First Peruvian to work for Facebook is part of a team of young, successful techies


Walter Erquínigo. (Photo:

Walter Erquínigo, a 21-year-old information engineering student at Lima’s La Católica university, will be the first Peruvian citizen to work for Facebook, the social network that has more than 600 million users. He will complete an internship with the company.

Erquínigo arrived at Facebook thanks to his participation in the Peruvian team that qualified for the first time for the finals of the 2011 World Programming Contest. The contest is sponsored by IBM, and will take place in May in Orlando, Florida. The Peruvian programmers will be representing Latin America.

Erquínigo and his teammates Jesús Peña, Daniel Soncco and coach Víctor Laguna, all from La Católica, submitted their curricula vitae and caught the attention of multinational information technology companies, like Mark Zuckerberg’s social network and Google, which also showed an interest in them.

“We don’t know of any other Peruvian who works for Facebook, he is the first,” Laguna told He is the ‘coach’ of the group and has already signed with VMware, another software giant with offices in Palo Alto, California.

Laguna is also going through the application process for Facebook along with Peña, while Walter might do his next internship at Google. “He was tempted by the search engine, but he had already accepted the social network’s offer. Daniel is a mathematician and has decided to dedicate himself to his studies for now,” Laguna said.

Erquínigo and Laguna will travel to Palo Alto at the end of April. In May, the “fantastic four” will meet to represent Peru and Latin America in the World Programming Contest.