traditional folk music from the Andes. It was popularized in the U.S. by Simon and Garfunkel.
Afterward he said that he was happy about the new mobile consulate that will be coming to Santa Fe in October. He said, "New Mexico and Peru share many cultural roots. We are planning to give classes on the Andean worldview and the native Peruvian language, Quechua, in both Taos and Santa Fe."
Quechua Peruvian Restaurant opened in Taos in the spring of 2017 and in Santa Fe this past July. The restaurants offer authentic Peruvian dishes, such as sudado de pescado and arroz con pollo. The business was recognized by the Small Business Development Center as a star business of the year.
Barreto said, "This is amazing news for the family that is Quechua Peruvian Restaurant since we have put all of our strength and effort to make this restaurant feel like home. This wouldn't be possible without the support of our amazing customers that come in for a new adventure but come out our doors with Peru on their bucket list. Thank you all once again for having such an open heart and mind to our family and our culture."
For more information
Quechua Peruvian Restaurant is located at 122 Paseo del Pueblo Sur C; phone number (575) 779-6397. For more details, visit them on Facebook. Contact the Consulate General of Peru in Denver at (866)-788-0338 or (303) 355-8003 or visit consulado.pe.