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Hola De Lima

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Cecile Clerc

Cecile Clerc, MRG’s Fundraising Coordinator blogs from a trip visiting MRG partners and donors in Lima, Peru

I know for someone who can’t even work out how to upload her photo onto Facebook that writing a blog is a bit of a challenge, but I’ve decided that this trip to Peru is really worth sharing. For MRG, it’s the first step towards developing, in partnership with local organizations, a programme of work with Afro-descendant communities across Latin America. For me, it’s the first time I’ll see how the money I raise from the office in London is actually used on the ground, and what difference it can make.

I have therefore promised myself – and MRG Media Team – to share what will be, I’m sure, a fantastic experience. My only worry so far is that the God of Technology seems to be against my plan: access to the internet from your own room at the hotel is reserved for those staying on the 1st and the 2nd floors – I’m on the 10th floor – and the digital camera I have doesn’t seem to want to collaborate (hence the lack of pictures with this first posting). But let’s give it a try.

So far, I have spent more time on the plane getting to Peru than in Lima itself. The trip was pleasant and, as usual, I spent 90% of the time sleeping. Arriving at the airport, we had the pleasure to discover that the director of one of our partner organizations in Lima, the Centro de Desarrollo Etnico (CEDET, the Centre for Ethnic Development) was waiting for us. It was really nice and a tad emotional to meet for the first time with someone I’d liaised with over the last 4 months to organize the details of our meeting. We experienced the rush hour in Lima, which I’d imagined would be a lot worse to be honest. Or maybe I was focusing so much on the local buses that I just did not care about the rush hour. There are no buses in Lima, only mini-vans – 12 seats maximum – and they are packed. I wonder how many of these buses run across the city?

After the buses, I was also highly surprised by the size of the buildings. There are no tall buildings in Lima. Apparently the highest building in the city has 23 floors. Only 23. It’s interesting how this contributes to creating a real sense of a human-sized city. Although it was night when we arrived, I noticed that colours seem to play a real part in the architecture; I’ve seen lots of yellow, orange, blue, green and red buildings. I’m now looking forward to seeing everything in daylight – who knows, the buses might look bigger?

I can’t wait to meet with all our partners and start discussing with them how MRG can support them in their day-to-day fight to end the discrimination faced by Afro-descendant communities across Latin America.

Hasta mañana.

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