Well, the name of this page is "The Peru-Texas Connection." You have already been introduced to a quick look of history, geography and other subjects. Now I am going to describe some similarities and dissimilarities, between the Peruvian culture and the Texan culture. I think that after living over 20 years in Texas and adopted it as my state, and particularly Houston as my new hometown, I have the knowledge to talk about this.

However, it is not my intention to comment on which one is good and the other bad. It would be a mistake to make comparisons. All that I want is to examine and describe with the only purpose that this may help somebody to better understand both of these cultures. Whether a Peruvian goes to Texas or a Texan goes to Peru, this person is going to be exposed to one of these two cultures. The more that you know about it the easier for you to understand the other culture, and to accept it.

Green Gators

Sports: USA invented a lot of sports, which are practiced worldwide such as Basketball. Baseball that has its origins also in USA is played in several countries but not like basketball which is very popular worldwide. Peru virtually didn't invent any sport; but there is one that glues together everybody and this sport is Soccer.
British merchant sailors introduced soccer to Peru many years ago. For a while it was only practiced by the upper social class in their clubs. It took a while to be disseminated into different social stratums; but when this happened, soccer became a passion for the Peruvians. When the Peruvian National team plays against other team, everybody forgets their differences and worries.
Peru had presidents that scheduled a game in which the Soccer National team played just to distract the people's attention when the political opposition party was planning to have a political rally.
Probably I will not be the first in saying that despite Soccer is so popular in Peru, still its national team has not reached a level to compete successfully, in the soccer World Cup or other competitions among soccer clubs at least in the last 25 years. For many years Peruvian soccer was in a second level in South America. The dominant countries always were Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, the Atlantic's countries. Peru always competed in a second level with Chile and Paraguay. Other countries like Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador never played competitive soccer. However in the last years the gap between the Atlantic's countries and the ones from the Pacific have reduced to almost zero.
But at the same time, countries like Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador have made gigantic progress in soccer, that makes very difficult for Peru to classify for the world soccer cup.
I personally believe that Peru could play better soccer, but unfortunately its limited resources, such as fields and sport facilities hinder the possibilities of having better soccer teams because it indeed has good players, and most of them emigrate to play in European teams.

On the contrary soccer in USA has not been played for too long; however USA National team has classified for a World Soccer Cup probably more times than Peru and in the last World Soccer Cup (Korea-Japan) USA team derailed the hopes of the Mexicans fans defeating Mexico’s National team. One of the reasons that USA classifies more often for the World Soccer Cup is because it competes in a group that has much inferior soccer skills that the South American teams. However it would be unfair not to give some credit to the American team for competing more often in the world soccer cup. USA soccer team despite the few years that soccer has become another important sport in USA, has a tremendous potential, due to the economic power and human resources. However soccer in the USA is still at the level that it is played only by the upper and middle social classes, or by the immigrants. For USA to become a soccer power machine it needs to expand the game within the lowest social classes. The best players from Brazil like "Pele", or "Maradona" from Argentina, and other countries came from the suburbs, from the fabelhas. Players from the middle and upper class play soccer just for fun, but not to become professional players, unlike the players from suburbs that play to be professionals to come out of poverty, like the basketball players in USA.

The other obstacle for soccer in USA to become a popular sport, it is that mostly Americans ignore this game. Coverage in newspapers is limited. The newpapers may have 8 full pages of sport coverage and only a list of 2”x5” of soccer news. TV networks don't give the same coverage that they provide to American Football, Baseball or Basketball. Any time that the USA National soccer team plays against Mexico National team at home; the USA teams looks like the visitor team, and the Mexico team like the home team; since 95 % of the crowd attending the game are Mexican nationals. At least the USA Soccer Federation learned a lesson from this and now they prefer to set the games in the North East of the country where a lot of seats are distributed to college to have a crowd cheering the US team.
On the other hand it seems that all the sports invented and played in USA, were designed for TV coverage, because they can accommodate commercials almost every minute. Basketball, Baseball and Football games last hours when actually playing time maybe from 40 to 60 minutes. In that way Soccer has not appeal for the moneymakers TV stations.

I myself played soccer all my life, but I remember that I had my first official soccer ball when I was 15 years old. Now I coach my son's team who has played in two leagues extremely well organized. Unfortunately for the sake of soccer all these kids that I coach they are probably not going to be professional soccer players; they will become doctors, engineers or any other occupation. So until soccer doesn't filter down to the suburbs or get into almost every American soul, soccer in USA will not be at the same level than Brazil, Argentina or Italy. USA's Soccer team like Peru's team will be just another participant, but not a candidate to win the World Soccer Cup.

Updated on September 20, 2003

Religion: Peru by its constitution is a Catholic country. We can say that the majority of the population are Catholic Christians. There is not separation between the government and religion. However in the last 30 years other Christian churchs have come in, particularly in large cities like Lima.

Contrary in Texas, Catholics are a minority. The largest Christian Church are the Baptists. In Texas like USA, government and religion are separated. Praying at Texas schools is not allowed.

Catholicism was introduced into Peru when the Spaniards arrived back in 1526. Christianity was brought to USA when the Pilgrims arrive to North America.

Peru in some way has been blessing with religion. Peru may have more saints that any other country in the American continent. These saints go back to the colonial period. Santa Rosa de Lima (St Rose), born in Lima, during the viceroyalty was the first female saint in the Americas, and called patron saint of Lima and of the Americas. San Martin de Porres also born in Lima was canonized in the 1960s. Unlike Santa Rosa de Lima who was born from a prominent family; San Martin de Porres was the son of a noble Spanish and a black slave. Also during the colony a black slave painted the image of Jesus Christ crucified in the cross on an adobe wall. When the Spanish authorities learned of the painting, they considered a sacrilege; they ordered a soldier to white out the image. The legend says that any attempt to paint off the image ended tragically for the person who was trying to carry out the order. People started praying to the image, that the catholic authorities took action and the painting was acknowledged by the Vatican in Rome. This paint became known as "El Señor de los Milagros (Lord of the Miracles."

Coming soon:

Political parties

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Updated on 04/24/2005

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