Teddy Dondanville

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In Peru there is a lot of waiting outside of doors. If you go to someone else’s house it is polite to wait for the host or hostess to invite you inside. Going to someone’s house and walking straight in would be really strange. This much is true for bedrooms also. When I lived with my host family, my host siblings would never just walk into my room. They would always be… Read More

Figuring out how to understand humor in Spanish took me a while. Understanding when to use it myself took even longer. Now I am able to joke amongst colleagues and friends like I would normally in English. I’ve got a better handle on what Peruvians think is funny and how/when to deliver jokes. I think it’s really hard to try and explain each individual good joke. There is so much that is… Read More

In English we use a lot of different ways to describe money. Buck, stacks, benjamins, bill, wads, cash etc. In Peruvian culture there are also a couple slang terms to talk about money. You hear them getting used all the time so it’s important to know what they are and how to use them. Additionally, like other slang terms, they add authenticity to your Spanish and locals love it when you use… Read More

A lot of the travel in Peru gets done in buses, minivans or some weird car-contraption thing. Whether you are traveling within a city or perhaps in between two or three, you will probably use whats called a combi. I am not sure where the name came from, but I like to think that combi comes from ‘combine’ or ‘combination’. Like a whole ton of people (a combination) combined in one car…. Read More

I recently hung out with some friends from Lima. What I noticed was that the way they spoke had some subtle and interesting differences from how some of my friends from the Sierra speak. What I found out was that there are some slang terms in Spanish that are unique to Limeños (people from the capital city/ province of Lima). Here are 3 new slang terms that I learned how to use…. Read More

One of the more uniquely Peruvian things we learned once we became volunteers was the concept of Hora Peruana (Peruvian Hour). It isn’t necessarily used to say that an hour in Peru last longer or shorter than hours in other places. Time is the same for everyone. Instead, it get used to describe or excuse when things start late or people arrive delayed. This isn’t just a concept that gets toted by… Read More