Peru: Morning News Roundup – Monday February 11

Peru’s potato passion goes global

At harvest time in the highland village of Paucho, the first crop of potatoes are baked in a hole in the ground covered with hot rocks, in a ceremony called Watia – a homage to Pacha Mama, or Mother Earth. For thousands of years, the potato has been the staple diet of the people of the Andes. It was first cultivated on the Altiplano of modern-day Peru and Bolivia, and Peru still has some 2,800 varieties of potato, more than any other country. Like many people, I took the humble spud for granted, but after the launch of the UN Year of the Potato in Ayacucho in the Peruvian Andes, I am repentant at my lack of reverence for the third biggest food staple in the world. I have never seen a vegetable invoke such high passions and poetry. It was the theme for a seamless succession of carnival floats, colourful costumes, and traditional dance and music. All this was punctuated by cries of "la papa es Peruana" – "the potato is Peruvian", just in case anyone forgot. (BBC – click here to read complete article)

Seeking Profits in Peru

Free Trade Pact Slated to Take Effect This Year, Possibly Boosting Exports

If a free trade agreement with Peru goes into effect as planned this year, Orange County companies could have to learn more than how to exchange a dollar into a nuevo sol to do business with the South American country. Since Peru is a small trade partner with the U.S. and OC, many companies don’t have experience there, said Maria Cameron, U.S. Commerce Department desk officer for Peru and Venezuela in Washington, D.C. Once implemented, an agreement President Bush signed in December should make it easier for U.S. businesses to export to Peru by lowering taxes on goods and services. Some local companies are starting to look into their options for exporting goods and services there. In 2006, the most recent numbers available from the Commerce Department, it’s estimated that OC companies sent about $18 million in exports to the Andean country. (Orange County Business Journal – click here to read complete article by Sarah Tolkoff)

Spain crushes Peru 5-0 in Davis Cup tennis

Spanish tennis player Nicolas Almagro defeated Peruvian rival Ivan Miranda in straight sets on Sunday tobring the two nations’ Davis Cup World Group series to 5-0. Almagro tackled the end of the competition with greater seriousness and was determined that the Spanish team would return loss-free. Miranda already looked physically worn out and had few technical resources to withstand attacks. Almagro, who is ranked 31st in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), displayed a powerful serve and shots that targeted the depths of the line which wore down his rival physically. The first set ended 6-2. In the second set, Almagro relied on his strong backhand to demolish Miranda. The set ended 6-3. The whole match lasted only one hour and four minutes. Earlier on the day, Spain’s Tommy Rebredo won his nation’s fourth point by defeating juvenile Peruvian player Mauricio Echazu. (Xinhua – click here to read complete article)

PSV To Replace Farfán With Rising Peruvian Star

PSV Eindhoven have already decided to let go of Jeff Farfán at the end of the season, a year before his contract expires, and plan to replace him with hugely talented Reimond Manco, as the Alianza Lima vice-president told Peruvian media. The international forward moved to the Eredivisie champions in the summer of 2004 from Alianza for a reported two million euros fee. According to a contract clause, the Lima club will receive a 15% cut of the amount of money PSV Eindhoven will profit should they sell Farfán. Therefore, the Peruvians have been closely monitoring his situation. “The president of PSV Eindhoven (Frits Schuitema) has told me that Jeff will be sold in June,” Carlos Franco Chipoco told Terra Perú website. “They want someone else to take his place. Actually, they want to replace him with another Peruvian.” (Goal.com – click here to read complete article)

ALAS Reef Classic Peru Movistar Cup

The ALAS Reef Classic Perú – Movistar Cup – begins with excellent conditions. The Peruvian Sebastian de Romaña makes the best performance of the day in great conditions that promise even to become better. With a record number of 118 surfers registered the Latin-American Championship, ALAS Reef Classic Perú 2008 second stop of the ALAS Latin Tour, began today. The waves reached more than one meter and a half of height in the legendary Punta Rocas. This is a six-star event that distributes $ 20,000 and 6,000 points for the ranking. Competition started at nine o’clock with the first round of the Pro Junior category (under 20) with competitors who demonstrated that the future of surfing is moving forcefully. They sailed a total of 25 rounds, 13 of the first round of the Open Pro, 9 of the first and second round of the Pro Junior, and 4 of the Women category. The Peruvian stadium offered good waves and made possible that the best surfers in the region showed that the ALAS Tour is the greatest Latino surfing scene. (Global Surf News – click here to read complete press release)