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Mi Perú-Minnesota

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Mi Peru-MN members holding a banner

Mi Perú-Minnesota members model a diverse range of traditional Peruvian dance attires while holding a banner with the group's logo. The banner was made in Huancayo, Peru, and intended to be used for the Modern Huaylarsh group dance. Photo by Angie Garcia, 2018 or 2019. Used with the permission of Alateo Photography.

Mi Perú-Minnesota (Mi Perú-MN) is a non-profit organization that promotes Peruvian culture through folkloric dances and ethnic events. Founded in Minneapolis in 2017, the group strives to bridge Peruvian and Minnesotan cultures while contributing to the diversity within Minnesota’s Latinx population and society at large. Over the years, it has grown to become a multigenerational and multiethnic group with a presence as one of the primary Peruvian folkloric dance groups in Minnesota.

In the late 2000s, a group of Peruvian women living in the Twin Cities formed a Peruvian folkloric dance group called Asi Es Mi Perú (That’s My Peru). Over time, the group dissolved, leaving some of its original members, along with other dancers, to establish a new group. This new organization would come to inherit the previous group’s costumes, funding, and non-profit status. On July 26th, 2017, Mi Perú-Minnesota was created, along with its new mission and vision for the group.

Mi Peru-MN members hail from various parts of Peru, from the coast to the Andes mountains to tropical rainforests. They bring with them the cultural backgrounds specific to their Peruvian places of birth or residency. Their diverse experiences provide insight into dances with Indigenous roots as well as those with European and Afro-Peruvian rhythms. Recently, people born in other countries in Latin America have joined the group, further expanding its diversity.

Mi Perú-MN held its first official ethnic event on Saturday, July 29, 2017. Friends and family gathered for a potluck at Minnehaha Falls Park in Minneapolis to celebrate Peruvian Independence Day, which is commemorated on July 28. The group performed various folkloric dances while guests enjoyed Peruvian food and kids played games nearby. Over 300 people attended.

In the following years, Mi Perú-MN moved its Independence Day celebration to a recreation center in the Twin Cities metro area. This free event, open to the community, provided an opportunity to experience Peruvian culture through dance performances from Mi Perú-MN, as well as live music, cuisine, handicrafts, raffles, and games. This event also offered the public a chance to enjoy other local folkloric dance groups and music.

Mi Perú-MN takes pride in performing at all kinds of events throughout the year. These include the International Institute of Minnesota's Festival of Nations, multicultural school and university events, Independence Day celebrations from other countries, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, Latinx festivals, religious events, fundraising galas, non-profit organization events, and weddings, among others.

Mi Perú-MN often receives donations and payments for its cultural performances. This funding allows the group to purchase new folkloric dance outfits brought directly from Peru, and in doing so to enhance their dance repertoire. In addition, as a non-profit, the group holds meetings and rehearsals in venues available to the public across the Twin Cities metro area, such as recreational centers, community rooms, and classrooms at universities. The group’s events and performances have been featured in local newspapers and other media outlets, showcasing the presence and contributions of Peruvian culture in Minnesota. Each member of Mi Perú-MN balances a full time job and/or family responsibilities with dedicating time and resources to the group.

Mi Perú-MN brings together a multigenerational community of women and empowers members to share their passion for dancing as part of an ethnic community. These experiences motivate members to stay engaged and committed to promoting Peruvian folklore in Minnesota.

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Busse, Erika. 2020. "¡A Bailarle al Perú! La Tradición al Servicio de la Transgresión." Revista con La A nro. 71 (Septiembre 2020).
https://conlaa.com/a-bailarle-al-peru-la-tradicion-al-servicio-de-la-transgresion

Kolnick, Jeff. “Minnesotanos: Latino Journeys Minnesota.” MNopedia, March 7, 2016.
https://www.mnopedia.org/minnesotanos-latino-journeys-minnesota

Mi Perú-Minnesota Facebook page. Group information & events.
www.facebook.com/miperumn

Mi Perú-Minnesota member interviews, March 2020
Oral history interviews conducted by Erika Busse
Description: Mi Perú-Minnesota members share reasons for joining the group and their roles and involvement in it.

Mi Perú-Minnesota Youtube page. Group videos and information.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJjjYKlyOrzvAmnjnWNSrwg

United States Census Bureau: QuickFacts Minnesota.
https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/MN/RHI725218#RHI725218

Related Images

Mi Peru-MN members holding a banner
Mi Peru-MN members holding a banner
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Colorful celebration
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Señor de los Milagros
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Dancing for a good cause
A grand show
A grand show
Waiting
Waiting
Marinera de corazón
Marinera de corazón
Yacumama dance
Yacumama dance
Caporales
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Caporales dancers on the Festival of Nations’ World Stage
Caporales dancers on the Festival of Nations’ World Stage
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After the show
Fiorella Cardenas with her daughter, Nayomi Cardenas
Fiorella Cardenas with her daughter, Nayomi Cardenas
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Tondero dance
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Community
Lucia Carlson
Lucia Carlson
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Rosario Parodi Bretey
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Essence
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Annual Peruvian fundraising event
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Non-profits supporting non-profits
Huaylarsh dance attire
Huaylarsh dance attire

Turning Point

On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, some members of Asi Es Mi Perú, as well as prospective members, meet at the Minneapolis Central Library to revise their mission and establish the group Mi Perú-Minnesota. They choose this name to highlight their roots as Peruvians in conversation with three themes: their new home, what it means to be a Peruvian in Minnesota, and what the group can bring to the Minnesota community

Chronology

2017

Members of Asi Es Mi Perú and prospective members establish the group Mi Perú-Minnesota (Mi Perú-MN).

2017

Mi Perú-MN establishes a board of directors.

2017

Mi Perú-MN’s Peruvian Independence Day Potluck event is held at Minnehaha Regional Park in Minneapolis.

2018

Mi Perú-MN performs at the International Institute’s Festival of Nations in St. Paul.

2018

Mi Perú-MN hosts a “Felices Fiestas Patrias: Peruvian Independence Day Celebration” event at the Recreation Outdoor Center (ROC) in St. Louis Park.

2019

Mi Perú-MN performs at the International Institute’s Festival of Nations in St. Paul.

2019

Mi Perú-MN hosts “Felices Fiestas Patrias: Peruvian Independence Day Celebration” at the ROC in St. Louis Park.

2019

Mi Perú-MN participates in a Latin Day performance hosted by Univision Minnesota at the amusement park Valleyfair in Shakopee.